Howard Co. executive to run for Md. Senate

Robey aims to unseat Schrader in 13th


Howard County Executive James N. Robey announced yesterday that he intends to run for the Maryland Senate next year, aiming to defeat incumbent state Sen. Sandra B. Schrader, a moderate Republican.

The 64-year-old, term-limited county executive made his announcement surrounded by supporters at Columbia's struggling Oakland Mills Village Center. He said he had considered retiring when he leaves office next year after two terms as executive but decided that after nearly 40 years, public service is in his nature.

"For the first time in 43 years of marriage I would be around the house every hour, every day," if he retired, Robey joked.

As an underdog candidate for county executive in 1998, Robey beat Schrader's husband, Dennis, who now is Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s homeland security director.

The incumbent state senator, who represents District 13, pointed out that Robey doesn't live in the district, which includes southeastern Howard, and never has. Schrader said she has spent 19 years in the area, including a decade working for former state Sen. Martin G. Madden, whom she was appointed to replace. She won election to a full term in 2002, beating five-term County Council Democrat C. Vernon Gray.

"He decided to move to my district so he could run against me," Schrader said, referring to Robey's plans to sell his Ellicott City home and move to a condominium near Elkridge in March. Robey denied that his decision to move was politically inspired.

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