Here they are -- your elected officials


Anne Arundel County overhauled its government in the 1960s, creating distinct legislative and administrative branches.

The county executive, who is now a Democrat, controls the administrative branch, and a seven-member County Council, which currently is Republican-controlled, holds the legislative authority.

The council members are part-time officials who meet at the Arundel Center, 44 Calvert St. in Annapolis, at 7 p.m. the first and third Mondays of each month. Each member represents a geographic district.

The county's elected officials are:

Janet S. Owens, county executive

Owens, the county's sixth executive, is nearing the halfway point of her second and final term in the county's top political office.

The Democrat from Millersville is an Anne Arundel County native, born and raised on a South County farm. She earned a bachelor's degree from George Washington University and a master's in education administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

She previously served as the director of the Anne Arundel County Housing Authority and the Department of Aging. In 1990, she was elected an Orphans' Court judge.

Eight years later, she won a surprising victory in the Democratic primary and endured a contentious election to win the county's top post. She narrowly won re-election in 2002.

Pamela G. Beidle, Council District 1

Beidle, a Democrat from Linthicum, represents the far northern part of the county.

She is one of three council members who have switched party affiliations. Before running for office, she was a Republican.

The second-term legislator is a Glen Burnie native who graduated from Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn and Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold. She received a bachelor's degree from Towson University.

She is a Nationwide Insurance agent and president of Pam Beidle Insurance Agency.

C. Edward Middlebrooks, Council District 2

Middlebrooks, the council chairman, also is serving his second term on the legislative body -- but after an eight-year hiatus. The Severn lawyer's district includes that area, as well as parts of Glen Burnie, straddling Interstate 97.

When Middlebrooks served on the council from 1990 to 1994, he was a Democrat. In 1994, he changed to the Republican Party and won a four-year term in the state Senate. After a few years out of politics, he defeated the incumbent Democratic council member from District 2 in November 2002.

Middlebrooks graduated from Glen Burnie High School and received his law degree from the University of Baltimore.

He was elected by his peers as council president in December and will likely serve a one-year term before turning over the position to another Republican.

Ronald C. Dillon Jr., Council District 3

The Republican accountant represents Pasadena and northeast Anne Arundel. He is one of two council members to defeat an incumbent in the 2002 election.

Dillon works as controller of his family's charter bus service, Dillon's, which is based in Millersville. He graduated from Glen Burnie High School and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

He is serving as council vice chairman and likely will take over the chairmanship in December.

Bill D. Burlison, Council District 4

Burlison, a former U.S. congressman from Missouri, twice has been elected from a western county district that includes Millersville and the Laurel area. It also stretches east to Crownsville.

The Democrat is known for knocking on the doors of all registered voters in his district before each election.

Burlison served six terms in Congress before being voted out in 1980. After several unsuccessful campaigns for local office, he defeated the incumbent Republican councilman for the 4th District seat in 1998.

He is a lawyer and lives in Odenton.

Cathleen M. Vitale, Council District 5

The Republican lawyer was first appointed to the council in 2000 after the death of a councilman who had defeated her in the 1998 primary election. She represents the Severna Park and Cape St. Claire areas.

Vitale graduated from the University of Maryland and received her law degree from the University of Baltimore.

She began her political career as a young person handing out fliers on Long Island. The daughter of an engineer and a schoolteacher, Vitale -- who is married to a county firefighter -- has lived in Severna Park since 1974.

She works as a family law attorney in Glen Burnie and specializes in mediation.

Barbara D. Samorajczyk, Council District 6

The Democrat ran unopposed for re-election in 2002. She first ran for elected office in 1998 when she took over her Annapolis-area seat.

The former Republican previously worked as a land-use lawyer before she became an environmental activist.

She graduated from the University of Maryland, received a law degree from Georgetown University and a master's in business from George Washington University.

Samorajczyk switched parties in 1998 to run for a council seat. She is known for her sometimes lengthy quizzing of county officials during council meetings.

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