Legislative districts

Election 2002

Endorsement

October 29, 2002

The Sun continues its endorsements for the Nov. 5 general election with races in state legislative districts 6, 7 and 8.

DISTRESSED ABOUT increasing crime, the declining quality of public education and a need to revitalize older neighborhoods, voters on the eastern side of Baltimore County can take heart from the choices available to them in this year's General Assembly races.

Experienced leadership and young talent could give the county a productive balance of new ideas and pragmatic thinking.

District 6: The county is fortunate to have Democratic Sen. Norman R. Stone Jr., who stood up for his constituents in opposing a flagrantly gerrymandered redistricting map. Now in his 40th year in the Assembly, Mr. Stone runs unopposed in the district, encompassing Essex, Dundalk and Rosedale.

For similar reasons, The Sun endorses Del. John S. Arnick, a Democrat and a veteran legislator. His talent and knowledge of the lawmaking process make him an asset for the entire state.

But new blood would enliven the district's team. In that spirit, The Sun endorses Republican Paul Michael Blitz, a lifelong Essex resident and fountain of ideas for attracting new business to what he thinks should be an inviting infrastructure for industry, and Bruce Laing, also a Republican, who lives in the Rocky Point area and owns the Island View Inn. Anxious to preserve the area's 173 miles of waterfront, he would bring an environmental and small-business point of view to the Assembly.

District 7: The Sun reluctantly endorses Republican incumbent Sen. Andrew P. Harris, an anesthesiologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital whose anti-government positions succeed mostly in marginalizing him. Nevertheless, he appears the better qualified of the two candidates.

For House of Delegates in District 7, which runs from Cockeysville to Middle River and includes a slice of Harford County, The Sun endorses former Del. Donna M. Felling, a Democrat and a nurse whose perspective is critically important with health care such a pressing issue; incumbent Del. Nancy M. Hubers, a Democrat from Bowleys Quarters whose focus is education; and Republican J.B. Jennings of Phoenix, who would concentrate on agricultural land preservation, education and revitalization.

District 8: The Sun endorses Democratic Del. Katherine A. Klausmeier for the state Senate. She and her Republican opponent, John Cluster Jr., seek to fill big shoes: those of Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, Finance Committee chairman, who retired. Mr. Cluster's work in his community makes him a strong and attractive contender, but experience tips the balance to Ms. Klausmeier.

For House of Delegates, The Sun endorses three-term incumbent Republican Alfred W. Redmer Jr., minority leader and committed budget watchdog; Democrat Tim Caslin, a retired county police officer whose experience addresses the public safety concerns of his county; and Democrat Todd L. Schuler, an advocate of financial aid for poor college students.

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