5 Democrats contend in revised District 10

3 incumbents, 1 Republican in Baltimore County race

August 31, 2002|By Jonathan D. Rockoff | Jonathan D. Rockoff,SUN STAFF

One preaches for a living, another handles discrimination complaints. A third nurses the sick, while a fourth is a corporate type. Then there is the computer-aided designer, and don't forget the union president.

The candidates for the House of Delegates from the 10th District are a diverse lot who are vying to represent nearly 59,000 registered voters on the southwest side of Baltimore County.

It's a district that saw significant changes when boundary lines were redrawn this year.

Gone from the 10th District are the city precincts. Now it covers the county alone, including parts of Catonsville, along with the Liberty Road corridor and Woodlawn.

It remains mostly black and Democratic.

All but one of the candidates - political newcomer Steven D'Arezzo - is a Democrat. The primary takes place Sept. 10.

`Unfinished business'

Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, who has served two terms in Annapolis and seeks another to tend to what she calls "unfinished business," became a symbol of the disruptions caused by the redistricting process.

A city resident, she was forced by the boundary changes to move to the county, and now claims an apartment in Windsor Mill as home base.

Nathan-Pulliam, 63, is a registered nurse. She pledges to seek health care for the 750,000 uninsured Marylanders, expand the state's prescription-drug benefit program to low-income seniors and boost treatment for drug addicts.

"I see health as the nucleus of everything that we do," she says, "and that is why over the eight years I have championed health care legislation," including providing breast-cancer diagnosis for the working poor and providing health care to children of low-income families.

Social conservative

In May, Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr. received attention for a well-publicized split with state Sen. Delores G. Kelley over his socially conservative views.

Burns, 62, is a Woodlawn resident and minister of Rising Sun First Baptist Church. He opposes abortion, as well as gay and lesbian marriages. He lists among his favorite achievements getting Wal-Mart to clarify its policy permitting breast-feeding in stores.

"I provide the voice to the majority of people who don't go to Annapolis every day. Family people. Church people," he says.

If elected to a third term, Burns, who has raised more money than any candidate in the race, promises to strengthen laws so pedophiles go to jail for third-degree sexual crimes, to get more money for the public schools so air conditioning can be installed and to "continue to push for traditional values."

`You need experience'

The third incumbent in the race is Del. Adrienne A. Jones, who is director of the Baltimore County Office of Minority Affairs, which handles harassment and discrimination complaints and promotes county services.

Jones, 47, of Woodstock, was appointed to the House of Delegates in 1997 to finish the term of a delegate who died. She has a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

"Particularly with redistricting and a lot of new legislators coming in, you need experience, particularly with appropriations," she says.

She supports establishing incentives to encourage experienced teachers to work in low-performing schools and inducements for businesses to locate in the Liberty Road corridor, an area of growing wealth that is lacking in upscale retailers.

`Reflect our views'

Barry N. Chapman, president of the Baltimore County branch of the Maryland State Employees AFSCME Local 422, is a contract monitor for the state. He chafes at a General Assembly that recently got a pay raise, while state workers did not.

"We need people in the legislature that reflect our views, not as a dominant voice in the legislature, but somebody who can advocate for community interests and also for state employees," says Chapman, 45, of Villa Nova.

If elected, Chapman would also push for the construction of community centers throughout the area where children could play and study, and for stricter monitoring of the region's many group homes for juvenile delinquents.

`An unfair burden'

N. Scott Phillips, a lawyer who runs a minority business program for IBM, also targets the group homes for greater regulation. He says an impact study should be done every time a group home wants to locate in the area. Phillips also supports more state funding for schools receiving children from group homes.

"The district really has an unfair burden without the appropriate resources," he says. "Unfortunately, the money does not follow the children fast enough."

Phillips, 41, of Woodstock, has never run for public office, but says he has been involved in the community by leading a statewide nonprofit group that funds and manages "support centers" around the state that provide training for parents and job seekers.

He would like to reduce school crowding and encourage commercial development in Woodlawn and Randallstown.

Lone Republican

D'Arezzo, the lone Republican in the race, says he is running because the elderly need better health care and school class sizes should be reduced.

He would also make schools safer by transferring more students who are discipline problems to alternative schools.

The 31-year-old, a computer-aided designer, has lived in Randallstown for 15 years. "I have not seen any changes that the incumbents have done in my area," he says.

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