Kollar's campaign trail: 30 miles on foot

August 27, 2006|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,Sun reporter

Wearing sneakers and wool socks, state Senate candidate Stan Kollar trudged from Norrisville to Bel Air this week to promote his "healthy change" campaign.

Kollar, 59, a biology professor at Harford Community College, is running as a Democrat for District 35 on a platform that can sometimes be heavy. For example, he frequently espouses the need for Maryland to follow the progressive energy policies of California and Iceland, and he preaches the benefits of biofuels as energy resources.

But his 30-mile walk last week - in separate 10-mile chunks from Monday to Wednesday - was quite simple in premise, designed to tour the district, meet voters and practice the energy-conservation ideas he preaches.

"You can either guide your own destiny, or be a prisoner of what people choose for you," Kollar said in an interview at Broom's Bloom Dairy. "If government can help provide direction on these crucial issues, we'll be a lot better off."

Kollar (pronounced Kohler) will face Republican incumbent J. Robert Hooper in the general election, Hooper's first challenge in eight years after running unopposed in 2002. Hooper, 70, served as a Democrat on the Harford County Council from 1982 to 1990, then sat on the sidelines until being elected as a Republican to the state Senate in 1998.

Starting from Kollar Nursery in Norrisville, Kollar and several of his supporters walked along roadsides in Harford County carrying a "Kollar for Senate" sign, which drew occasional honks from passing cars. Kollar said the walk showed him more of Harford's agricultural areas and the need for more walking or bicycle trails along main roads.

"It's an eye-opener," Kollar said.

In his first run for office, Kollar has been a "full-time candidate, a full-time business owner, and a full-time professor," said William M. Waters, a supporter.

"He's never been a seat warmer," said Bill Hibschman, a fellow biology professor at Harford Community College.

Kollar's other platforms include mass transportation, managed growth and agricultural business.

Officials attend dinner

Several county officials were guests of a group of developers at the Maryland Association of Counties conference in Ocean City, including County Executive David R. Craig, chief of staff Aaron N. Tomarchio and economic development director James C. Richardson.

The dinner was hosted at Fresco's, a restaurant overlooking the bayside of Ocean City, by former Del. William H. Cox Jr., antiques dealer Robert Hockaday and veterinarian Richard Streett, according to attendees. The three have been investors in numerous area development projects and are frequent contributors to political campaigns.

Asked about the event, Cox was terse, declining to confirm who organized the event or who was present.

"No politics were discussed. It's a private thing," he said.

Receptions - cocktail parties, dinners, breakfasts and the like - are common in Ocean City during the MACO conference held each August. Cox said he attended the conference as a representative of the Army Alliance Inc.

Price's crime plan

Joe Price, a Republican candidate for sheriff, formally announced this week his plan to combat crime and gangs with the formation of a multijurisdictional anti-gang task force.

"These investigators will be able to immediately share information and work on cases together," Price said in a news release. "Breaking down the barriers of politics and the lack of communication to work toward a common goal of cleaning up the criminal element in Harford County is of the utmost importance."

Price said the program would include efforts to secure more witness testimony, especially when dealing with violent gang crimes. The 27-year state trooper has served two terms on the Harford County Republican Central Committee and is vying with six other Republican candidates for the nomination for sheriff.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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