All three races for the House of Delegates in Carroll County have contested Republican primaries on Sept. 12. And all GOP victors will face at least one Democratic challenger in November's general election.
Two incumbents, Republicans Del. Nancy R. Stocksdale and Del. Tanya T. Shewell, are trying to retain their seats in District 5A, a race crowded with seven Republican and two Democratic challengers.
The two-member district includes Westminster, Finksburg, Hampstead and Manchester.
Both Stocksdale and Shewell favor a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and are against stem cell research using cells harvested from human embryos.
"Anybody that has a brain sees that [marriage issues] are not just a moral or a Christian issue," said Shewell, nominated to fill the seat vacated by former Del. Carmen Amedori in 2004. "It's a social issue and also an economic issue."
One of their challengers in the primary, Hampstead Mayor Haven N. Shoemaker Jr., said such social concerns don't really affect day-to-day life in Carroll County.
"I think people should worry about schools being crowded," Shoemaker said. "I'm not a big proponent of big government telling people to have at least four hours of premarital counseling," he said, referring to a failed marriage license bill Shewell co-sponsored.
Shoemaker and Shewell - and their respective supporters - have traded barbs in letters to the editor this political season.
Shoemaker lamented the delegation's role in cutting funding to municipalities. Shewell fired back: "Shoemaker publicly supports the commissioners' attempted transfer tax and their refusal to lower the property tax cap."
District 5A GOP candidate C. Scott Stone - a senior school board member -is the only House candidate who has been endorsed by the Maryland State Teachers Association.
Another Republican District 5A candidate is Kevin R. Utz, a Westminster city councilman. While going through a divorce in 1998, court records show that Utz's ex-wife, Roberta Utz, tried to file a restraining order against him. It was denied, according to court documents.
"It was because as a trooper, I had a weapon," Kevin Utz said. "I would have been fired as a trooper if there was any evidence of domestic violence."
In South Carroll, the District 9B race mirrors the race of four years ago. Incumbent Del. Susan W. Krebs again faces Larry Helminiak in the GOP primary. Helminiak finished second to Krebs in 2002, in a six-candidate Republican primary race.
This year's only Democratic challenger, Anita L. Riley, lost the race in the 2002 primary to Kenneth Holniker.
The following House of Delegates candidates are running in Carroll County:
Donald B. Elliott (incumbent)
Residence: New Windsor
Family: Wife, Jeanne. Three adult children.
Occupation: House of Delegates, since 1987; retired pharmacist.
Education: bachelor's degree in pharmacy, University of Maryland.
Issues: "Working to find an answer to health care crisis, expand use of agricultural products, assure Maryland is a business-friendly state."
Web site: none
Age: Not supplied
Family: Wife, Linda; one adult son.
Occupation: document researcher, Maryland Department of Transportation.
Education: bachelor's and master's degree (subject not given), Hofstra University, Long Island, N.Y.
Issues: "Utility rates and alternative fuel research ... health care and prescription drug affordability ... education."
Web site: none
Funds raised: none listed
Family: Wife, Michele; two children.
Occupation: addictions counselor; owns a private home-detention program where courts refer clients.
Education: two years coursework at then Community College of Baltimore; Catonsville Community College and Johns Hopkins University.
Issues: "Fiscal responsibility, quality education, preserving our farmland and open spaces and protecting our water supplies."
Web site: none
Funds raised: none
Family: Husband, Armond; three adult children.
Occupation: Democratic Central Committee; research program manager, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, 8 years; division chief, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 10 years.
Education: bachelor's degree in liberal arts, Pennsylvania State University; master's degree in technology management, University of Maryland, University College.
Issues: "The most important concern of District 5A is fiscal responsibility and accountability. This theme affects the three key concern areas: education, health care and managed growth ... I would advocate creating a health care insurance pool for small businesses ... Keep taxes competitive with other jurisdictions and enact sound tax policy that improves Maryland's business climate."
Web site: under construction
Funds raised: $2,000 (self-reported)
William C. Niner
Family: not married.