Democrat Kenneth Holniker became the first official candidate for the county's new legislative district in South Carroll yesterday.
Holniker, a 73-year-old attorney who has lived in Berrett for more than 30 years, filed for a seat in the House of Delegates in Annapolis yesterday, hoping to represent District 9B.
"I care enough about South Carroll that I would rather do the job myself, instead of supporting someone else," Holniker said.
The county's most populous area has long needed its own representative, Holniker said. The new district is home to 37,000 and "perfect for me," he said. "I have lived here and worked here for so long that I can say that I am attentive to the needs of this area."
While many politicians across the state are complaining about the redistricting and some are threatening lawsuits, Holniker said he could not be more pleased.
"It really pleases me that the governor has identified South Carroll politically," he said. "It has always been at the bottom of the Carroll County map, but now it is its own political entity. At long last, it will not be out of sight."
Carroll County still will have four delegates. The redistricting forces three Republican incumbents: Joseph M. Getty, Nancy R. Stocksdale and Carmen Amedori to vie for two seats carved from central and northern areas of the county in the Sept. 10 primary. Del. Donald B. Elliott serves a district that includes parts of Carroll and Frederick counties.
As a legislator, Holniker said, he would expect to deal with myriad issues, most of them related to growth.
"South Carroll grew up too fast and without a long-term plan," he said. "We can't stop growth but we can manage it better than it has been."
Well known in Eldersburg and Sykesville, Holniker has long been involved in public service. With his wife, M. Peggy Holniker, he founded South Carroll Business Association, Beth Shalom - the county's first synagogue - and Children's Farm Nursery, a day care center at their home. Mrs. Holniker died in 1993.
Holniker said he has never considered retirement.
"I am a working man and I love public service," Holniker said. "This is the most honorable thing for me to do with the balance of my life."