The Post's picks among Md. legislative candidates in Prince George's County
THE FOLLOWING are The Post's endorsements in contested legislative races for the Maryland House of Delegates in Prince George's County. (With the exception of District 27, where Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. faces only nominal opposition, the races for state Senate in Prince George's are sadly all uncontested. ) The names of endorsed candidates appear in boldface.
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DISTRICT 21: The incumbents, all Democrats, deserve reelection. Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk, who has earned respect in her freshman term, enacted an important redistricting measure to count state convicts where they live rather than where they are imprisoned. Another first-term representative, Del. Benjamin S. Barnes, atoned for an unfortunate vote on domestic violence by backing GPS monitoring for abusers and requiring them to surrender firearms. Del. Barbara A. Frush, a 16-year veteran, has done important work to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and ban smoking in bars and restaurants.
DISTRICT 23A: Incumbent Del. James W. Hubbard, a Democrat, deserves another term to continue his work on consumer protection and environmental issues. He should be joined by fellow Democrat Geraldine Valentino-Smith, a nurse, lawyer and current member of the Bowie City Council who has a firm grasp of fiscal and policy issues.
DISTRICT 26: The lackluster performances of this district's three Democratic incumbents call for a bright, talented and knowledgeable challenger. Luckily, the lone Republican, Holly Ellison Henderson, fits the bill. Ms. Henderson, a former spokeswoman for the Maryland Aviation Administration and the Maryland Transit Administration, believes that one-party rule corrupts. She supports charter schools and vocational tech programs as well as proposals to attract more businesses to the state. Ms. Henderson deserves a chance to deliver new ideas and constructive challenges to the rigid rule in Annapolis. Our choices for reelection to the other two district seats are Democratic Dels. Jay Walker and Kriselda "Kris" Valderrama.
DISTRICT 27A: One Democratic incumbent, Del. James E. Proctor Jr., is a competent lawmaker and deserves another term. His fellow incumbent, Democrat Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr., needs to be retired after 35 years in office. He has used his power as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to kill numerous reforms, such as tougher sanctions for drunk drivers and perpetrators of family violence and bills to make judges stick to prison sentences they hand down. Of the two Republican alternatives, businesswoman Antoinette "Toni" Jarboe-Duley has a record of civic activity and an emphasis on fiscal discipline that make her the best choice.
DISTRICT 47: We supported incumbent Dels. Jolene Ivey and Doyle L. Niemann as well as newcomer Michael G. Summers in the Democratic primary, and they remain the strongest choices. Mr. Niemann's impressive track record on foreclosure -- a crucial topic in the district -- leaves him well positioned to take a leadership role in the legislature next term. Ms. Ivey has already made an impact in her first-term work on business improvement districts and trails. And Mr. Summers, a community outreach official in the state's attorney's office, has a strong grasp of education issues and a history of success in combating truancy and promoting literacy. They all present more compelling cases for election than the lone Republican candidate, Rachel Audi, a political newcomer with a laudable record of volunteerism.