Howard County Blog

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Legislative District 13: competitive to a degree

Legislative District 13 (of which I am a constituent) starts in south Elkridge and runs through East Columbia into southeast Howard County and along the border with Montgomery into Highland and Dayton. Democrats run strongly in East Columbia, while Republicans do best in Scaggsville through Dayton and in the Elkridge portion of the district. The precincts in southeast Howard County outside of Columbia can be won by strong candidates of either major party. On paper, it should be a totally Democratic district. But it didn't go that way in 2002.
The surprise winner of the 2002 Senate race in LD13 was Republican Sandra Schrader. She defeated longtime Council member Vernon Gray (who seemed to be regarded as too pro-development and was especially unpopular in the Scaggsville through Dayton part of the district). I'm a student of voting records and Senator Schrader seems plenty conservative to me, but she has thrown enough bones to moderates to make herself at least competitive for reelection in 2006. To win this time, she has to defeat County Executive Jim Robey, who moved into the district to run. He has run well at the polls, both in this district and elsewhere, so Schrader should have her hands full. On the other hand, Robey has no legislative voting record, so anyone interested in issues has to go by what he's done as Executive and what he says.
There was a fairly divisive Democratic primary for the three delegate seats here, but the conclusive winners were Delegate Shane Pendergrass, Council member Guy Guzzone, and Delegate Frank Turner. All should be favored to win in November.
There was no primary for delegate on the Republican side, so their delegate candidates are Mary Beth Tung (who ran best of their three candidates in 2002), Loretta Gaffney (an assistant to Del. Bates and running for the first time), and Pastor Rick Bowers (who is also running for the first time and is reportedly strongly associated with the cause of protecting the traditional marriage relationship between a male and a female). The connection between Pastor Bowers and the website is documented here:
Divorce would seem to represent a greater threat to the institution of marriage than any kind of union between same sex couples. At any rate, it will be interesting how this issue plays with the voters in this district.
The websites of or information on all eight LD13 candidates are as follows:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget Sandy Schrader has many strong Democratic friends. Half the people working polls for her on primary day seemed to be Democratic women - some of whom talked extensively about how they detested Mary Tung and George Bush, but loved Sandy. She campaigns in a very liberal, inclusive way. Her votes don't seem to reflect that, but she's popular, great with constituent services, and makes people love her. The "Our Senator" signs are brilliant - since people really do feel like she's their neighbor and their senator.

Jim Robey is regarded with a lot of suspicion in East Columbia especially and the whole district, since he just moved here. He also isn't warm and fuzzy like Sandy, and doesn't seem to actually like Columbia. He's also not talking about liberal issues - at the African American's forum he dismissed the importance of the Voter Verified Paper Trail. He's running a weird campaign, and Sandy's running a great one. The only way he can win is to talk about choice.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

I can't dispute what you say about Schrader. She obviously knows how to put the best face on her campaign. I believe that, if Robey is to win, he's got to portray her as the conservative that she really is on issues and not the moderate-liberal as she likes to portray herself to the electorate of LD13. He's got to portray himself as more in step than her with what the majority of residents of this district want from their State Senator. (It seems to me to be essentially the same situation as with Steele and Cardin at the statewide level.)

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Cardin seems much more liberal than Steele. Robey doesn't have a liberal persona, and no one knows his records since he's never served as a legislator.

His best bet is to try and win on choice.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" obviously never met Mary Beth Tung, or talked with her, or he (she?) would realize that Mary is beholding to no one and intends to be a catalyst for open and incluse debate in Annapolis. Too bad he never met Mary, she has pretty much covered the district in her door knocking and will reach many more people as November 7th approaches.

I am a Democrat and support Mary's campaign whole heartedly. Her background, education, and career as a university instructor, medical researcher and a medical patent agent make her an ideal individual to lead discussion and debate on key issues. Mary's election will offer us an opportunity to see an independent thinker work withing the legislative body to achieve results.

I'm not anonymous, I'm Jim Chaisson

8:00 PM  

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