As we evaluate candidates for endorsements going into next Tuesday’s election, we consider a number of factors: knowledge of the area, knowledge of government, potential influence to be wielded on the job, vision, the ability to work with the bodies they seek to join, and whether there’s a compelling need to replace an incumbent seeking reelection.
With these things considered, we recommend the reelection of Sen. Jim Mathias. This is a pragmatic choice, rather than a philosophical one, since his opponent, Del. Mary Beth Carozza, also meets many of our criteria.
The plain fact, however, is that a Democratic majority controls the Maryland General Assembly, and the Senate is ruled, in no uncertain terms, by Majority Leader Mike Miller. Mathias, a Democrat, has worked within that framework.
Even though Carozza says she will take a bipartisan approach and reach across the aisle, it’s unlikely, under Miller, that the aisle will reach back. Mathias also works well with Gov. Larry Hogan, who will undoubtedly return to office.
For delegate for Dist. 38A, there is no compelling reason to replace incumbent Republican Del. Charles Otto, while in 38C, we endorse candidate Wayne Hartman, a Republican, who faces no challenge beyond a doubtful write-in campaign.
In the Worcester County Commissioner races, we believe Republican Commissioner Bud Church is the right person to represent District 3, which includes West Ocean City and part of Berlin. He has the experience, the ability and the influence necessary to look after this area’s interests.
For Ocean Pines, District 5, we endorse Republican Chip Bertino, who seems to be in sync with his constituents and whose regular town meetings ought to be emulated by others.
Down the county, in District 4, and a little out of our bailiwick, we recommend the return of Democrat Virgil Shockley to the seat he held from 1998 to 2014. And in District 1, which encompasses Pocomoke and southern Worcester, we recommend Democrat Josh Nordstrom.
In the contest for Register of Wills, we support Chief Deputy Terresa “Terri” Delaney Westcott, who has 18 years of job experience and the endorsement of her predecessor, Charlotte Cathell.