County races attract a mix

Former lawmakers, political newcomers apply to run for office

`Excitement in the air'

Today is last day to file for state contests due to redistricting ruling

Anne Arundel

July 08, 2002|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

A mix of political neophytes and campaign veterans, including two former council members seeking to recapture seats they lost or gave up years ago, has filed with the county Board of Elections to run in the 2002 political races.

Returning to the political arena after a four-year hiatus is Council Chairman and former state Sen. C. Edward Middlebrooks, and former 3rd District council member Thomas W. Redmond Sr. Both men were Democrats when they served on the council, but have since become Republicans.

Candidates for local elections - including county executive, County Council, orphans' court judges and clerk of courts - were required to file with the county's Board of Elections by 9 p.m. July 1. The deadline for candidates for General Assembly races was moved to today because of recent changes to legislative district boundaries.

Board of Elections Director Barbara L. Fisher said Wednesday that her office has "caught up" on work required by the redistricting process, which was complicated this year by a decision by the state's highest court to redraw a map submitted by Gov. Parris N. Glendening and approved by the General Assembly.

Fisher said the new boundaries have been programmed into computers that print voter notification cards, so that residents will get the right candidate and polling-place information. Fisher said she hoped residents would review the information because there were "a mass of changes" in the county because of redistricting. Anne Arundel County added 17 voter precincts, she said.

With the first candidate deadline passed, Fisher said her office is starting to buzz with activity. "You can feel a little excitement in the air," she said.

Surprising no one, County Executive Janet S. Owens, a former director of the county's Department of Aging who lives in Millersville, will run unopposed in the Democratic primary Sept. 10.

Owens will face one of two GOP candidates in the Nov. 5 general election: Mayo resident and former state Del. Phillip D. Bissett or Davidsonville resident and teacher Tom Angelis.

Council races

Six out of seven council members are running for re-election, with all but three facing primary races. Council member Daniel E. Klosterman Jr., a Millersville Democrat, will face Severn resident Paul T. Falkler; Council Chairman Bill D. Burlison, an Odenton Democrat, has been challenged by fellow party members Lee Hatfield and Terry Wilson, both of Crownsville; and council member Barbara D. Samorajczyk, an Annapolis Democrat, will be matched against James C. Fink, also of Annapolis.

Council member John J. Klocko III, a Crofton Republican, cannot run for a third term because of term limits. His seat is up for grabs, a contest that has attracted a large and diverse pool of candidates.

They are: Patricia O'Brien Boarman, a Democrat from Edgewater; Democrats Peter M. Perry and William A. Rinehart Jr., both of Harwood; Edward R. Reilly, a Crofton Republican; and David Wayson, a Republican from Tracys Landing.

Incumbents challenged

Three council members - Pamela G. Beidle, a Linthicum Democrat, Cathleen M. Vitale, a Severna Park Republican, and Shirley Murphy, a Pasadena Democrat - will be unopposed in the primary. But the three incumbents do have opponents in the fall.

Beidle, an insurance broker, will face Linthicum resident Bob Gouge, a Republican. Severna Park business owner and former Owens transition team member George Maloney will challenge Vitale, an attorney who was selected to replace former council member Cliff Roop after he died in 2000. Murphy will face one of two Republicans - either former council member Redmond or Ron Dillon Jr.

Redmond, 55, a Pasadena resident who owns a number of rental units, said Wednesday that he decided to run against Murphy, who beat him in the 1998 Democratic primary, because she didn't follow through on projects, including construction of a large senior center near Lakeshore Plaza.

"You run on your record, and I will compare my record to whatever-her-name-is' record," said Redmond, referring to Murphy. During his term on the council, Redmond violated county ethics laws when he championed legislation that helped himself and a friend.

Middlebrooks returns

Another name from the past, Middlebrooks, who served as a Democrat on the council from 1990 to 1994 and then as a Republican in the state Senate from 1994 to 1998, has challenged Klosterman in the general election. Middlebrooks lost a re-election bid in 1998 to state Sen. James E. DeGrange Sr., a Glen Burnie Democrat.

"I think we have a history of representing the area and we have the ability to work with the constituents," said Middlebrooks, a 47-year-old Severn resident, who added that he uses "we" instead of "I" when talking about his public service to include family and friends who support him.

Council member Samorajczyk, who was surprised to learn that a fellow Democrat had filed to challenge her, said Wednesday that she was eager to meet her opponent.

"I don't know anything about him," she said of Fink.

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