Legislative districts

October 31, 2002

WITH PRESSURES of growth at home and budget deficits in Annapolis, Harford County can't afford a legislative delegation of ideologues. It's a conservative part of Maryland, but its representatives should resist purely symbolic gestures that do little to address the county's everyday problems.

District 34: The Sun endorses incumbent Republican Sen. Nancy Jacobs of Aberdeen, applauding her decision to be, as she says, a bit more "mellow." Her reputation for hard-edged conservatism has so far undermined any hope she may have had about being taken seriously in Senate councils. Nevertheless, her recent experience in Annapolis makes her preferable to former Sen. Arthur Henry Helton Jr.

District 34A: Three incumbent delegates oppose one another in a new two-member district that covers parts of Harford and Cecil counties. The Sun endorses Republican Del. Charles R. Boutin of Aberdeen, who has worked his way into an important level of decision-making in the General Assembly's Environmental Matters Committee. The Sun also endorses Democratic Del. Mary-Dulany James of Havre de Grace, daughter of late Senate President William S. James. A rising star in her own right, she has been named to the Commission on Maryland's Fiscal Structure, a panel charged with finding ways to pay for commitments already made by the Assembly.

District 35B: In this single-member district, The Sun endorses Democrat David E. Carey of Bel Air, who wants to impose impact fees on new developments. New projects, he says, have to carry their share of the load -- but the county needs authority from the Assembly to levy impact fees based on a development's demand on county services.

In House District 35A and Senate District 35, three Republican incumbents, Dels. Barry Glassman and Joanne S. Parrott and Sen. J. Robert Hooper, won in their primaries and have no opponents in the general election.

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