Choices for 11th, 12th districts Sun endorsements: Zirkin, Finifter, Morhaim in 11th

Kasemeyer, Murphy, Smith in 12.

October 15, 1998

WITH SEN. Paula C. Hollinger facing no opposition in the 11th Legislative District of northwest Baltimore County, the contest is in the delegates' race. The question is: Can Republicans break the Democratic lock on power in the district, which includes such county population centers as Reisterstown and Owings Mills?

The GOP candidates with the best chance to win are Christian Cavey, 43, an insurance executive, and Virginia G. Schuster, 70, a real estate agent. If we had to choose between the two, our favorite would be the spunky Mrs. Schuster, whose motto is "been there, done it." Like Mr. Cavey, she opposes abortion as well as any further regulation of firearms.

Ultimately, however, we prefer the three Democrats: Delegates Michael J. Finifter and Dan K. Morhaim, who have done a good job, and Robert A. Zirkin, 27, who showed considerable campaigning skills with his narrow primary victory. He will have to prove he has the maturity to legislate.

Farther south, the 12th District changes personality from east to west. Blue-collar towns in Baltimore County such as Lansdowne and Arbutus meet more affluent communities in Howard County. There is little difference, however, in the issues that concern district residents. They want good schools, less crime, lower taxes.

The 12th District senator, Democrat Edward J. Kasemeyer, deserves re-election. Republican challenger David P. Maier lost to Mr. Kasemeyer in 1994. Voters will again have a clear choice between a Democrat who is an abortion rights advocate and who supports gun control and a Republican abortion opponent who does not. The election of Mr. Kasemeyer four years ago indicates that his views more closely match the district's.

In House District 12A, which straddles the Howard-Baltimore County line, voters would be better served without Democratic Rep. James E. Malone Jr.

After his election in 1994, Mr. Malone lobbied to have state law changed so he could be both a legislator and a Baltimore County firefighter. It was a flagrant conflict of interest. He has since proved why the law should have been kept intact by sponsoring a self-serving bill that would stop counties from privatizing firefighting services. Republican challenger Loyd V. Smith is retired as a county firefighter, so he would not bring that conflict to Annapolis.

Incumbent Republican Donald E. Murphy has earned voters' confidence to continue serving in the other seat in District 12A.

Tomorrow: 9th and 10th districts

Pub Date: 10/15/98

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