Uphill fight in District 2

Two Republicans seek right to face Kamenetz

Maryland Votes 2006

September 07, 2006|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,Sun reporter

In 2001, Carol Anneliese "Lisa" Marquardt was teaching Spanish part time when she became passionate about saving a Lutherville forest from developers. She says she contacted dozens of politicians and spent hours negotiating with lawyers.

Although Marquardt, 49, lost the battle to save the forest, she emerged from the experience convinced that residents need legal expertise and better communication with elected officials. She enrolled in law school at the University of Baltimore, graduated and passed the bar.

Now she is running for the Republican nomination for the Baltimore County Council seat representing the 2nd District, which includes Pikesville and parts of Owings Mills and Lutherville.

Marquardt and her opponent for the Republican nomination, Timothy M. Thompson, acknowledge that it will be an uphill battle to unseat incumbent Kevin Kamenetz, a three-term Democrat on the County Council.

Neither has any political experience. As of last month, Kamenetz , who is unopposed in his primary, had more than $360,000 to spend on his campaign.

But Marquardt is not letting the long odds dampen her enthusiasm.

"What's attractive about [serving on the County Council] to me is that it deals so directly with people and neighborhoods," Marquardt said. "If I can improve someone's ride home, I'm happy about that. If I can assure parents that schools are safe against overcrowding, I've done my job."

Marquardt, a law clerk for a District Court judge, said that she will quit her job and devote herself to the council full time if she is elected. She would spend her days meeting with homeowner associations, visiting schools and speaking with residents.

The Lutherville resident said that she aims to improve relations between the council and the school board, create a networking group of presidents of homeowner associations and set aside small green spaces throughout the county. She would like to overhaul the county's system of evaluating new development.

Marquardt and her husband of 26 years moved to Lutherville from Chicago 13 years ago. They have two adult daughters.

Marquardt said that she has spent about $500 of her own money printing fliers and creating her campaign Web site. She has spent several weekends knocking on doors on the western side of the district.

Thompson, 53, who works in insurance and real estate, said he has not actively campaigned. He said the political system should be reformed.

"You hear all of this Democrat and Republican stuff and it's all the same," he said. "I don't think that things are going to change until we take the money out of politics."

Thompson said that he would like to eliminate pay for all politicians, impose term limits on County Council seats and ban political signs, which he described as "offensive-looking."

He has not printed fliers or signs or knocked on doors. He said that he might create a campaign Web site in the next few days. "I'm the uncandidate," Thompson said.

Thompson, a graduate of Calvert Hall College High School and Towson University, lives with his wife of 25 years in Shawan Valley. They have two adult daughters. He is the past president of the Gaywood Neighborhood Association and the past vice president of the Shawan Valley Neighborhood Association.

Thompson said that he had originally thought that his home was in District 3 and had planned to run for that council seat. It was only after he had registered that he was told that he lived in District 2, he said.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

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