Smith makes it official: Democrat files for Balto. County executive race

March 21, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

With the campaign slogans on their poster-board signs running in the rain, about 50 supporters cheered former Circuit Judge James T. Smith Jr. yesterday when he became the second candidate to file for Baltimore County executive.

Smith, a Democrat, said his platform centers on public safety, improving schools, increasing resident input in government and "renaissancing" older communities.

"It's appropriate that we are here today," Smith told his supporters, who huddled under umbrellas as the rain began to pour outside the county courthouse. "This rain is precisely what Baltimore County needs right now, and I think Jim Smith is precisely what Baltimore County needs in this next term."

No other Democrats have announced that they are in the race to succeed C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. Douglas B. Riley, a Republican who represented Towson on the County Council for two terms, filed Friday.

Smith, 59, of Reisterstown picked up endorsements from several west-side Democrats. state Sens. Paula C. Hollinger, Edward J. Kasemeyer and Delores G. Kelley all endorsed Smith, as did Dels. Adrienne A. Jones, Dan K. Morhaim and Robert A. Zirkin.

Ironworkers Local 16 endorsed him and held a fund-raiser for him last night, but Smith has yet to garner announcements of support from east-side politicians.

"It's early yet," Smith said. "They're just a little shy."

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