Re-elect Ruppersberger Sun endorsement: Baltimore County executive has improved political and business climate.

October 23, 1998

COUNTY EXECUTIVE, especially in Maryland's strong county-based system, has been described as one of the most demanding, hands-on positions in government. Yet from his first day in that office in Baltimore County, C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger III seemed as if he were born to the job.

His gregarious nature and determination helped steady a diverse county. He oversaw the addition of 20,000 jobs and the securing of three AAA bond ratings, making Baltimore County the 13th county in the nation to do so.

He practically willed a change in tone, from a drumbeat of negative publicity about political infighting and troubles in education to better news about school repairs and slumlords being booted out of town. Mr. Ruppersberger may get carried away with his harping on "teamwork" -- his definition doesn't seem to leave room for dissent. But little disagreement seems to exist that Mr. Ruppersberger deserves a second term.

Republican John J. Bishop, a former two-term delegate, has run one of the more honest campaigns this season. He hasn't resorted to the personal attacks and name-calling that have become frighteningly routine. His arguments -- that job gains have been largely in low-paying service employment and that business successes in the Owings Mills and White Marsh town centers obscure softness in the traditional commercial corridors -- are well-made and researched.

No, all is not perfect in Baltimore County. That is all the more reason for a proven, steady hand at the helm, such as Mr. Rupperberger's.

Pub Date: 10/23/98

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