Carroll County

Election 2002

October 24, 2002

Today The Sun continues its Nov. 5 general election endorsements for the Carroll County legislative races.

HEAVILY Republican Carroll County sent a very conservative delegation to the General Assembly last term, one that openly warred with Gov. Parris N. Glendening over the state's efforts to manage growth. The county suffered as a result.

Now these incumbents, some facing weak opposition, are finding growth is even more of an issue. In several local primary races this fall, voters rejected opponents of managed growth. With a new governor coming in, this is the challenge for Carroll legislators: Can the delegation move from confrontation to constructive solutions?

District 4B: This rural district -- Northwest Carroll and a sliver of Frederick County -- has been represented for 16 years by Del. Donald B. Elliott, a retired pharmacist. He faces an inexperienced Democrat. Mr. Elliott says he'll push to fix sewer and water systems, a county and statewide problem. He also endorses recent moves to better coordinate growth between the county and its various towns. Mr. Elliott gets our support.

District 4 Senate: In this Carroll-Frederick district, GOP candidate David R. Brinkley, a two-term delegate, says he'll help his area by getting along well with majority Democrats in Annapolis -- or at least better than the senator he defeated in the primary. The trick will be to turn that good will into results for his district. He should be given the chance.

District 5A: The race in this district -- north, central and east Carroll -- offers a highly credible Democratic challenger to the two GOP incumbents, both determined conservatives. We endorse this newcomer, Robert P. Wack, a pediatrician. Dr. Wack reflects voters' values more than first-time incumbent Carmen Amedori, an aggressive gun-rights advocate who should be rejected for consistently engendering enmity.

For the other seat, we suggest two-term Del. Nancy R. Stocksdale. Virtually as conservative as Ms. Amedori, Ms. Stocksdale gets the nod because she says her legislative service taught her that supporting regional needs is in her district's interest. As a result, she says she's been converted from opposing additional funds for Baltimore's schools to being a supporter.

District 5 Senate: Three-term incumbent Sen. Larry E. Haines, who gets our endorsement, faces an inexperienced Democrat. The tenacious Mr. Haines says he has had 24 bills become law, many involving criminal justice. He says his priority now is to work to expand the county's industrial tax base. But as the leader of the county delegation and House minority whip, Mr. Haines could do much more -- particularly by working with, not against, the state to manage growth.

District 9B: South Carroll -- where growth issues take center stage -- gets its own state delegate for the first time in a race featuring two attractive candidates: respected attorney and community leader Kenneth Holniker and county school board President Susan W. Krebs. Despite recent friction with county teachers, we support Ms. Krebs as a knowledgeable education activist who led the school board to renewed credibility. Her experience should contribute to solving school funding problems.

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