Legislative districts

Election 2002

August 29, 2002

Today The Sun continues its endorsements in selected General Assembly primaries.

AS A RESULT of court-ordered redistricting, Baltimore will emerge from this year's elections significantly weaker. The city will lose two senators and six delegates. That's why it is exceptionally important for voters in the remaining city legislative districts to nominate candidates in the Sept. 10 primary who will give the city a strong voice and credibility in Annapolis.

District 44: Democrats in this redrawn district have good choices:

In the Senate race, they should entrust their votes to Del. Verna L. Jones, a diligent and deliberate community activist. Incumbent Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV should be defeated.

Four years ago, when scandal led to the expulsion of Sen. Larry Young, Mr. Mitchell had the chance to restore honor and decency in that office. He failed miserably, and instead became quickly mired in a series of conflict-of-interest allegations that eroded whatever clout he had in Annapolis.

After all the sordidness, Ms. Jones would be a breath of fresh air. She would bring rational decision-making and much-needed accountability to the senator's office.

In the House of Delegates race, our support goes to Keith E. Haynes, a lawyer with Peter Angelos' firm; Jennifer L. Coates, a City Council staff director; and Arlene B. Fisher, a social worker. They promise a responsiveness that too often has been absent from the district, which now cuts across the city from Beechfield, near Catonsville, to the area of the planned biotech park near the Johns Hopkins medical campus.

District 45: The choices here are quite dismal.

The stranglehold on power of the Eastside Democratic Organization is such that Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden is without a strong challenger. His record is undistinguished; he wins an endorsement only by default.

Incumbent Dels. Hattie N. Harrison and Talmadge Branch are too servile to lobbyists to merit new terms. Instead, voters should support Aaron Keith Wilkes, who has worked as an investment firm executive, and Vernon E. Crider, assistant principal at Lake Clifton/Eastern High School. Del. Clarence Davis has done a creditable job and deserves renomination.

District 46: This redrawn district runs from Harford Road to the southeast shoreline and then skips across the water to include all of South Baltimore up to the Anne Arundel County line.

Dels. Brian K. McHale, Peter A. Hammen and Carolyn Krysiak win the endorsements. They are hardworking legislators who will serve this merged district well.

None of these three districts has a contested Republican primary.

Tomorrow

The Sun continues its Sept. 10 primary endorsements with a look at state legislative races in districts 6, 7 and 8.

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