Legislative districts

Endorsements

Maryland votes 2006

September 04, 2006

Carroll County

Many Carroll County voters will go to the polls with memories of the last legislative session fresh on their minds. Local officials who wanted to move the county from a commission to a home-rule form of government, complete with five new election districts, were stymied in their attempts by their representatives in the State House, who preferred the status quo government or did not like the way the maps were drawn. Key seats may be decided on how residents want to handle growth pressures and whether to expand local government powers.

District 4: Incumbent Sen. David R. Brinkley, whose district includes parts of Carroll and Frederick counties, has established himself as a moderate Republican who works well with and is respected by members on both sides of the political aisle in the legislature. His primary race this year is against a newcomer whose strident views against immigrants and same-sex marriage are already well represented in Annapolis. The Sun endorses Mr. Brinkley.

There is no Democratic primary.

District 4B: Carroll's westernmost House district includes rolling farmland and small towns from Taneytown to Mount Airy. While his ideas about campaign finance reform could be reshaped, Republican Del. Donald B. Elliott's positions on transportation needs and the importance of agriculture reflect his constituents' views. He earns The Sun's endorsement.

There is no Democratic primary.

District 5: Carroll's District 5 borders western Baltimore County and includes Westminster, the county seat. Strained relationships between local officials and the county's delegation over home rule need to be smoothed out. With that in mind, newcomer Michelle Jefferson, a former chairwoman of the local Republican Central Committee and candidate for the state senate, offers an opportunity for bridge building. Ms. Jefferson will face a tough race against incumbent Sen. Larry E. Haines, who leads the county delegation, but she is The Sun's choice in the Republican primary.

There is no Democratic primary.

District 5A: No single ideology will prepare Carroll County for the challenges of growth and education in its immediate future. Independent-thinking Republican C. Scott Stone, a computer systems engineer with extensive private business experience, is green on environmental issues, skeptical about the death penalty and adamant about not raising taxes. He gets The Sun's endorsement for the House of Delegates. Of the two incumbents, The Sun endorses Del. Tanya Thornton Shewell, who joined the legislature two years ago and has consistently supported environmental issues that are important for the state and, as her country grows, that will be crucial for Carroll.

There is no Democratic primary.

District 9B: South Carroll's Republican Del. Susan Krebs, formerly Carroll County Board of Education president, was elected to the House of Delegates in 2002 to represent the new District 9B and has quickly earned a reputation as a fighter for the voters back home, even when it meant disagreeing with some in her delegation. Her sense of fairness and her votes on environmental issues earn her The Sun's endorsement.

There is no Democratic primary.

Harford County

In Harford County, where infighting has hobbled the legislative delegation, we endorse:

District 34A: In the Democratic primary, incumbent Del. Mary-Dulany James has been a strong advocate for the county, successful in preserving and funding open-space programs and enhancing state pensions. She favors Smart Growth incentives, a Massachusetts-style health care plan for the uninsured and anti-gang laws. We also support B. Daniel Riley, a retired teacher and former legislator from Edgewood who supports redevelopment efforts and mass-transit expansions as ways to lessen sprawl and incentives for the horse industry, a big business in Harford.

In the Republican primary, incumbent Sheryl Davis Kohl, a small-business owner, has shown some initiative for a delegate in office only a year; she has the potential for a greater leadership role. Newcomer Christopher W. Pate, a corporate lawyer from Havre de Grace, suggests tax incentives as a way to encourage small businesses to provide health care for workers and supports legalized slots to bolster the horse industry. They get The Sun's endorsement.

District 35A: House Republican incumbent Barry Glassman understands what his district wants and fought for community notification of leaking underground gas tanks. He is our pick, along with his colleague, Del. Joanne S. Parrott, who has worked hard on constituent matters but needs to invest in broader legislative concerns.

There is no Democratic primary.

District 35B: We endorse incumbent Republican Del. Susan K. McComas, whose focus on constituent problems can now be expanded.

There is no Democratic primary.

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