Crizer officially files for House of Delegates race
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:54

Former Seahorse Inn owner says his focus is jobs

by Ben Boehl

    With the Feb. 25 filing deadline looming, the Democratic field in the House of Delegates primary has again expanded with the announcement by Ed Crizer that he has officially filed for the House of Delegates in the 6th District.
    Crizer is a member of Baltimore County Board of Appeals and formerly owned the Seahorse Inn on Wise Avenue. He transferred the business to his brother in 2011 when he accepted the county appointment.
    Crizer said he feels the district is not in “horrible shape.” but he wants to focus on issues such as the future of the Fort Howard VA property and working with the Port of Baltimore on the next step for development in the Sparrows Point area, which he hopes will result in local job creation.
    “I’ve been involved with the community and I’m very concerned about what is going on at [the former] Bethlehem Steel [site],” Crizer said.
    “We’ve been hit hard  in the district with the loss of jobs at [the steel mill]. To me it’s about employment and jobs.”
    Crizer added that he is concerned about a Maryland Department of the Environment report that found thousands of gallons of benzene at the Coke Point area of Sparrows Point.
    Crizer said that the Port of Baltimore has looked into cleaning up the substance if they purchase Coke Point, but he wondered who will clean up the mess if the port does not purchase the property.

“The port is the only [agency] that has talked about the benzene,” he said.
    Crizer has worked on political campaigns in the past and said he does not think that filing in late January will hurt his chances against those who began their campaigns earlier.
    Crizer joins a Democratic race that already includes incumbent Del. Michael Weir Jr., former delegate Jacob J. “Jake” Mohorovic, CCBC staffer and Baltimore County Human Relations Commission member Eric Washington, Marcus Foreman, Jonathan Campbell and Larry Harmel, who filed on Jan. 10.
    Crizer said that even though he did not file until a month before the deadline, he has been preparing his campaign. 
    Before Crizer’s entry into the race, Weir, Mohorovic and Washington were generally considered the favorites to get the three Democratic nomination slots, but many feel that Crizer can compete for one of those three slots.
    With Del. Joseph “Sonny” Minnick retiring and Del. John Olszewski Jr. running for the state Senate seat being vacated by retiring state Sen. Norman Stone, two seats will be open.
    Crizer said he respects the incumbents in the 6th District and believes he has a chance to get elected to one of those two open seats.
    “It’s a great opportunity,” Crizer said. “I’m excited that there is going to be change — even if it’s not me. We are going to get some new ideas.”
    A political insider pointed out that Crizer did not file until Jan. 15, which was one day after the most recent round of campaign finance reports were due.
    He speculated that Crizer may have waited until after Jan. 15 so he would not have to file a campaign finance report until  the next one is due in April, noting that “his next report will be interesting — to see his funding sources.”
    Crizer said that claim is absurd and that he wanted to kick off his campaign  after the holiday season.
    “I wanted to wait until after the holidays. There is nothing to report, and I have nothing to hide,” he said.
    Before September, no Democrats had filed to run for the House of Delegates in this district.
    After as many as six  Republicans announced plans to enter the House race in the summer, only three have officially filed.
    Robin Grammer Jr. filed in April and he was later joined by Dan Liberatore and Ric Metzgar in July, but no Republican has recently filed.
    Bob Long, who ran in 2010, said that he plans to file within the next few weeks.
    Republicans Mitchell Toland Jr. and Roger Zajdel verbally committed to run for the House last summer, but neither candidate had filed as of this week, and both were unavailable for comment.