Voters to have many choices County delegate seats draw participation of variety of people

Candidates 'run gamut'

Some districts feature tough primary fights against incumbents

September 14, 1998|By Kirsten Scharnberg | Kirsten Scharnberg,SUN STAFF

In the Anne Arundel County races for House of Delegate seats, voters have no shortage of choices in tomorrow's primary.

They've got the lifetime-politician types, the never-held-an-office types. The community activists, the county advocates. The lawyers, the nurse, the police chief, the schoolteachers and more.

"Let's just say the candidates run the gamut this election," said Helen R. Fister, the chairwoman of the Republican State Central Committee of Anne Arundel County.

In District 30, which comprises Arnold, Annapolis and South County east of Solomons Island Road, two of the three incumbents, Michael E. Busch and Virginia P. Clagett, are popular Democrats that even hard-nosed Republicans are saying will be tough to beat.

"I wouldn't bet on it, I know that," Fister said. "But I wouldn't say it's impossible, either."

Busch, an Annapolis teacher, basketball and football coach, is seeking his fourth term in the House. As chairman of the Economic Matters Committee, he has handled key medical and insurance legislation.

Clagett, of Harwood, is seeking her second term after leaving the Anne Arundel County Council in 1994 because of the five-term-limit law. She did not win assignment to the Environmental Matters Committee during her first term in the House, but she had a hand in several environmental issues.

Democratic challengers are Richard D'Amato, a recently retired, longtime congressional staffer from Annapolis; and Rocky Rosacker of Annapolis.

On the Republican side, incumbent Phillip D. Bissett, the chairman of the county delegation from Edgewater, is seeking his third term. The senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, he has worked for strict drunken-driving legislation and harsh penalties for child and domestic abuse.

Republican challengers are Anthony McConkey, an Annapolis real estate agent and former GOP activist in Prince George's County; Edward Turner, an Arnold resident who manages Easton's business management authority; Richard Paradiso from Annapolis, and F. Gregory Baldwin from Annapolis.

District 31

In District 31, which includes Pasadena, Brooklyn Park and parts of Glen Burnie, Republicans control two of three House seats, and five GOP candidates are aiming to take over the sole Democrat-controlled seat.

"I think that is entirely feasible," said Del. Victoria L. Schade, a Republican incumbent from Pasadena. "But that doesn't mean it will be easy."

Schade, who is seeking her second term, has backed legislation to decrease the state's personal income tax, proposing annual 6 percent tax cuts.

The second Republican incumbent, John R. Leopold, has raised constituent service to a level that has gained the praise of those on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Said Carolyn Roeding, a Democrat running for a delegate seat in District 31: "I never hear anything negative about John Leopold."

Leopold, a former state senator and representative in Hawaii who lives in Pasadena, is seeking his fourth term. He has long campaigned on accountability in education spending and legislation for people with disabilities.

Other Republican challengers are Kevin Reigrut, a computer programmer from Pasadena who has been Schade's legislative assistant for the past four years; Robert Schaeffer, a Severna Park activist and architect of the county's tax limit, and David Ready, from Severna Park.

Although she seems firmly entrenched, Joan Cadden, the lone Democratic incumbent in the district, said last week she is by no means treating this election complacently.

"I'm out there knocking door to door," the Brooklyn Park beauty shop owner said.

A member of the Appropriations Committee, Cadden consistently has fought to get state money for the county. She is seeking her third term.

The Democratic challengers are Mary Rosso, an environmental activist from Glen Burnie who for decades has battled with public officials and corporations to reduce air, water and land pollution in North County; Carolyn M. Roeding, a previously unsuccessful candidate from Pasadena and former head of the Anne Arundel Council of PTAs; Thomas Fleckenstein, a Pasadena resident and Anne Arundel County prosecutor; Steve Fogleman, a Glen Burnie attorney and head of the Anne Arundel County Young Democrats; Jacqueline Boone Allsup, a registered nurse from Glen Burnie, and Edward Smith from Severna Park.

District 33

In sprawling District 33, which includes Odenton, Crownsville and Lothian, the only Democratic incumbent, Marsha G. Perry of Crofton, is not seeking re-election. Democrats are scrambling to retain control of the seat, while Republicans are hoping to secure it and take unanimous control of the district.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.