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Carroll commissioner Shoemaker announces candidacy for delegate

ElectionsLocal Government

Carroll County Commissioner Haven Shoemaker announced his candidacy for state delegate in 2014 Monday in front of about 25 people outside of the Westminster Branch Library.

Shoemaker, a Republican serving his first term on the Board of County Commissioners, stressed his experience as a commissioner, Hampstead town councilman and Hampstead Mayor in a 10-minute address announcing his candidacy.

"It's time we sent someone to Annapolis with a record of fighting for the people he represents," he said.

Shoemaker, who is an attorney based in Hampstead, also rattled off his accomplishments as a county commissioner. He included the establishment of term limits for commissioners, imposing a super majority voting requirement to raise county taxes, making the Sheriff's Office the primary law enforcement agency, and establishing English as the official language for county business.

"We've cut taxes in Carroll County three years in a row, the only county in the state that can make that claim," Shoemaker said.

But the biggest obstacle facing this board of commissioners is the state legislature, according to Shoemaker.

"Annapolis likes to tell us to do things without providing the funding in which to do them," he said

Shoemaker also took a chance to blast the rain tax, calling it idiotic, silly, and stupid.

If elected, Shoemaker vowed to not serve more than two terms as delegate.

"You will not have to pry me from the public trough with a crowbar," he said.

Shoemaker said afterward that his comments on term limits were not referencing longtime delegates from Carroll County Donald Elliott and Nancy Stocksdale.

Elliott has served in the House since 1987 and Stocksdale has served as a delegate since 1995.

"That's just my personal feeling," Shoemaker said. "I think they're ought to be term limits for everyone, from dog catcher on up."

County Commissioners president Doug Howard introduced Shoemaker and said that he is someone the county can count on to stay on top of the issues and understand what Carroll County needs.

"He has played such a critical role in making sure this county stays on track and understands what is important," Howard said.

Shoemaker's candidacy adds to what is expected to be a crowded field for delegate in District 5.

Redistricting has caused Carroll County's four Republican incumbent delegates to be lumped into one three-member district. District 5 now covers all of Carroll except for Mount Airy and areas south of Liberty Road.

Carroll has previously been represented in Annapolis by four delegates from districts 4B, 5A and 9B.

But Carroll residents living in Mount Airy will now be represented by District 4, a predominantly Frederick County seat, and county residents living south of Liberty Road will be represented by District 9A, a predominantly Howard County district.

Three of the four incumbent delegates have said they intend on running in 2014 and Joshua Stonko, a 20-year-old Manchester resident, has also entered the race.

"Any time you're up against incumbents for three seats, the opposition is going to be formidable," Shoemaker said. "But I feel that I have a record that I don't think any of the incumbents can match."

The primary is June 24, 2014.

Del. Susan Krebs, who serves as chair of the Carroll County Delegation, said she plans to announce her campaign for a fourth term in the state legislature in the fall.

Krebs, 53, has represented Carroll in 9B, the southern end of the county including Eldersburg and Sykesville, throughout her tenure in the House of Delegates.

She doesn't expect the change in districts to negatively impact her campaign because of her experience in the county, including one term on the Board of Education.

Krebs said the negative impact of redistricting falls on the one-quarter of the county population who will be represented by someone living outside of the county.

"That's very negative for those areas," she said.

Del. Justin Ready, 31, also has said he will seek a second term in Annapolis in 2014.

Ready said he feels good about his position in 2014 because 60 percent of District 5 is District 5A, which Ready has represented since 2011.

He said the new district won't change the way he or his colleagues operate.

"We've all felt that if somebody contacts us from Carroll County, even if they're not technically in my district, I still obviously want to get back to them and hear their thoughts," Ready said.

Elliott, 82, recently said that he is in good health and feels like he has something to offer in the state's capital as a conservative voice.

"I definitely feel like I'm going to run," he said. "I do recognize the challenge is greater now than it has been in past years."

Elliott said he will probably file his candidacy paperwork during the next legislative session as he has done in the past.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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