Good choices in 34 and 35 Sun endorsements: Executive vacancy created 'musical chairs' and a raft of worthy candidates.

August 20, 1998

HARFORD COUNTY discovered something better than term limits in 1998. It's called ambition.

Eileen M. Rehrmann was barred by law from a third term as county executive, leading to her recently aborted run for governor. Other incumbents sought her seat, leading still other incumbents to attempt a shot at those vacancies. The result of this musical chairs is that Harford voters have impressive choices for the primary.

District 34, which covers the southern and eastern parts of the xTC county, has a major battle for state Senate between Democratic Del. Mary Louise Preis and Republican Del. Nancy Jacobs, a rising star among conservatives. But that battle awaits November, because the primary is uncontested.

For three delegate seats, our choices among the Democrats are Joseph H. Brooks, a retired two-star general who operated U.S. seaports in Operation Desert Storm and, as a Bel Air mayor and commissioner, helped create the popular Rockfield Park; Robin Walter, until recently a lobbyist for the Lutheran Church whose training as a nurse could assist the health care debate; and Mary-Dulany James, an attorney who exudes passion for public service, and learned at the knee of her father, former state treasurer and Senate President William S. James. Among Republicans, we favor Charles R. Boutin, the Aberdeen mayor who helped shepherd the Ripken museum and stadium projects; William G. Christoforo, an assistant state's attorney; and Robert E. Shaffner, who has been active in the Harford Chamber of Commerce and other groups.

In District 35, which sweeps across the northern county, we favor J. Robert Hooper as Republican nominee for Senate. He demonstrated a good grasp of finance during a term on the County Council. For the Democrats, incumbent Donald C. Fry is unopposed.

For two House seats in 35A, we endorse Republicans Barry Glassman and Joanne S. Parrott. Both distinguished themselves on the county council. Among Democrats, we endorse Del. Michael G. Comeau, an assistant Baltimore County attorney, and Lee D. McDaniel, who is active in environmental issues.

Pub Date: 8/20/98

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