Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dueling in District 13

The Democratic primary for District 13 is probably one of the most intriguing races this year, with five worthy candidates vying for three spots. Larry Carson has a good story about it today in The Sun, focusing on the battle within the battle -- that is, the one over yard signs.

When three-term Del. Frank S. Turner knocked on their door, retirees Irene and Jim MacDonald agreed to put a Guzzone-Pendergrass-Turner campaign sign on the lawn of their 33-year home in Columbia. They did the same thing when Del. Neil F. Quinter showed up with his sign.

The MacDonalds, who live on the high-traffic corner of Tamar Drive and Old Montgomery Road, are one of a handful of families with lawn signs advertising four candidates for the three available Democratic nominations to the Maryland House of Delegates from Howard County's District 13.

The popularity of the four elected officials is creating a problem for about 11,000 Democrats likely to vote in the Sept. 12 primary in the district, which covers the southeastern county, Fulton, east Columbia and parts of Elkridge. Nina Basu, 25, a self-described progressive, also is running.

...Quinter claimed that wherever his signs appear with those of other candidates, "I win the ties. If they have my sign up, that means they support me," speculating that people who put up the team signs might only support one or two of the three members.

Pendergrass disputed that assessment.

"As people begin to focus after Labor Day, I think people will understand and recognize the team," Pendergrass said. "People in this county care and pay attention."

Guzzone said a few yard signs won't make much difference.
Which is probably right. Signs, after all, are not votes.

Although I haven't decided whom I am voting for, making the decision is getting harder each time I read something about the "candidate for the future" Nina Basu.
"I am not interested in impressing Democratic politicians. The vast majority of people are not following their machinations," said Basu. "Voters want to talk about issues -- ideas."
Music to my ears.

She's in a similar situation as Melissa Ridgely Covolesky, a Republican challenging incumbents in District 9. Both are essentially being told, "it's not your turn," but as I said on Friday, this mindset bothers me.

It's not about who's best for the party, but who's best for residents of the district.


hocoblog said...

Again, it isn't about party and party loyalty. It isn't their turn because they haven't proven themselves to the district. They come out of the woodwork and no one knows them. Now they want to go to Annapolis.

I appreciate a maverick like anyone else. Go Joe. However, tell me how Basu and Covolesky have proven themselves to the constituents they wish to represent?

Do they have a right to run? Of course they do. Did they earn the right to run. Maybe. Did they earn the right to represent the district. I don't think so.

Mary Catherine said...

The flaw in your arguement about "proving themselves" is your definition... your implication is that one can only prove themselves by being an incumbent or by serving their party on the central committee. We have had horrible representives that are appointees,incumbents or have served on central committees... so that is apparently not really a measure of a successful representative.

Following your party, blindly- indicates only that you are a good follower... we need good leaders. People unafraid to think outside of the box... People uncontrolled by others... people willing to think for themselves... or better yet... think and act on behalf of the citizens who elected them to office.

Blocs/slates use the power of politicians to strongarm specific people into office- as such they assume they know better than the voters/people/citizens. How arrogant is that?