Members of Maryland's congressional delegation from the Washington suburbs have all filed for reelection next year and face challenges from a field of mostly little-known contenders, many of whom are seeking their first elected office.

Five Democrats and an independent, for instance, have filed papers to challenge U.S. Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.), who is not facing primary opposition. Morella, a moderate Republican, is seeking her eighth term representing a Montgomery County district where registered Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans.

The battle for the Democratic nomination promises to be a frenetic one, given the number of candidates. The Democrats are:

Terry L. Lierman, a Rockville resident, who has lined up some notable support for his campaign. Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin is serving as Lierman's campaign chairman. Lierman has worked at the National Institutes of Health and as a U.S. Senate staff member, and he has founded several health and education businesses.

Deborah A. Vollmer, a Chevy Chase resident, was the first to file for the right to take on Morella. In 1998, she finished second in a field of seven candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat. Vollmer received a law degree from the University of Maryland and founded a firm to represent low-income residents.

Lih Y. Young, a Potomac resident, is an economist and frequent candidate for office. Last month she lost a bid to become Rockville mayor.

Cyrus Homayounpour, a Rockville resident, is a staff member at the University Continuing Education Association in Washington. The nonprofit group lobbies for continuing education programs at colleges and universities.

K. Joyce Kimble, a Silver Spring resident, has taught in the Montgomery County public school system for more than 30 years. She said she is now on leave from her job as an English teacher at Gaithersburg High School. Kimble is the only candidate in the field who lives outside the 8th Congressional District, which encompasses all of Montgomery but its easternmost edge. She lists a post office box in the 8th District as her mailing address.

Brian D. Saunders, a Germantown resident and electronics technician, is running as an independent and is guaranteed a spot on the November ballot.

In the race for the 4th District, covering parts of Prince George's and eastern Montgomery counties, E. Richard Rosenthal, of Silver Spring, is the lone Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn for the party's nomination. Wynn has held the seat since 1993. Rosenthal, a record and film company executive, lost to Wynn in the last primary.

On the Republican side will be John B. Kimble, of Beltsville, who is running unopposed. Kimble, who is an animal behavior specialist, declared in 1996 that he wanted to pose nude for Playgirl magazine as part of his run for the seat. Kimble's less-colorful second run for the seat, in 1998, also was unsuccessful.

In Maryland's 5th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Steny H. Hoyer will be seeking an 11th term. He represents Southern Maryland and parts of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties. Earlier this week, state Del. Thomas E. "Tim" Hutchins (R-Charles) filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination to challenge Hoyer. Bruce M. Ross, a resident of Beltsville in Prince George's County, has also filed to run as a Democrat against Hoyer.

In the Republican primary, Hutchins will face Joseph T. Crawford, a Charles County resident who has run previously for clerk of the Circuit Court and the House of Delegates.

In the 6th District, several people are hoping to unseat Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.), who has represented this mostly rural district--covering Western Maryland, including western Howard County--since 1993.

In his bid for reelection, Bartlett faces a primary challenge from Timothy R. Mayberry, a banking consultant from Boonsboro in Washington County and the treasurer of the Maryland Republican Party. Mayberry was the GOP candidate for state comptroller in 1994.

Many of Bartlett's potential Democratic challengers say they are running on the premise that the suburbanization of the district has left the conservative Bartlett out of touch with his constituents.

"Yes, it's primarily a Republican district, but there are also a surprising number registered independent. Voters there are independent-minded," said Democrat Donald M. DeArmon, of Frederick, Md., a congressional staff assistant, who ran in the district in the 1994 Democratic primary.

Among the other Democratic candidates is lawyer Walter E. Carson, of Silver Spring, who said he will be moving to property he owns in Howard County, in the 6th District.

Anthony J. McGuffin, of Ellicott City, also has filed for the primary. McGuffin teaches in the Howard County school system and is a folk singer. He formerly served as artistic director of the Ellicott Theater. John Ewald, a Democrat from Mount Airy, also is running.

Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Md.), who has represented the 1st District, which includes parts of Anne Arundel, since 1991, is also seeking reelection. The moderate Republican has no primary opponents, but a number of Democrats are vying for the chance to run against him.

Best known among them is Del. K. Bennett Bozman (D-Worcester), a pharmacist from Berlin, who has been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates since 1991.

Another Democratic candidate is Donald David Long, of Fruitland, Md., a purchasing agent for an industrial products company.

Michael J. Serabian Sr., a retired veteran from Severna Park, came in second in the last Democratic primary race for the 1st District seat. Another Democratic candidate, John Rea, a computer salesman from Annapolis, has run several times before. Leroy Dingle, of Berlin, Md., also has filed as a Democrat.

Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), who has represented the 3rd District including eastern Howard since 1987, faces no opponents in the primary, and only one challenger has filed for the Republican primary, Colin Felix Harby, of Baltimore. Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R-Md.) has filed for reelection in the 2nd District, including part of northern Anne Arundel; he faces one independent and five Democratic independent challengers.