A COUPLE OF familiar names are on the ballot seeking the Republican nomination for the two House seats in Legislative District 13A. Michael Grasso tried four years ago to unseat one of the two Democrat incumbents, Shane Pendergrass and Frank S. Turner. He finished just 730 votes short of his goal.
Mrs. Pendergrass and Mr. Turner are unopposed in the Democratic primary. Each is seeking a second four-year term to represent East Columbia and North Laurel.
With Mr. Grasso on the Sept. 15 Republican ballot are Hans K. Meeder and Charles H. Fiege.
Mr. Fiege also ran for the GOP nomination in 1994 but did little or no campaigning. His strategy is unchanged this time.
Mr. Grasso and Mr. Meeder deserve the Republican nomination.
Mr. Grasso, 38, a native of Passaic, N.J., has lived in North Laurel since 1987. The owner of a biomedical computing firm is very familiar with growth issues facing southern Howard, where the Rouse Co. is building a huge Columbia-style development. With three children in public school, Mr. Grasso says he would work to improve education funding. He believes the governor has misused school construction aid to pay back political favors.
Mr. Meeder, 36, is a newcomer as a candidate but is well-seasoned in politics. Years ago, when he worked for congressmen Dick Cheney and Connie Mack, he decided that state and local government has more impact on people's lives.
The self-employed education consultant lives in Allview Estates, just outside Columbia. As a parent, he has been active in efforts to improve reading instruction in public schools.
He also has been a critic of residential growth in Howard County, saying more commercial development is needed to strengthen the tax base.
With Mr. Meeder and Mr. Grasso facing Mrs. Pendergrass and Mr. Turner, District 13A will have excellent candidates to choose from in the general election.
District 12, which straddles Baltimore and Howard counties, has no contested primaries.
Tomorrow: Legislative District 13B.
Pub Date: 8/11/98