Today, The Sun continues its Sept. 10 primary endorsements with state legislative races in districts 30, 31, 32, 33A and 33B.
IN ANNE ARUNDEL County, schools, the environment and health care are among the issues being debated in this year's legislative races. Republican candidates are also focusing on what they call excess state spending during the Democrats' reign.
District 30: In the Democratic primary, Anne Arundel's three incumbent delegates, Michael E. Busch, Virginia P. Clagett and Dick D'Amato, have exhibited leadership, hard work and a seriousness of purpose that should be applauded. Mr. Busch, a respected and influential committee chairman, has doggedly monitored efforts to privatize CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to ensure that Maryland consumers are protected.
Republicans also have three worthy candidates before them. They are Herb McMillan, a pilot and former Annapolis alderman who is seeking a return to political life after his loss in the Annapolis mayor's race. He favors tax relief, greater fiscal accountability and a school voucher program. Michael Collins, an editor at a Navy alumni magazine, wants to make the school board more accountable to parents and county officials. Nancy Almgren would bring her 20-year experience as a stockbroker to economic issues and her service on the county's education advisory council to school matters.
In the Senate race, there is no Democratic primary. The Republican contest offers an articulate, young congressional aide, Andy Smarick, for nomination. At 26, he is barely out of graduate school, but his job on Capitol Hill has schooled him in the intricacies of education policy. He believes Anne Arundel has been shortchanged on state education dollars.
District 31: There are no primary races in the Senate contest.
In House races, Democratic incumbents Joan Cadden of Brooklyn Park and Mary Rosso of Glen Burnie have their political roots in community affairs and activism. They've brought the same interest and dedication to their legislative roles. Thomas J. Fleckenstein, an outgoing, hard-working prosecutor from Pasadena, would round out the delegation with his criminal justice experience and participation in the crime-fighting Hot Spots program.
Republicans have a progressive, steady voice in Del. John R. Leopold of Pasadena, whose diligence extends to constituents across the political spectrum. He has his eye on traffic and development issues, education programs that show results and a charter school initiative. Carl G. Holland, a former county councilman, would seek to have the county executive appoint the local school board to ensure accountability. Glen Burnie resident Thomas R. Gardner, a state employee, is a member of the state central committee who would like to see tougher sentencing of those convicted of gun crimes.
District 32: The Republican primary has a field of five from which to chose three candidates. Incumbent Del. James E. Rzepkowski has fought to keep state spending under control while responding to constituent issues such as fighting a liquor tax on weddings and family reunions and extending criminal background checks to school aides and assistants. Former Anne Arundel County Sheriff Robert G. Pepersack Sr. opposes any tax increase to solve the state's budget woes. Odenton lawyer David Alan Tibbetts, a self-described moderate Republican, environmentalist and disability advocate, proposes a one-year income tax surcharge and spending cuts to address the state's deficit problem.
There is no Democratic primary in the House of Delegates race. There are no primary contests in the Senate race.
District 33A: This is the larger, northern portion of the former 33rd District, and includes many of the central and western communities in Anne Arundel County, notably Crofton, Gambrills and Severna Park. Two delegate seats are available. Republican David Boschert of Crownsville is the only incumbent. Three other candidates are running in the GOP primary. Mr. Boschert, an affable if not highly respected legislator, has worked hard enough at constituent service to earn his party's nomination for a second term. The second Republican slot should go to Sean C. Logan of Crofton, a Naval Academy graduate who has a broad background in environmental and economic issues as well as business law. Only two Democrats are running for these seats so there is no primary contest for them.
District 33B: There is neither a Democratic nor Republican primary.
There are no Senate primaries in the 33rd District.
The Sun continues its Sept. 10 primary endorsements with a look at races for U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland's eight congressional districts.