Newcomers run in 8th District

Republican incumbent challenged by novices in race for three seats

October 17, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A field crowded with political novices is running for the three seats representing the 8th Legislative District.

One incumbent, Republican Del. Alfred W. Redmer Jr., is running in the district, which includes White Marsh, Perry Hall, Overlea and Rosedale.

"It will bring new ideas and some fresh minds to Annapolis," said Eric Bromwell, who is one of the three Democratic candidates and the son of former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell.

Eric Bromwell, a government relations coordinator for Comcast Corp.; Tim Caslin, a retired county police officer; and Todd L. Schuler, a law clerk in Peter G. Angelos' firm, have formed a ticket called the "New 8th District Democratic team."

The three said education, health care and public safety are the most important issues. They said teacher pensions and salaries need to be improved, more police officers need to be hired in the district, and the state needs to offer a prescription drug plan that would benefit everyone, especially seniors.

"We've been knocking on a minimum of 100 doors a day," said Caslin, a 51-year-old Carney resident who retired as a lieutenant in the county Police Department after 31 years on the force and after serving for eight years as president of the county Fraternal Order of Police. "We've been successful getting the message out that we can make difference."

"What door-knocking has done is given real definition to the more abstract problems we had identified," said Schuler, who lives in Overlea. "For example, we've listened to many concerns about overcrowding in classrooms."

Although their Republican opponents have criticized Schuler's and Bromwell's age -- they're both 25 -- the two Democrats note many legislators were young when they started their careers in Annapolis.

Redmer, who has served three terms in the House of Delegates, said the Republican ticket offers a balance of experience and new ideas. He heads a slate with Mike Rupp, a county firefighter, and Joseph C. Boteler III, who owns a printing company.

"With any new legislator, there's a learning curve. But because our ticket is familiar with the communities and their leaders and has lived in the district for a long time, I think we have an advantage," said Redmer, a 46-year-old insurance, stock and employee benefits broker.

Boteler, 53, is making his third bid for this seat, after losing in the 1994 Republican primary and the 1998 general election. Boteler, a Carney resident, supports reducing the size of state government by drastically cutting taxes, but he said improving transportation remains a priority.

"The solution is to reduce the size and cost of government," Boteler said. "We've been doing a lot of knocking on doors and there's a lot of concern about the state budget deficit."

He says he agrees with voters who have suggested that revenues from slot machines, if approved for Maryland, be earmarked for education. His team has emphasized improving school infrastructure and reducing class size as important to the district.

Rupp, 40, works in Parkville and is a longtime member and past president of the Carney Improvement Association.

In his first foray into politics, Rupp says he favors a state hiring freeze and a halt to some projects while cutting taxes and offering incentives for businesses to move to Maryland.

"Nothing can get done until you take care of the budget," he said.

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