Two local Democratic attorneys have invited friends to meet the candidates they support in Tuesday's primary. They expect several hundred people to attend a picnic today at a South Carroll farm.
Jeff Griffith of Westminster, a former county commissioner and state Senate candidate, and Kenneth Holniker of Eldersburg are throwing the party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mr. Holniker's farm near the intersection of Routes 97 and 26.
Mr. Griffith said he and Mr. Holniker chose candidates from both parties to support in various local races. They organized the picnic to give candidates -- some of whom are running for the first time -- an opportunity to meet voters, he said.
The attorneys listed the candidates they support in a Sept. 2 invitation letter signed by Mr. Griffith.
xTC "If you're like me, newspaper reports and campaign literature do not give you enough information to make an intelligent selection. . . . This will be a good chance for you to mingle in an informal atmosphere and get to know some good folk," he wrote.
Mr. Griffith rejected the suggestion that he and Mr. Holniker were trying to be kingmakers in local races.
"We just picked people we were comfortable with," he said. "They're people we have confidence in and we think will do a good job.
"We've always been active in politics," he said. "A lot of people running are either friends of mine or acquaintances."
The party is free. Mr. Griffith said he paid for the invitations and stamps; Mr. Holniker is paying for the food. Anyone who wasn't invited but wants to attend may, Mr. Griffith said Friday.
Invitations were sent to residents who worked on past campaigns and projects and to people the candidates suggested, he said.
The attorneys promise no political speeches. Mr. Griffith said the candidates will be introduced to the crowd.
L The attorneys recommended candidates in the following races:
* County commissioner -- Democrats Rebecca A. Orenstein and Cornelius M. "Neil" Ridgely and Republican David T. Duree.
* State's attorney -- Democrat Linda A. Holmes and Republican incumbent Thomas E. Hickman.
* Sheriff -- Republican incumbent John H. Brown.
* District 5 Senate -- Democrat Cynthia Huggins Cummings.
* District 5 House of Delegates -- Democrat Philip R. Deitchman ** and Republicans Nancy R. Stocksdale and Francis X. Walsh.
* School board (nonpartisan) -- Carole M. "Cyd" Pecoraro.
Other candidates are expected to attend, Mr. Griffith said. For example, Del. Richard N. Dixon, a District 5 Democrat, was not listed in the letter because he is expected to do well in the primary.
"He doesn't need help," Mr. Griffith said.
Mr. Griffith has been active in local politics for a number of years. He served one term on the school board and two terms as a county commissioner. In 1990, he ran for the District 5 Senate seat and lost to Republican Larry E. Haines.
Mr. Holniker has not run for office, but has been active in party politics.