The Anne Arundel Sierra Club this week endorsed Annapolis Mayor Ellen Moyer (D) in her bid for re-election.

"Moyer has been a longtime and steadfast friend of the environment, and she deserves four more years in office," said Anne Wolfe, chairman of the 1,400-member group.

Moyer faces independent candidate Gilbert Renaut and Republican George O. Kelley Sr. in the Nov. 8 election.

In City Council races, the group endorsed Debbie Rosen McKerrow (D) in Ward 2; Wayne Taylor (D) in Ward 4; incumbent David H. Cordle Sr. (R) in Ward 5; and incumbent Joshua J. Cohen (D) in Ward 8.

The group said it did not make endorsements in the remaining three contested alderman races because two-thirds of the members could not agree on a candidate or the candidates were seen as equally qualified or unqualified.

Wolfe said mushrooming development and ever-increasing traffic in and around Annapolis have become pressing issues for the city, "and we are convinced that Ellen Moyer is the best equipped and most qualified of the mayoral candidates to help bring these critical problems under control."

Founded in 1983, the Anne Arundel Sierra Club is part of the 800,000-member national organization.

Many Are Called to Cardin's Seat

There's nothing like an empty seat for the U.S. House of Representatives to inspire candidates to run for office.

A large crowd of Democrats is already queuing up for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D), who is running for the Senate. The candidates include Peter Beilenson, the former Baltimore health commissioner, Oz Bengur, who ran unsuccessfully for the 2nd Congressional District in 2002, and state Sen. Paula Hollinger, who served in the Maryland House from 1979 to 1987 and in the Senate since.

The race in the 3rd District, which includes parts of Howard, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties and the city of Baltimore, is also producing interesting twists. John Sarbanes, the son of U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, is running. Cardin is seeking the seat being vacated by the elder Sarbanes, who is retiring. Then there is the Anne Arundel County contingent. County Councilman Bill Burlison is running. So is Kevin O'Keefe, a former top aide to County Executive Janet S. Owens and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Some Democrats think that Owens, who has launched what appears to be a campaign Web site, may join the race as well.

And what about the Republicans? "We are looking at candidates, but no one I'm going to discuss publicly," said Audra Miller, a spokeswoman for the Maryland GOP.