Five candidates entered the primary election to succeed the late Anne Arundel County Council member John J. Klocko III (R-Crofton). Now, two are left.
In the race for Klocko's 7th District seat, Democrat Bill Rinehart, who retired as director of recreation and parks after working as a county employee for 33 years, faces Republican Edward R. Reilly, an insurance agent who bicycled to more than 3,000 homes in his district during the primary campaign.
The pair were the winners among three Democrats and two Republicans who ran in the primary to succeed Klocko, who was unable to run for reelection because of term limits and whose term ended prematurely when he was killed Oct. 5 in a car accident.
Both candidates are fairly conservative and have promised to avoid increasing taxes. Reilly promised to listen to the needs of the farmers in the southern part of the county, while Rinehart vowed to try to tighten the budget and eliminate unproductive programs.
Another closely watched Election Day contest will be the one between incumbent Democrat Daniel Klosterman and Republican Edward Middlebrooks in the 2nd District.
Middlebrooks, a well-connected former state senator and lawyer, served a term on the County Council in the early 1990s. Stressing public education and safety, he has a chance against Klosterman, an accountant who could lose votes to Green Party candidate George C. Law in environmentally conscious Anne Arundel.
Another three-way contest, in the 3rd District, is shaping up to be a close fight. Democratic incumbent A. Shirley Murphy faces Republican entrepreneur Ron Dillon Jr. and independent candidate Douglas Fox. Dillon, who manages Dillon's Bus Service Inc., has said he will balance residential and business interests if elected. Murphy has emphasized education and environmental concerns.
In the 1st District, Republican Bob Gouge, a sales director for American Limousines Inc., will try to overcome incumbent Democrat Pamela G. Beidle. An insurance agency president, Beidle has touted the improvements she said she has made in education and public safety, while Gouge says he wants to make government more like a business.
In the 4th District, incumbent Democrat Bill D. Burlison will attempt to hold his seat against Republican Michael Malone. Burlison, a 12-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives, overcame two opponents in the primary election. Now he must beat Malone, a lawyer who promises to make education his top priority.
In the 5th District, incumbent Republican Cathleen M. Vitale will defend herself against Democrat George Maloney, a businessman. Vitale, a lawyer, has campaigned on her willingness to fight property tax increases and pay raises for elected officials; Maloney has promised to work cooperatively with the council and the county executive.
In the 6th District, incumbent Democrat Barbara Samorajczyk is running unopposed.