He is anti-abortion, against civil unions, and believes creationism should be taught instead of evolution. "Why would the lie of evolution be taught?" Belcher, 45, asked. "It is a theory that science has not supported at all. It should not be taught in school."
According to campaign finance reports, Belcher had $56,000 on hand, Almgren had $40,000, Smarick had $25,000, and Collins had $8,600.
Adelshia Braxton, a Republican whose name will appear on the ballot, said that she decided not to run this year for personal reasons.
On the Democratic side, Busch, 59, and Clagett, 63, are familiar names to city voters.
Clagett serves on the Environmental Matters Committee and chairs the Housing and Real Property Subcommittee of that panel. She said she's worked on legislation to protect diamondback terrapins and create a water resources commission.
Before becoming a delegate, Clagett spent 20 years on the County Council. "I've never wavered from my main reason for running. Which is to save land in order to save water."
Clagett often votes with Busch, who has helped block Ehrlich's proposal to bring slot machines to Maryland and who has blamed the governor for soaring electric bill increases.
If his higher profile has exposed him to more criticism, it's also allowed him to bring more goodies to his home district.
Busch said he helped secure $20 million in school construction funds for the county, as well as money to move overhead wires underground in Annapolis. He said Maryland Hall and the Boys and Girls Club have benefited from his efforts.
And with $352,800 in his campaign account, he has far more money than anyone - Democrat or Republican - in the race. Clagett has $9,000 on hand.
"There are good candidates in the primary," he said. "I feel confident. I welcome the challenge of the upcoming election."
Three other Democrats are also vying for spots on the November ballot: Barbara Samorajczyk, a County Council member from the Annapolis area who is stepping down because of term limits, and Konrad M. Wayson, a school board member who recently concluded a term as president.
Samorajczyk, 60, a Georgetown-educated lawyer, has served on the County Council since 1998. She said she was particularly proud of legislation she pushed to protect bogs and non-tidal wetlands. "They are the gold standard to filtering pollution from the bay," she said.
She also supported funding for the Annapolis Neck fire station, which recently opened.
"I have a definite record the people can examine," said Samorajczyk, who has clashed with County Executive Janet S. Owens and other council members over growth and development issues. "I've been tested. People know what I'm made of."
She had $20,000 on hand.
Wayson, 45, a businessman and ally of Owens, was appointed to the school board five years ago by Gov. Parris N. Glendening even though a nominating convention recommended another candidate.
Wayson said he immediately insisted that the board receive monthly financial updates, and is currently going though an exhaustive review of all school policies. Wayson publicly criticized the human resources practices of Superintendent Eric J. Smith's administration, and Smith exited several months later.
Wayson said he's running because he's unhappy with the status quo - Sandy Point State Park should be clear for swimming, the horse racing industry needs to be saved, and education needs more emphasis.
`Voice for change'
"If people are happy with the way things are voting, they shouldn't vote for me. I'm a voice for change," said Wayson, who had $6,300 on hand.
Shirley May Little, 57, an English teacher with the county school system, also named education as a priority. "I have decades of actual school experience," she said. "I think we need a teacher who knows what the classroom is really like, not just from the distance."
Little ran for the seat in 2002, but she said she stopped campaigning in the middle of the race because her sister had major surgery. She has less than $100 on hand.