No 3rd term for Getty

Republican delegate says he will keep promise he made in 1994 campaign

Opts against Senate run

Incumbents Stocksdale, Amedori will seek two seats under redistricting


May 14, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Del. Joseph M. Getty, a Manchester Republican, said yesterday he will honor a 1994 campaign promise and not seek a third term in the House of Delegates - a decision that could enhance his two colleagues' chances for re-election.

He imposed his two-term limit and, despite strong pressure from supporters, Getty said yesterday, "I am sticking by my promise."

Recently adopted redistricting would have forced Carroll's three incumbents - Getty, Nancy R. Stocksdale and Carmen Amedori - to vie for two seats. Getty, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee and has built a solid reputation for his understanding of the legislative process, was widely considered the strongest candidate of the three.

"I have to satisfy myself," he wrote in a news release issued yesterday. "It is important to my personal sense of integrity that I honor my campaign pledges."

Term limits are necessary "because the entrenched monopoly in Maryland [has burdened] our state with big government, high taxes and out-of-control spending," Getty wrote.

Amedori said she frequently relied on Getty during her freshman term and will miss his guidance if she is re-elected. His decision "says a lot about his integrity," she said.

"He was a great mentor for me," Amedori said. "He feels he must keep a campaign promise whether people remember it or not."

Getty, 50, called his withdrawal from politics temporary and he did not rule out future campaigns. An attorney who maintains a law office in Hampstead, Getty may run for a seat on Carroll's Republican Central Committee, where he was a member from 1985 through 1992. He has until July 1 to decide.

"I always liked that side of things and working for party organization," said Getty. "Whatever I do, I won't be out of the political loop."

He also has committed to working locally on GOP Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s gubernatorial bid.

Although Getty said he would have liked to move ahead with his political career and run for the state Senate, he would not challenge Sen. Larry E. Haines, leader of Carroll's all-Republican delegation. Getty has pledged his support to Haines' re-election.

"Joe will be greatly missed," said Haines. "He is a conscientious, dedicated representative who really understood the issues. He has good insight into the legislative process and was a rising star on the Judiciary Committee. A Republican conservative, he is well-respected by his colleagues."

Getty's withdrawal from the delegate race could be advantageous for Amedori and Stocksdale, Haines said. But, he added, it is too soon to predict a victory.

In a reference to the filing deadline, Amedori added, "It would be really easier if Joe had waited until July to announce his decision."

Getty said, "There are two sides. It may be easier for them to get re-elected with me out of the primary race. But my withdrawal might draw others into the election."

Democrats, who have long been underdogs in Carroll, could launch a strong challenge, Getty said.

"People look at Carroll County as a Republican stronghold, but in 1985, Republicans did not have a full slate of candidates to offer," he said.

Few politicians regard Getty's decision as his finale.

"Certainly Joe Getty is capable of serving and he has built a good relationship with voters," Haines said. "He will be back."

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