Later entries expand primary

Schoeffield challenges Adler in Republican race for executive

`Unprecedented, rampant growth'

New candidates increase fields in council districts

more file for legislature

July 03, 2002|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Citing "unprecedented, rampant growth," as his issue, a 40-year old Ellicott City man has filed to run against Steven H. Adler for the Republican nomination for Howard County executive - one of a group of late Howard filers in this year's county and state elections.

Clark J. Schoeffield, who lives near Worthington Elementary School and owns a small telecommunications company, said he feels Adler is ignoring the growth issue - a theme in the 1998 campaign that has seemingly faded since approval of three large mixed-use developments in the southeastern county.

But Schoeffield, a political novice, wants to revive the discussion of what he termed "runaway growth."

"Somebody's got to get out here and start talking about it," he said, adding that he wants lower taxes, slower growth and a better way to control school crowding. The current system, embodied in the decade-old Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, "is a sham," he said.

Herman Charity, County Executive James N. Robey's chief aide and former campaign manager, defended Robey's record on development, noting that the 2000 General Plan reduces the average number of new homes allowed per year from 2,500 in the 1990s to 1,500 a year through 2020. Nearly half would be in the county's final large mixed-use developments called Emerson, Maple Lawn and Cherry Tree - all in the southeastern county.

Adler, managing partner of Savage Mill who has the support of most Howard GOP officials, has criticized Robey's budgeting skills after a projected $18 million deficit developed in the fiscal year that ended June 30. But Adler said yesterday that he has talked about "moderate controlled growth" for which the current county General Plan provides.

"I think we're moving in the right direction," he said, welcoming Schoeffield's challenge nevertheless, as something that will help Republicans by getting voters "focusing on the election earlier."

That scenario hurt Republicans in 1998, however, when two GOP county councilmen - Dennis Schrader and Charles Feaga - engaged in a bitter primary election fight that helped Robey, a Democrat, beat Schrader in the general election.

Other late-emerging candidates are challenging District 5 County Councilman Allan H. Kittleman, a western county Republican.

James C. Adams, 60, self-employed, of Ellicott City, is a Republican competing for Kittleman's seat, while Stephen S. Musselman, 34, a lawyer from West Friendship, is a Democratic hopeful.

Adams said he, like Schoeffield, thinks growth is still too fast in western Howard, and hefeels Kittleman's voting record is too close to that of the council Democrats.

Musselman , a former assistant county state's attorney, said he wanted to give western county voters a choice. "The issues are growth, expansion of Route 32 and schools," he said.

Two more candidates also filed for the District 2 seat now held by C. Vernon Gray, who is running for state Senate. Three Democrats and one Republican had filed earlier.

Democrat James G. Fitzgerald, 48, of Long Reach, a software engineer who ran and lost in 1998, and Republican Brian Harlin of Montgomery Meadows, who operates a Republican merchandising and manufacturing business, joined the fray.

Monday was the filing deadline for county office candidates. General Assembly candidates have until the end of business Monday next week to file.

More hopefuls have joined the race for General Assembly seats in Howard's three districts, though Del. Donald F. Murphy, a Catonsville Republican, said he will not run again.

The new court-ordered legislative redistricting map left Murphy's home in District 10, outside his current District 12, which covers Catonsville, Arbutus and parts of eastern Howard.

"What they couldn't do at the ballot box they did in the back rooms of Annapolis," Murphy said in a parting shot at his Democrat rivals. "I'm happy to go out 2-0, " he said about his two election victories.

But a new group of Republicans has filed in the district, from state Senate candidate Mike Sneeringer Sr., a 67-year old insurance broker who is hoping to knock off incumbent Democratic Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer, to several new delegate candidates.

Harry J.F. Korrell Jr., 65, is retired after a 34-year Navy career, living in the Catonsville home his grandparents once owned, and ready, in his words, to attack "one-party arrogance" as exemplified by redistricting and fiscal waste like the maglev train project.

Joe Hooe, 33, a Republican, owns a car repair and tire business in Federal Hill, he said, and is also against the maglev train. His major issue, he said, is anger at legislators who voted to give convicted felons the right to vote in Maryland.

Meanwhile, Democrat Steve J. DeBoy Sr., a retired Baltimore County police officer, is making his second try for office after narrowly losing a bid in 1998. He is running on a ticket with Kasemeyer and incumbent Del. James E. Malone Jr.,

In the western county's District 9a, Republicans will have a contested primary after all. Steven M. Kraemer, 28, of Ellicott City has filed to run for one of two seats also sought by incumbent Del. Robert L. Flanagan and Del. Gail H. Bates, who was appointed to the post. Kraemer owns a development consulting business, and bought a house in Ellicott City in February after living in Maryland for five years.

In crowded District 13, where five Democrats are battling for three nominations, 42-year-old Stephen Washington of Owen Brown, a Republican who recently changed parties, has filed to fill out a GOP ticket with Bob Adams of Long Reach and Mary Beth Tung of Clarksville.

A 10-year Columbia resident, Washington said he has become convinced that the GOP "is not the ugly monster" most Democrats make the party out to be. "I looked at it as an opportunity to be in a position to help someone else," the YMCA board member said.

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