McCabe for Senate in the 14th Sun endorsements: Flanagan and Kittleman also deserve re-election, but face a credible challenger.

October 16, 1998

THIS WON'T be an easy election for voters in the 14th Legislative District. Although served by able incumbents, they will have to decide whether they might be better represented by very formidable challengers. It's an enviable position for residents of this sprawling district that includes much of central and western Howard County as well as parts of northern Montgomery County. Whoever wins Nov. 3, the people won't lose.

A familiar name is in the race against two-term Republican Sen. Christopher J. McCabe. But David S. Hantman has much more to offer than his being the son of former Howard County Democratic Chairwoman Sue Ellen Hantman.

Mr. Hantman has valuable experience. He was chief counsel to Democratic Sen. Robert G. Torricelli of New Jersey, deputy counsel to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and a legislative aide to Del. Cheryl C. Kagan of Montgomery County. He would work to create an independent ethics commission.

But as good as Mr. Hantman's credentials are, it would be hard to support him over Mr. McCabe, who has shown independence in legislating. It would have been easy, for example, for Mr. McCabe to follow the flock and vote to expel former Sen. Larry Young for ethics violations. But he did otherwise, concerned that the speed with which the case was handled denied due process.

In House races for the Howard portion of the district, 14B, Republican Delegates Robert H. Kittleman and Robert L. Flanagan are so popular that Democrats might have been expected to offer token opposition. Indeed, Democrats came up with just one challenger, but he is a good one. William C. Woodcock Jr., president of the Ellicott City Democratic Club, believes his skills as a consensus builder would make him valuable to the district. Mr. Woodcock points to Howard's having to put more local money into its school construction budget because it didn't get enough from the state.

But Mr. Kittleman and Mr. Flanagan have been able to accomplish a lot. Mr. Kittleman, who is seeking his fifth term, is minority leader in the House and one of its most respected members. He has been able to cull votes from conservative Democrats. Mr. Flanagan, seeking a fourth term, is minority whip and a leading spokesman on budget and legal matters. We endorse the incumbents.

Pub Date: 10/16/98

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