Open-minded Brochin deserves to be re-elected [Endorsements]

State legislature 42nd District

State Sen. Jim Brochin annoys just about everyone (us included) at one point or another. That alone seems to be the basis of his challenge by former Del. Connie DeJuliis, who has predicated her campaign on the idea that she is a real Democrat and he is not. Ms. DeJuliis decries Mr. Brochin's willingness to break with his party and his propensity to change his mind — gay marriage and gun control among the most prominent examples. Indeed, he sometimes comes down on what, from our perspective, is the wrong side on big issues, as in his opposition to Maryland's version of the Dream Act. But since when is a willingness to listen to the evidence and change one's mind a bad thing? Another reliable vote for the Democratic leadership is not what Annapolis needs, and it's almost certainly not what the 42nd District wants. Mr. Brochin gets our endorsement.

The new 42nd includes a Democratic-leaning one-member district in the south, where incumbent Del. Steve Lafferty is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. But the race in Republican-leaning District 42-B is much more contentious, with GOP incumbent Del. Sue Aumann and Del. Joseph Boteler III facing challenges from attorney Chris West and Jesse Filamor. Ms. Aumann has consistently demonstrated herself to be a caring and thoughtful lawmaker during her three terms in Annapolis, and she is extremely attentive to issues of importance to her constituents. Delegate Aumann gets our endorsement. Among the other candidates, Chris West, a long-time Republican activist and first-time candidate, stands out. He combines moderation on social issues with a focus on improving Maryland's business climate through tax and regulatory reform. He has a realistic sense of how he, as a Republican, could influence legislation in a Democrat-dominated General Assembly, and he brings welcome expertise on issues related to state pensions and education policy.

County Council District 3

Republican Wade Kach, a longtime state delegate who has diligently served North Baltimore County and who is now running to represent the same conservative-leaning area of the 3rd District on the Baltimore County Council, is the best choice for that seat. Kach, first elected to the legislature in 1975, taught math in county schools, then served the system as its auditor, which makes him particularly qualified to address school overcrowding and keep county spending in check. His most recent work on Environmental Matters Committee speaks to the need to preserve open space in that district, which stretches from Lutherville to the Pennsylvania border. Incumbent Republican Todd Huff has served an unimpressive four years. He touts a multi-million dollar renovation project at Hereford High as a highlighted accomplishment. But that project was underway before Huff ever came to the council; it was put on hold due to the economic downturn. We think Kach's years of experience and passion for constituent service makes him the ideal choice to serve the 3rd District.

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