Boschert joins race for Arundel executive

Delegate is fifth Republican to enter contest


Del. David G. Boschert announced yesterday that he's running for Anne Arundel County executive, becoming the fifth Republican candidate to join what is expected to be a hyper-competitive race in 2006.

Boschert, 58, said he has the broad government and private-sector experience to address growth issues related to the defense job boom at Fort Meade and the National Security Agency, while improving public safety and transportation and maintaining the revenue-tax cap.

Now serving in his eighth year in the House of Delegates, Boschert was on the County Council from 1984 to 1994. He also served as chairman of the county Board of Appeals from 1980 to 1982.

Boschert, a vice president of business development for 1st Mariner Bank, is a retired Marine captain who served in combat in Vietnam.

Several prominent county Republicans labeled Boschert as a top-tier candidate, along with Del. John R. Leopold, who has raised more than $360,000 for the race, and Phillip D. Bissett, the 2002 party nominee for county executive. Two other Republicans have announced: Tom Angelis, a Baltimore schoolteacher, and Gregory V. Nourse, an assistant superintendent for Anne Arundel County public schools.

Sheriff George F. Johnson IV is the only declared Democratic candidate for the job held by Janet S. Owens, a Democrat who can't seek re-election because of term limits. Two other Democrats are likely candidates: County Councilwoman Barbara D. Samorajczyk and Recreation and Parks director and former Annapolis Mayor Dennis M. Callahan.

Republican observers are split about how Boschert's presence changes the complexion of the party primary. Some believe a fifth candidate will greatly dilute the number of votes needed for any victor to move on to the general election - and for that very reason will attract even more candidates to the race.

But Dirk Haire, who dropped out of the race in May and now supports Leopold, said he thinks that candidates with strong support will be largely unaffected.

Boschert, of Crownsville, is an outspoken proponent of revitalizing the Crownsville Hospital Center and establishing a state horse park at the former Naval Academy dairy farm in Gambrills. He said that one of his priorities is to build a 13th county high school - and he wants to encourage the private sector to do it.

As tens of thousands of intelligence-related jobs are expected to come to Fort Meade, he said that business must bear more of the responsibility in improving the county's infrastructure.

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