Isn't it a little early to be thinking about the 2006 race for county executive? Not if you're Del. John R. Leopold (R-Anne Arundel). Leopold has been campaigning for the job all year, going door-to-door, spending mornings waving signs on street corners. He's even got a Web site where he boasts of his accomplishments.
And now Leopold says his campaign is getting serious. That can mean only one thing: He's raising money. Leopold said his campaign pulled in $62,000 at a fundraiser two weeks ago. And he says he has more than $250,000 in the bank.
"In politics there's no such thing as early. There's only late," Leopold said. "It's a big county, and it takes a lot of time."
Other possible Republican contenders include Dirk Haire, an Annapolis lawyer and a former congressional aide, and former delegate Phillip D. Bissett, who lost to current County Executive Janet S. Owens (D) in 2002.
Haire, who has said he would raise $1.5 million for the race, said that he's looking at running because "I believe I can improve the delivery of county services without raising county taxes."
Possible Democratic contenders include Dennis Callahan, director of parks and recreation for the county; County Council member Barbara Samorajczyk (Annapolis); and county Sheriff George F. Johnson IV.
Callahan said that all the talk about him running "is very flattering," but that it's way too early to be talking about the race. Still, he wouldn't rule out a run. "I currently have the best job in Anne Arundel County," he said. "It doesn't mean anything until you sign your name on the line."
It also isn't surprising that the conjecture about possible replacements for Owens has started, he said. Owens is prohibited from running for a third term because of term limits.
"I'm sure candidates will be coming out of the woodwork," Callahan said.
Meanwhile, what is Owens's future? The county executive, who once flirted with the idea of running for governor, has said she would like to end up in a cabinet-level position in the state government.
Another Sewage Spill
And now, the latest from the Sewage Spill Watch:
The most recent spill occurred after a contractor, which was installing a new sewer line in the 8200 block of Brock Bridge Road, hit an existing line on Friday, causing about 10,000 gallons of untreated sewage to spill. None of the sewage went into Dorsey Run or the Little Patuxent River.
Meanwhile, Granville Creek reopened last week after 10,000 gallons of sewage overflowed into it earlier in the month. There have been four sewage spills in the county this month, and about 20 this year.