Howard courthouse races Sun endorsements: Cave for sheriff

Rappaport for clerk, Hartleb for register among our choices.

October 08, 1998

THE LOW-PROFILE campaigns for elected posts in the Howard County Courthouse belie the importance of these jobs. The sheriff, Orphans' Court judges, register of wills and clerk of the Circuit Court have more direct contact with citizens than many people elected to higher offices. The best candidates can provide efficient, thrifty, "customer-friendly" public service.

With the retirement of two-term Sheriff Michael Chiuchiolo, the county needs a successor who can continue his professional operation of an office that serves subpoenas, provides courthouse security and monitors prisoners.

That person is Chief Deputy Charles M. Cave. A Republican, Mr. Cave was a state trooper for 27 years before being hired by Mr. Chiuchiolo seven years ago.

Republican Margaret D. Rappaport wants a third term as Circuit Court clerk. Her opponent is the same as in 1994, Democrat Leslie J. Cale, who is raising the same issue she did four years ago -- that Mrs. Rappaport's activism as a local party leader interferes with her elected duties. No evidence of that has been provided, however. Mrs. Rappaport appears to have managed the clerk's office in an efficient, no-nonsense manner. She should be re-elected.

Seeking a fourth term as register of wills is Republican Kay K. Hartleb. Contrary to any concern that someone who has served 12 years would be averse to change, Ms. Hartleb keeps her office technologically up to date. She has installed a computer work station for easier public access to estate files and documents. Her staff also still provides service the old-fashioned way, with concern for people trying to cope with a recent death.

The county's three Orphans' Court judges meet weekly to review probate cases, resolve disputed estates and appoint guardians for children who receive property in wills. Democrat Rosemary Ford is not seeking re-election. Democrat Sharae M. McNeal, an attorney with experience in estate planning, is the best candidate to replace her. The other incumbents, Republicans Charles M. Coles Jr. and Joyce Pope, deserve re-election.

Tomorrow: State's attorney

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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