Halpin for GOP in District 3 Sun endorsement: Columbia lawyer could bring fresh perspective to Howard County Council.

August 19, 1998

ONE OF THE key local races in the Nov. 3 general election is for the Howard County Council District 3 seat being vacated by TTC Dennis R. Schraeder. He is running for the Republican nomination for Howard County executive.

There is no Democratic primary in District 3 because Guy Guzzone, former director of the Maryland Sierra Club, is the only Democratic candidate. Mr. Guzzone poses a stiff challenge for whomever wins the Republican primary.

The GOP front-runner is probably Wanda Hurt, a former member of the Columbia Council and former president of the Oakland Mills High School PTA, who has Mr. Schrader's backing.

But Kirk J. Halpin, a member of the King's Contrivance Village Board in Columbia, is an appealing candidate. He gets The Sun's endorsement for the Republican nomination.

The 28-year-old lawyer would bring a fresh perspective that is needed on issues affecting this large district that stretches from North Laurel to Columbia.

He would likely tackle the county's problems with the same vigor that saw him resuscitate the listless Young Republican Club of Howard County, of which he is president.

Mr. Halpin's legal training would be an asset to a council that benefits from the life experiences that its members bring to the table. His willingness to negotiate solutions would be an improvement on a council that too often has divided along partisan lines.

A stated goal of Mr. Halpin is to make sure future development is better managed so the county doesn't find itself paying for too much infrastructure at once.

He also believes the county has to pay police officers more competitively to help reduce the number of veterans who resign for better-paying police jobs elsewhere in the region.

Ms. Hurt, 55, has attributes that would make her a good council member. In particular, she exhibits the ability to put 110 percent worth of effort into every endeavor she tackles. A former leader of Howard County Democrats, Ms. Hurt has proven through hard work for local Republicans that her transformation three years ago was genuine.

Mr. Halpin, though, offers a view of the county that he says he won't allow to become distorted by party politics.

He is a lifelong Republican, but says he seeks to help anyone whose goal is to make Howard County a better place to live.

Mr. Halpin should get the Republican nomination to represent Howard's Councilmanic District 3.

Tomorrow: Council Districts 4, 5.

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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