Another week and yet another bit of info about the Register of Wills race—this has been the interesting one to follow, early in the campaign season.
Dagger reader RBass pointed out some out-of-date info in a previous edition of the “Campaign Journal,” in which we said that Register candidate Merrie Street was “currently” employed by Exelon Power as a communications specialist. Our reader said he “heard” that Street was in fact laid off last year.
We checked in with Street, who confirmed that as of last winter she was no longer employed by Exelon, and filled us in on what she’s been doing since:
There are few if any industries left unaffected by the extraordinary economy that we have witnessed in the past two years, Exelon is no exception. In 2009 the company cut 500 positions. One of those positions was mine. Since last winter I have been employed by Harford Community College and have been back in the classroom teaching employment skills at Aberdeen’s Wage Connection. It has been a truly rewarding experience. Among the topics I discuss in my classes is how to focus on the opportunities we have as a result of this economy. I now have the opportunity to take my passion for education and community service into my campaign for Harford County Register of Wills.
After receiving your e-mail I headed to The Dagger and checked out the posting. I appreciate this reader’s passion for the Register of Wills position, and while it is obvious that passion is directed in support of someone else, I would like to point you to www.myregisterofwills.com where it is obvious I bring much more to the position than simply my BA. This new website provides information about my education, my experience in management and in the classroom and my community outreach programming. The site also highlights just some of the volunteer efforts I have been part of for decades. Those efforts are numerous and wide-ranging. I continue to be an active part of Harford’s volunteer community serving as a working member of a variety of boards, volunteering for a number of causes and continuing my passion of making quilts that are donated to troops who are wounded in the service of our country. I have the energy, compassion, education and experience to provide Harford Countians outstanding service as Register of Wills.
Street will kick off her campaign with an event at the Liriodendron in Bel Air on Thurs., April 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Former (and future?) first lady Kendel Ehrlich will headline the event.
Street said she came into the race aware that she would face stiff primary competition.
“When I filed for Register of Wills I was told that before the filing deadline arrives in July, there could be ten or more people vying for this position,” she said. “When I turned 18 and registered to vote in Harford County there were few people on the primary ballot. To see the number of people who have already filed for the September primary is positive for the voters in Harford County. While there may be exceptions, members of each party normally work for the party and not individual candidates until after the primary season.”
As crowded as the Register of Wills race may already be, there is still speculation that another serious candidate or two may throw their hats into the ring, including Republican attorney Michael Birch.
–The races for the House of Delegates seats are heating up, as John M. Paff, Jr., a Republican with a P.O. Box in Abingdon, filed on March 12 as another name on the growing list of candidates for the two available House of Delegates District 34A slots.
That race lost a candidate when Rovall Washington of Edgewood withdrew his name as an Independent candidate on March 10, and re-filed as a Democrat running for the District 34 state senate seat instead.
Washington’s move means there are now four filed candidates for the two District 34A seats: Marla Moss-Posey (Democrat/Aberdeen), Glen Glass (Republican/ Aberdeen) and Patrick McGrady (Republican/Aberdeen). The district encompasses the lower portion of the county including the Route 40 corridor.
Neither of the incumbents, Democratic Dels. Mary-Dulany James and B. Dan Riley, have filed for reelection, although they will be holding an open public meeting with constituents in Aberdeen tonight, Wednesday, March 31 (see below).
The District 35A delegation race is also picking up candidates and steam. Jason C. Gallion, a Republican with a Churchville P.O. Box, filed March 19 to run for that office. Also in the mix are former sheriff candidate Dave Tritt (Republican/Forest Hill), Joseph J. Gutierrez (Democrat/Jarrettsville), and John W. Jones (Democrat/Bel Air). Neither of the incumbent Republican delegates., Wayne Norman and Donna Stifler, have filed for reelection.
In fact, the only Harford County incumbent to file yet for any state race is Del. Susan K. McComas (Republican/Bel Air), who filed on March 19 to return to her District 35B seat, which she has held for two terms. McComas currently has no filed opposition, but several would-be challengers have investigated the possibility, including former Harford County Councilman Mike Geppi, who launched an exploratory committee in early 2009 and indicated he was interested in a General Assembly seat.
–Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie kicked up some southern Harford Democratic dust this week while trying to secure a speaking engagement for fellow Democrat and would-be state senator Washington.
Guthrie, who previously indicated he would seek the District 34 state senate seat himself, is now backing Washington for the seat. In a conversation this week with Jobeth Bowers, president of the Cecil County Young Democrats, Guthrie worked to arrange for Washington to speak at one of the club’s events, but at the same time took a swipe at Washington’s probable primary election opponent: former state senator Art Helton.
Guthrie, seemingly unaware Bowers works on Helton’s campaign, said the club should support a candidate who actually lives in District 34, harkening back to the long-standing speculation that Helton resides on his Darlington farm and only purchased a Joppatowne home so he could run for senate in the district.
A disappointed Bowers fired back at Guthrie, indicating he had been inside Helton’s Joppatowne home and questioning what map and logic Guthrie was using. Bowers tried to de-fuse the encounter, for the sake of the democratic process, but that’s not an easy task when Helton and Guthrie are involved.
—Ted Patterson (Republican/Cecil County) is running for the District 34B (Perryville/Port Deposit) delegation seat and will hold a “Meet the Candidate Reception” on Wed., March 31 at 7 p.m. at the Susky River Grille in Port Deposit. Tickets are $45.
–As mentioned above, Dels. James and Riley will hold a public community discussion on Wed., March 31 at 7 p.m. at the American Legion on 44 North Parke Street in Aberdeen. All citizens are welcome to attend and discuss pending legislation and/or current concerns. The event is supported by Aberdeen Communities Together, which urges attendees to wear a Navy Blue shirt.
–Random: Russ Kovach hasn’t officially filed for Harford County Democratic Central Committee but Harford Young Democrats have suggested that The Dagger become a “fan” of Russ Kovach for Harford County Democratic Central Committee on Facebook.
–The New Harford Democratic Club will hold a meeting on Wed., April 7 at 7 p.m. at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn. Maryland State Democratic Party Chairwoman Susan Turnbull is scheduled to speak.
–Finally, though he hasn’t made it to Washington, D.C. yet, state Sen. Andy Harris said on Tuesday that he would leave the U.S. House of Representatives by 2023, making Congressional term limits part of the platform of his campaign to unseat Democrat Frank Kratovil in the First District.