Matthews' sudden bow-out enlivens race for 3 District 5 delegate seats CAMPAIGN 1994


A chart in the July 7 Carroll County edition of The Sun listed the incorrect party affiliation for John Lockard Barnes in the Sept. 13 primary election. Mr. Barnes is a Democrat running for judge of the Orphans' Court.

* The Sun regrets the error.

With the race for three District 5 delegate seats now wide open, Carroll

County residents should expect to shake hands with candidate after candidate at their front doors, fire department carnivals and fund-raisers this summer.

Let the campaigning begin -- again.

"It will probably be a much more vigorous race" now that two major Republican candidates are out of the running, said Del. Richard N. Dixon, a Westminster Democrat who is running for re-election.

"It changes the race," said Westminster Republican Jerry L. Toadvine, who is running for the first time.

Incumbent Del. Richard C. Matthews, a District 5 legislator for 27 years, decided not to seek re-election. Tuesday was the last day to file.

"Mr. Matthews' departure is really going to cause people to look carefully at this race," Mr. Toadvine said.

Mr. Matthews said yesterday that he made his decision at the last minute and even had the filing papers in his car Tuesday. He said earlier in the year that he would run again.

"It was a tough decision. I still felt I could have won the race."

Mr. Matthews, who will turn 68 Monday, said that he does not like the trend toward legislators working full time. He said that he needs to spend more time at his business, Matthews Tire & Auto Service in Hampstead.

The other major change in the race came June 24 when Carroll Commissioner Julia W. Gouge dropped out to become the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate William S. Shepard.

Those changes spurred two other Republicans to enter the race.

Westminster City Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr., 52, said yesterday that he filed for the race after he learned Mr. Matthews would not.

"That was the determining factor for me," he said.

Mr. Chapin said that he and Mr. Matthews both have owned small businesses and might appeal to the same voters.

Manchester resident Joseph M. Getty, 42, who also filed Tuesday, said he felt "sheepish" getting into the race after telling many people he would not. He said he decided to run after Mrs. Gouge, who also is from North Carroll, dropped out.

"I decided at the last minute the timing was pretty favorable," he said.

In addition to Mr. Chapin, Mr. Getty and Mr. Toadvine, there are five other Republicans in the race: W. David Blair of Manchester, Joseph H. Mettle of Eldersburg and Nancy R. Stocksdale, Francis X. Walsh and Thomas J. Cassella, all of Westminster. Besides Mr. Dixon, there are three other Democrats running: Philip R. Deitchman of Eldersburg and Eric R. Hirtle and Ellen L. Willis, both of Westminster.

The primary is Sept. 13.

Mr. Dixon said that he was surprised by Mr. Matthews' decision.

"He will be missed. He had a very thorough knowledge of House rules and politics," Mr. Dixon said.

Mr. Matthews' retirement means that Mr. Dixon, 56, who was elected in 1983, will be the senior member of Carroll's six-person delegation.

District 4 Sen. Charles H. Smelser, 74, who represents parts of Carroll and Frederick counties, announced in May that he would retire after serving seven terms.

Mr. Matthews had led the Carroll delegation for 10 years. After the November election, the senators and delegates representing all or part of Carroll will vote for a new chairman.

He said that he would not endorse a candidate in the primary.

In his campaign, Mr. Chapin said that he would focus on several issues: reducing crime and taxes, recruiting new business to the state and studying state rules on cities and counties. "The legislature must eliminate waste. We have a small, compact state that should be run efficiently," he said.

Mr. Chapin, a city resident for 20 years, is in his first term on the Westminster council. He retired last year as sales manager for Centaur Press, the commercial printing division of Landmark Community Newspapers of Maryland Inc. He said that he now owns and manages properties, mainly in Westminster.

Mr. Getty, who attends law school part-time at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, said: "I love the problem-solving aspects of current events. My approach generally is consensus building."

If elected, he said, he will try to revise the state formula used to determine when new schools should be built. The current formula does not allow counties to plan far enough ahead to accommodate growth, he said. He said that he also would focus on small-business issues.

Mr. Getty works part time as a law clerk at the Westminster firm Stoner Preston and Boswell. He said that he expects to finish law school in 1 1/2 years. He also works part time at the Historical Society of Carroll County, where he was executive director until January.

Mr. Getty said it was his father, Frank Getty, who recruited Mr. Matthews into Republican Party politics in the early 1960s. The elder Getty wanted a group of "young Turks" on the county Republican Central Committee to shake up an entrenched hierarchy, Mr. Getty said.

Mr. Matthews' election to a committee seat was the springboard for his political career.

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