Candidates were asked to state why they are seeking the sheriff's post and what they would do if elected. John J. Bryant, 31, of 6284 Loveknot Place, Columbia, is a police officer and has had no previous political experience.

The continuing rapid development of the Columbia and Ellicott area is placing greater demands on the Sheriff's Department. To meet these demands, I intend to organize and structure the department around the needs of both the organization and the community it serves. I intend to accomplish these goals by providing motivation, leadership and open communication. I will provide a detailed annual report on the activities of the Sheriff's Department and will appoint an ombudsman within the department to hear citizen complaints and concerns.

My qualifications are as follows: summa cum laude graduate with B.S. in Law Enforcement/Criminology at the University of Maryland; eight years as a police officer in Montgomery and Prince George's counties; two years with the Sherrif's Department in Prince George's County; attended numerous seminars at the Maryland Police Training Commission and was in the U.S. Army.

I feel I am the candidate who offers the best combination of experience and education to meet the increased demands of a rapidly growing county. Shelton E. Sewell Jr. 53, of 7734 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, is a deputy sheriff.

I feel I'm needed to upgrade this department and promise to do so. Calvin T. Tittsworth, 52, of 2606 Rogers Ave., Ellicott City, is retired from the state Highway Department. promise to do so.

There are two major problems: education and drugs.

Education: Give principals more authority to handle discipline problems. School boards should also be given more power to correct discipline problems as they see fit.

Drug: Put volunteers in neighborhoods to ride through the neighborhood and call police or sheriff if anything strange is going on. This would break up crime. John J. Votta, 69, of 3725 Legon Rd., Ellicott City, has been sheriff for four years.He has served on the state Democratic Central Committee for 12 years.

I have professionalized the sheriff's office by instituting a three-month training program for all deputy sheriffs. In addition, sheriffs must pass a sharp shooting test before they are permitted to carry guns. The deputy sheriffs now have uniforms and sheriffs' automobiles. If re-elected, I will move forward with our program of computerizing the office to make it more efficient.