Sunday, March 26, 2006

Politics, shmolitics: Calling all Candidates...

I absolutely love it when shoo-ins for reelection have to face a little competition. You know, just to make them work a little and, more importantly, keep them honest. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to read this.

West Columbia Del. Elizabeth Bobo, a Democrat, and Republican state Sen. Robert H. Kittleman cruised to re-election four years ago, so secure in their respective party strongholds that no one bothered to challenge them.

Things have changed.

Despite her cozy single-member District 12B, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1, Bobo has an opponent this year: Chris Feldwick, 34, a Clary's Forest resident and first-time candidate who manages a jewelry store at The Mall in Columbia.

...In the western Howard and southern Carroll County district in which Allan H. Kittleman is filling the term of his father, who died in 2004, voter registration isn't so lopsided. About 45 percent of the voters in District 9 are Republicans, and they have a 6,000-voter edge over the district's Democrats.

But Rich Corkran, 59, of Ellicott City, a 37-year teacher now at Hammond High School, said he is planning to challenge Kittleman, a former county councilman who was appointed to the term after Robert Kittleman's death.

Of course, Bobo and Kittleman are still going to win, though both did seem to welcome the challenge.

In other Shmolitical news, one of the Republican candidates for county council in District 2 has dropped out.

Republican Patrick P. Black has withdrawn from the race to run for the party central committee after meeting with county party Chairman Brian Harlin and others, he said.

"I am giving my support to the other candidate," he said. "She's been in the community a lot longer and has the support of the community."

That's the kind of party discipline we know, love, and expect from Republicans. Although a Republican has about as much of a chance of winning in that district as the Terps do of winning the NCAA basketball championship this year, there decision to run the candidate who has lived in the county longer is the right one.

And finally, Councilman Chris Merdon has dropped his quest to have a separate website for the county council. You may remember (or not) that Merdon felt Robey was using the website for his own political purposes, while the council's cyber-voice was being silenced.

David Wissing, who got up earlier this morning than me, already covered the issue to the extent that it needs to be (which is to say, not much).

Anyway, I went again this morning to the (county web) site and right now they have tabs at the top of the County Government homepage with both the County Executive and County Council having equal footing. It takes two clicks from the front page to go to the County Executive and Two clicks to go to the County Council. Hopefully that makes everyone happy and we can stop complaining about the County Government website…

Yes, we can stop complaining about the website, but I'm sure, just around the bend, there is something equally insignificant for use to whine about.

Earlier in the post, Wissing asks who actually goes to the county website. Well, I do, quite frequently. I go there for all sorts of reasons, but mostly to look up information for this blog. However, my favorite feature is the mapping section, where you can easily create all sorts of interactive, information-rich maps; it's a great way to waste a couple hours and learn a few things while you're doing it.

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