Thomas in 6th, DePazzo in 7th Sun endorsements: On Baltimore County Council, 7th District incumbent a pleasant surprise.

August 25, 1998

BALTIMORE County's 6th council district, incumbent Democrat Joseph Bartenfelder is unopposed in the primary.

He will face one of three Republicans in November: Thomas V. Morris of White Hall, the manager of a Druid Hill apartment complex who is barely campaigning; Andrew Peet, a Parkville management consultant with sincere, if superficial, ideas about education, government efficiency and taxes; or Glen A. Thomas of Phoenix, a GOP activist who operates a consulting business.

We endorse Mr. Thomas, who shares many of Mr. Peet's opinions but seems to have the most thorough understanding of the issues among the three candidates.

The Democratic primary in the 7th pits incumbent Louis L. DePazzo, a former state lawmaker from Dundalk, against credible challenger John Olszewski Sr. of North Point, a party and civic activist who works for a firm that prepares autos for showrooms.

Mr. DePazzo's behavior has changed markedly -- for the better -- since his election to the council four years ago. As a delegate in Annapolis, he never figured out how to be a player, exhibited a hair-trigger temper and a penchant for crudeness. In 1994, he embarrassed himself when he demagogued against the poor at hearings on a federal housing program. As a councilman, jTC however, he has worked well with constituents and County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

The "new Lou" even found himself facing down the kind of angry crowd he once led. Last spring, he sought to calm residents who opposed the renovation of a decaying apartment complex, fearing it would bring federally subsidized housing. Mr. DePazzo rightly (if unsuccessfully) argued that such fears were overblown.

Mr. Olszewski is well-informed, but the crux of his campaign -- that the incumbent has betrayed his district -- is flawed.

We endorse Mr. DePazzo, who has been a better councilman than we thought possible. The 7th has no contested GOP primary.

Tomorrow: Harford County Council President

Pub Date: 8/25/98

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