The 9th District senate seat is being vacated by Republican Allan Kittleman, who is running to be Howard County executive. Current Republican delegate Gail Bates is seeking his seat and is unopposed in the Republican primary.
The Democratic race is between Dan Medinger, owner of a small media company, and Ryan Frederic, owner of several small businesses. This is the first run for public office by both candidates and each would bring a small business perspective to the legislature. However, we found more to like with Frederic and he receives our endorsement. Frederic's responses to questions were thoughtful and measured. For example, his view on taxes takes a more conservative approach than the typical Democratic response, an approach that would likely be shared among constituents in a more conservative district.
For the House races, District 9 is subdivided into two districts: 9A, which includes parts of Ellicott City, western Howard and parts of Carroll County; and 9B, which includes the remainder of Ellicott City.
In 9A, five Republicans are running for two seats. Incumbent Warren Miller gets our first endorsement. He's a fiscal conservative who has been an advocate for more transparency in government. Trent Kittleman, a former county executive candidate and member of Gov. Bob Ehrlich's cabinet, should get the second nomination. On the Democratic side, two Democrats are running unopposed.
In 9B, there are primaries for both parties. On the Republican side, newcomer Carol Loveless is facing former state delegate Bob Flanagan. In this contest, we favor Loveless, an Ellicott City resident who owns a security company. Loveless' emphasis on jobs, especially as the owner of a small business, gives her the edge over Flanagan. On the Democratic side, Tom Coale, a lawyer, blogger and a former Columbia Association board member, is facing Howard County teacher Rich Corkran. We believe Coale's community leadership in issues such as fighting against homelessness in Howard and his previous experience on the CA board makes him the better choice.
The shape of the 12th District shifted to become majority Howard County in the latest redistricting. Gone are the two subdistricts and, just as significantly, all three incumbent House delegates have stepped down.
Without the incumbents, the race has attracted three Republicans who will pass along to the general election, while 10 Democrats are vying for three spots in the general.
Those Democrats offer a variety of life experiences and come from all portions of the district. We found many of them to be capable to serve in Annapolis but three rose to the top for us. They are Eric Ebersole. Clarence Lam and Terri Hill.
Ebersole, a long-time Catonsville resident and math teacher at River Hill High School in Columbia, would bring three decades of education experience and smart views on the environment and job creation. Both Lam, a physician and a former legislative staffer for Del. Dan Morhaim, and Hill, a plastic surgeon, would bring health care experience to a legislature that needs it. Lam, a Columbia resident, also pledges to bring a progressive voice to the district and we like his ideas on a progressive tax plan. Hill, also a Columbia resident, makes the environment and support for small businesses among her priorities.
There is no primary in the district's senate race.
Five Democrats, including two incumbents, have filed for three House seats in the District 13 primary. Incumbent Shane Pendergrass, an advocate for health care and seniors, is seeking a sixth term in the House and she should get one of the Democratic nominations. Frank Turner, who also is seeking a sixth term, should as well. Turner has represented the district well and has risen through the ranks in Annapolis to be vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, even if that position prompted him in 2012 to abandon his beliefs against expanded gambling in Maryland to side with party leadership. We would also recommend Vanessa Atterbeary, a Fulton attorney, whose family's business helps place people in jobs and who is focused on domestic violence and issues affecting women and families. Atterbeary also got the nod from the incumbent delegates.
Three Republicans are in the race for this seat so there will be no primary. There is also no primary in either party's senate races.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun