2014 election cycle starts as filing period opens
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 09:28

Grammer is only local candidate to file so far

by Ben Boehl

    It’s election season — again.
    With the earlier primary in 2014 state and local elections, the date to file candidacies was also moved. The first day candidates could file for office was April 9.
    While there was, as expected, minimal early action across the state, one first-time candidate did file for the 6th District state legislative seat.
    Robin Grammer, who listed an Essex post office box as his address of record, filed for the House of Delegates as a Republican.
    While Grammer is the only candidate to file so far, others have made their 2014 intentions known.
    On the Republican side, Bob Long, who came close to winning a House of Delegates seat in 2010,  planned to run for office in 2014 but was undecided to make another run at the House or try to take a shot at the 7th District Baltimore County Council seat currently held by four-term incumbent John Olszewski Sr.
    Long made his decision and told The Eagle last Thursday.
    “It is my intention to run for the House of Delegates,” he said.
    Long said that he was asked to run for council by some fellow Republicans, but preferred another shot at the House, especially since he believes there could be one or two vacant seats.
    There is widespread speculation that state Sen. Norman Stone and Del. Joseph “Sonny” Minnick could retire at the end of their current terms.
    Long will likely be joined in the House race by his 2010 Republican running mate Ric Metzgar, who also plans to run for the House for the third time.
    Grammer’s presence gives the GOP a chance to field a full slate of three House candidates for the second consecutive time, after never previously having mustered a full slate.
    In fact, local Republicans may have a contested House primary for the first time in their history.
    At the East Baltimore County Republican Club [EBCRC] meeting last week, new club president Dan Liberatore announced his own intention to seek a House seat.
    Liberatore is the owner of Uncle Eddie’s Restaurant in Essex and believes the economy is struggling because business owners across the state are burdened by regulations.
    “As I look down my street, I see a bunch of empty doors,” Liberatore said. “People will take a risk to start a business, but not now.”
    Liberatore said the Republican Party wants to get quality candidates to challenge all of the Democrats on the ballot in 2014.
    Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga from the 7th Legislative District was at the EBCRC meeting and said she sees an opportunity for Republicans in the 6th District.
    “There are two seats that we can win — maybe three,” Szeliga said.
    However; Szeliga said she does not want to see a Republican primary. She would rather see the GOP candidates work together instead of having to spend money in the primary.
    Bruce Kahl, who got an unprecedented 42.2 percent of the vote against Stone in the 2010 state Senate race, is thinking about a run in 2014 but is undecided because a run for the House or Senate could mean a career change.
    He heads the JROTC program at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, and the General Assembly session takes place in the middle of the school year. Kahl also wants to be effective if elected.    
    “I’m still undecided; I could run for delegate, (state) Senate or County Council,” Kahl said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m still waiting to see what’s is going to happen. We still don’t know what Sonny [Minnick] and Norman [Stone] are going to do.”
    On the Democratic side, Eric Washington has committed to the House of Delegates race. Washington ran unsuccessfully for the office in 2006, then sat out the 2010 race to support the incumbent ticket.
    Washington made his announcement in May but has not yet filed for office. Candidates have until April 9, 2014 to file.
    Another name mentioned on the Democratic side is Jake Mohorovic. He was a elected to the House of Delegates twice, serving from 1995-2003, but has been defeated in the last three primaries.
    Mohorovic could not be reached for comment on his plans.
    Todd Crandell (who ran on a ticket with state Senate candidate Jordan Hadfield in 2010) said in February that he is undecided about another shot at the House of Delegates or any other office in 2014.