Littrell, Ballard in District 4 Sun endorsements: Democratic challengers offer more than strident ideology, pointless meddling.

October 15, 1998

TIMOTHY R. Ferguson boasts of his strong conservative philosophy that he says represents the views of voters in Carroll and Frederick counties.

But the strident ideology of the Republican state senator from the 4th Legislative District does not effectively represent the best interests of those constituents.

Instead of the common-sense conservatism that Charles H. Smelser brought to the Maryland Senate in 28 years representing the 4th District, Mr. Ferguson has a reputation for unrelieved opposition to the Democratic administration and legislative leaders. He is passionately anti-tax and anti-government.

His opponent, Democrat George Hayes Littrell Jr., served three terms in the House of Delegates. He lost to Mr. Ferguson for Senate in the Republican tidal wave of 1994.

Mr. Littrell made his mark as a solid, thoughtful legislator who pressed important issues such as drunken driving laws and business regulation reform. He earned the respect of his colleagues for his integrity and earnestness.

School construction and transportation funding top his list of issues.

His nonpartisan approach to public policy, and his solid reputation in the General Assembly, would make Mr. Littrell a much more effective and productive senator than Mr. Ferguson with his confrontational style.

The race for the delegate seat in District 4B, which includes western Carroll and eastern Frederick counties, pits three-term incumbent Republican Donald B. Elliott against Democrat Ann M. Ballard, who has served on the Carroll County Board of Education since 1990.

Mr. Elliott has been a staunch opponent of the Democratic state administration, with little to show for it except executive rebuff.

As Carroll delegation leader, he's responsible for promoting county interests in Annapolis. Instead, he has meddled (without encouragement) in Carroll County local government -- witness his pointless campaigns to tinker with the county commissioner system.

Ms. Ballard is a conscientious, active member of the (nonpartisan) school board. She is said to be the member the public turns to most often, with a reputation for prompt response.

While focused on education and school funding, the Democrat also stresses crime and economic development in the campaign. She recognizes the need for a stronger, effective voice for this split-county, largely rural district.

The Sun endorses George Hayes Littrell Jr. for senator in the 4th District and Ann M. Ballard for delegate in 4B.

Tomorrow: 5th District

Pub Date: 10/15/98

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