State senator faces novice Incumbent Democrat in District 31 race seeking his 6th term

October 11, 1998|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Running for his sixth term in public office, incumbent Democrat Philip C. Jimeno is fighting for the District 31 Senate seat against a retired Avon lady who has been campaigning by handing out emery boards imprinted with her name.

"Everybody has fingernails," explained Republican candidate Jacqueline J. Turley, who is making her first run for public office. "Even the men like it."

Turley is the quintessential underdog in this battle to represent a district that includes Brooklyn Park, Pasadena and parts of Glen Burnie.

The 61-year-old Glen Burnie woman is a homemaker who sold cosmetics for five years. Her previous political experience has been helping out in the campaigns of County Executive John G. Gary in 1994, and Rep. Marjorie Holt and County Executive Robert A. Pascal in the 1980s.

"I've worked always behind the scenes," Turley said. "Stuffing envelopes and mailing things out, things like that."

Jimeno, by contrast, has been in public office for two decades. The 51-year-old Brooklyn Park resident and insurance agent began serving in the House of Delegates in 1979, then was appointed to the Maryland Senate in 1985 to replace District 31 Sen. Jerome Connell, who stepped down when he was convicted of income tax evasion.

Jimeno is assistant deputy majority leader in the state Senate and chairman of the Executive Nominations Committee, which approves hundreds of gubernatorial appointments. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller appointed Jimeno to head that committee after the recent expulsion of Sen. Larry Young for apparent violations of state ethics laws.

"I'm confident," said Jimeno, who has been handing out magnets and pens. "People in this district will sort out the experience and they will seek out the most qualified candidate."

Jimeno said his current campaign has been "strange" and different from his previous races in that Turley has not spoken out on her positions on the issues.

"I'd like to publicly debate the issues, but I cannot get her to debate," Jimeno said, adding that he has not seen any Turley campaign mailings. "We went out to a community association meeting and I said, 'Please stand up, let's debate the issue,' and she wouldn't stand up. I don't know where she stands, and that's so frustrating."

The constituents Turley is fighting to represent haven't seen much of her either. Woody Bowen, vice president of the Olde Brooklyn Park Improvement Association, said he is not endorsing either candidate. He said he has not seen any Turley signs up in his neighborhood, nor has she come to any of his organization's meetings.

"It tells me that she doesn't know where Brooklyn Park is," Bowen said. "[If] the person wants to get elected, she has to come out and meet the public. Phil's at our meetings every month."

Turley said she has gone door-to-door to "just a few houses" in Glen Burnie and she plans to attend community association meetings and send out a mailing next week.

When asked about the issues she is going to stress in the mailings, she dug through her purse and fished out a folded slip of paper that said she will work on getting Anne Arundel "its fair share of the school construction funding from the state," seek improvement of Mountain Road and create more community-based programs for seniors.

Jimeno said his emphasis will be on relieving Mountain Road congestion and buying up open space in Pasadena to restrict development.

He said a vote for his opponent was a vote for Gary, because Turley's husband, Norman Turley, works for the county executive's wife in the county's Department of Community Services.

"She's a hand-picked Gary candidate," Jimeno said. "He was actively soliciting somebody to run against me. If you want somebody who lacks any independence from John Gary, then you'll support my opponent.

"For me, when John Gary is right and [his plans are] right for my constituents, then I support them," Jimeno said.

Asked about Gary's role in her election bid, Turley said, "I think John Gary's an excellent county executive. I have to ask what's [Jimeno's] problem if I was hand-picked by John Gary? I'm sure that 12 years ago when he was appointed to the Senate, he was hand-picked by someone."

Pub Date: 10/11/98

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