Chuck Ecker's quality resume Governor's race: When it comes to experience, Ecker has a big lead over his primary opponent.

September 12, 1998

IN TRYING to determine the best candidates for governor, we looked at a number of factors. Leadership and experience were at the top of the list.

Those are key reasons why Charles I. Ecker is the obvious choice for the Republican nomination for governor. Mr. Ecker's tenure as Howard County executive has been marked by honesty, fairness and dependability.

That hasn't changed since he came from an obscure job and defied the odds to defeat the incumbent Democrat in 1990. Mr. Ecker faces an even more difficult task if he is to out-poll Ellen R. Sauerbrey to represent his party in November. But on Tuesday, Republican voters should not discount a track record as solid and as productive as the one he continues to build.

Ms. Sauerbrey's experience as a state delegate does not come close to Mr. Ecker's administrative background, which would serve him well in the State House. As county executive, he has balanced budgets in good times and bad. He has made the difficult decisions to reduce the county's work force and cut other expenses.

Business has flourished under his leadership. Howard consistently has been at or near the top in job growth in Maryland, helping new businesses get started, holding onto existing firms and attracting prosperous companies from other areas. His county is close enough to Virginia for him to realize how important it is to compete with our neighbor to the south for jobs -- especially high-tech jobs.

Mr. Ecker's temperament also is appealing. He works well with opponents and has demonstrated the ability to move his fiscally conservative agenda forward without alienating Democratic foes.

On the Democratic ballot, Gov. Parris N. Glendening gets our nod because he has delivered on almost all his campaign promises. He made some mistakes at the outset and has sometimes seemed awkward, but he is far superior to his Democratic challengers.

Pub Date: 9/12/98

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