GOP talking upset in the redrawn 6th


Because of an editing error, the affiliation of Diane DeCarlo, Democrat running for the House of Delegates in Baltimore County's 6th Legislative District, was incorrectly reported Thursday. She is not affiliated with any political ticket. In the same article, the district number in the 6th District Senate race was incorrect.

The Sun regrets the errors.

If anti-incumbent fever is a political reality this year, Ken Holt thinks the odds are in his favor.

Mr. Holt, a Republican candidate for the House of Delegates from eastern Baltimore County's 6th Legislative District, said new boundaries that added two conservative precincts in southern Harford County have also increased his chances of penetrating the Democratic stranglehold on the three seats.

One of those Democrats, Del. E. Farrell Maddox, chairman of the county's House delegation, is a heavy favorite to repeat in the Nov. 8 general election.

His ticket mates, Diane DeCarlo, president of the Baltimore County Licensed Beverage Association, and veteran Del. Michael H. Weir, admit that they're looking over their shoulders.

Mr. Holt, 43, a vice president at Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. in Baltimore, says Democrats have "lost perspective on issues. They are more familiar with academics and theories on the national level and that has filtered down to local politics."

Fellow Republican Nancy Hastings, 53, a resident of Kingsville, is similarly confident.

"I'm getting a lot of anti-incumbent sentiment around the district and that is good news for someone who is facing two well-financed, Democratic incumbents," she said.

"Anti-incumbency talk is no problem at all," replied Mr. Weir, who has held office two decades.

"There is lots of reconsideration on that thought, and people looking at the alternatives to Democrats who have had some time in office. Do people want inexperienced legislators? Nobody would get experience that way, and the bureaucrats would actually be in charge of the state government. After 20 years I'm still learning."

Adding some excitement to the House race is a feud between Mr. Weir and the third Republican candidate, Michael J. Davis, who has singled out Mr. Weir as being particularly vulnerable.

Mr. Davis has leveled charges of favoritism involving Mr. Weir's three sons, all county firefighters, and Mr. Weir has countered by saying Mr. Davis "ain't wrapped too tight."

But last week was not a good one for, Mr. Davis, a 55-year-old engineer with AT&T; Corp. His campaign chairwoman, Christina Satterfield, admitted that she recruited or attempted to recruit student campaign volunteers at two county middle schools -- in direct conflict with an order by schools Superintendent Stuart Berger, who banned such partisan recruiting in September.

Two middle school students were pictured in a paid advertisement that Mr. Davis ran in a community newspaper.

Ms. Satterfield also said Mr. Davis was going to offer a public apology about a campaign song he penned called "Luscious Maryland Babes," which was also mentioned in the campaign ad.

"That song will not be played on election night because I can certainly understand some women getting upset," Ms. Satterfield said.

But Mr. Davis said he "thought it was kind of cute."

Mr. Davis has also charged that Mr. Weir's three sons achieved their officer ranks in the Baltimore County Fire Department because of their father's political connections.

Mr. Weir vehemently denied the allegation. "Davis' tactics makes my job more irritable, bothers my wife and sons. It's sheer desperation to falsely bad-mouth somebody's family," he said.

Kevin B. O'Connor, president of Local 1311 of the Baltimore County Fire Fighters Association, said Mr. Davis' charges "demonstrate both his ignorance of the facts and his complete lack of credibility as a political candidate."

The 8th District Senate race is considered an easy one for veteran Democratic incumbent Michael J. Collins. He is facing Republican Alfred E. Clasing Jr., a 68-year-old retired Bethlehem Steel superintendent.

"While I am a heavy favorite, I never take the voters for granted," said Mr. Collins, 54, a retired county history teacher.

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