The Sun makes endorsements for state legislature and County Council in the following races:
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, but Mr. Frederic gets our endorsement. His views on taxes, for example, are better attuned to those of the voters in this relatively conservative district.
In House District 9A, five Republicans are running for two seats. Incumbent Warren Miller gets our strong endorsement. He's a fiscal conservative with strong pro-business credentials, but he has also been one of the legislature's most effecitve voices for increasing government transparency. Trent Kittleman, a former county executive candidate and member of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'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 Del. Bob Flanagan. In this contest, we favor Ms. Loveless, an Ellicott City resident who owns a security company. Her emphasis on jobs, especially as the owner of a small business, gives her the edge over Mr. 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 Mr. Coale's community leadership in issues such as fighting against homelessness in Howard and his previous experience on the CA board make him the better choice.
Redistricting put most of the 12th District in Howard County, and all three incumbent House delegates have stepped down. Three Republicans are running unopposed while 10 Democrats are vying for three spots in the general election. Among them, we endorse Eric Ebersole, Clarence Lam and Terri Hill.
Mr. 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. Dr. Lam, a physician and a former legislative staffer for Del. Dan Morhaim, and Dr. Hill, a plastic surgeon, would bring health care experience to a legislature that needs it.
Five Democrats have filed for three House seats in the District 13 primary, and we endorse two of them. Incumbent Shane Pendergrass, an advocate for health care and seniors, gets our support. We 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.
Del. Frank Turner has generally represented the district well, but we were disappointed in his role in the advancement of legislation expanding casino gambling in 2012. For years he had taken the sensible position that Maryland should not authorize new casinos before its existing ones were even operating, but during a special legislative session he reversed himself under pressure from House leadership. He offered no better explanation than that his position as a sub-committee chairman required it.
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.
County Council District 1
District 1 will have a new council representative with incumbent Courtney Watson vying for the county executive seat being vacated by Ken Ulman. On the Republican side, we believe Kevin Schmidt, a director of government relations for a software firm, earns our endorsement. In addition to campaigning on issues of government transparency and supporting funding for education and senior issues, he has also advocated for the county to create a "neighborhood ambassador" to work with residents on zoning and development issues.
Among the four Democrats, Wendy Royalty gets our support. She has a background in social work and public health and extensive experience working in both constituent service and policy in local governments. Among her top priorities is managing development both to protect the environment and to prevent overcrowding in the schools.
County Council District 2
In District 2, incumbent Democrat Calvin Ball has no opposition in the primary. Republican Reg Avery gets our endorsement in the GOP primary. A resident of Oakland Mills and a recently elected member of the Columbia Association, Mr. Avery is a consultant for government agencies who has served as vice president of PTA Council of Howard County. Mr. Avery, who ran unsuccessfully for this office four years ago, says he will focus his attention on schools, public safety and investments on public infrastructure should he be elected.
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