Democratic field grows to 10 for local House race
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 12:09

Republican field grows to seven candidates

by Ben Boehl

    The roster of Democratic candidates for the 6th District House of Delegates just keeps growing.
    Incumbent Michael Weir Jr.’s re-election bid was expected, of course, and Democratic hopeful Eric Washington actually kicked off his campaign in 2012, but beyond those two, activity on the Democratic side was, for a time, surprisingly quiet, even after incumbent Joseph “Sonny” Minnick announced his retirement and the third member of the local House delegation, John Olszewski Jr., announced his bid for state Senate.
    After three Republicans filed for the race last summer, the next Democrat did not file until September.
    That started a wave of a candidates, and the number of Democrats is currently at 10. The filing deadline was set for Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 9 p.m., just after The Eagle went to press.
    Five Democrats have filed since the beginning of the year, but the biggest name on that list is former Baltimore City Councilman Nicholas C. D’Adamo Jr.
    The current Essex resident filed for the 6th District race on Feb. 7, but many don’t consider D’Adamo to be just another candidate. 
    D’Adamo served on the City Council from 1988 to 2011 and has a loaded war chest.
    According to Maryland Campaign Reporting Information System,  D’Adamo has an account of $111,900.62, with most of that money raised during his time as a city councilman.    
    D’Adamo’s account has shown very little activity since the last election he won in 2007, in which he reported having $108,178.64.
    Most of the reports from 2008 to 2013 does not show him receiving any major contributions and making limited expenditures, but all that money is still available and can be used for this year’s campaign.

“That was a lot of hard work over 24 years,” D’Adamo said. “It was from bull roasts and other events, but I always put some on the side one day for a big race.”
    D’Adamo has filed for the 6th District race using the address at his Essex apartment but said he plans to move to Millers Island, where his house is being built.
    Even though he has over $100,000 in his campaign account, D’Adamo said he will still have to get out and campaign, as he never ran for office in the Dundalk-Essex area. Nonetheless, he said, he believes he can connect with voters.
    “It’s all the same, no matter what district it is in the state. It’s about jobs, schools and safety, and you fight to get money for your district,” D’Adamo said.
    Another Democrat who has entered the race is Larry Harmel, a retired Maryland State Police Deputy Superintendent and former Chief of Police of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department (MTAPD).
    Harmel is an Essex resident and said he graduated from Kenwood High School in 1963 and was inducted into the Professional Achievement and Athletic Hall of Fame at the school.
    “This is my home. I was born and raised in this area,” Harmel said.
    “With the right kind of leadership and purpose in Annapolis, we can build our community and achieve new levels of prosperity.”
    According to the Maryland Board of Elections, Rick Roberts, another Essex resident, filed for the House of Delegates as a Democrat on Feb. 12 and the first female entered the race.
    Anna Pearce filed as a Democrat on Feb. 20. Pearce, an Old Dundalk resident, filed to run for the Clerk of the Circuit Court in 2010, but later withdrew her name.
    One political insider told The Eagle that a female candidate in the race could be interesting to watch as four of the five members elected on the Legislative District 6 Democratic Central Committee in 2010 were women.
    D’Adamo, Harmel, Pearce and Roberts join a crowded Democratic field 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, Baltimore County Board of Appeals member Ed Crizer, Marcus Foreman and Jonathan Campbell.
    There was speculation that more candidates might enter the race before the filing deadline.
    Republicans Robin Grammer Jr., Dan Liberatore and Ric Metzgar all filed before September. No more Republicans filed until last week when Bob Long filed on Feb. 20,  Roger Zajdel filed on Feb. 24 and Mitchell Toland Jr. went down to Annapolis on Feb. 25. Toland is an accountant and said that he has been busy with tax season.
    “I am still running, and (filed) on the 25th, not because of laziness or procrastination but with my schedule,” Toland told The Eagle.
    “I have not been able to miss any days or even be late to work to get down there. Unlike some of the other candidates, I don’t have an extremely flexible schedule.”
    The GOP field grew to seven as Charlesmont resident Carl Magee, another Republican candidate, filed in the final days.