VOTERS IN Prince George's County who like their politics on the cleaner side have some unusual business to tend to on Tuesday -- and pencils will be distributed. While most write-in campaigns fizzle for good reason, there is one in desperate full swing now that has the blessing of every thinking politician in the county -- Democrat as well as Republican. It is born out of the realization that the only names on the ballot for county council member from District 2 are 1) Democrat Anthony Cicoria, convicted of stealing campaign contributions and lying on his state tax returns, who quit the race yesterday, and 2) Republican J. Lee Ball Jr., a totally unqualified, self-described "professional musical saw player" and "philanthropist" disavowed even by his own GOP in the county. All of this screams for an alternative, and it is this: with support from both parties, Takoma Park Mayor Stephen Del Giudice, who finished second to Mr. Cicoria in the Democratic primary, has agreed to run as a write-in. Mr. Del Giudice is an excellent candidate: a bright leader who has served well as president of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments as well as in the mayor's office. His victory is essential if voters wish to spare the county huge embarrassment and untold other consequences. So in District 2, spell it D-e-l G-i-u-d-i-c-e.
Elsewhere along the campaign trail in Prince George's, things aren't nearly so complicated. County Executive Parris N. Glendening has clearly earned another term. While there is ample room for improvement of the county council, the domination of the Democratic Party and the results of its primary are more or less the extent to which anything changes this year. Frank Casula heads for another term from District 1. In District 3, where James Herl resigned this summer after his drug troubles, his replacement, Anne MacKinnon, wasted no time proving herself an intelligent, energetic leader who deserves to retain the seat. In District 4, incumbent Richard Castaldi has not seen a strong challenge in either round this year. In District 5, James C. Fletcher Jr. is unopposed. In District 6, Jo Ann T. Bell's longtime popularity is well deserved, based as it is on hard work and a good civic sense. In District 7, Hilda Pemberton is unopposed and ready to resume her strong public service. In District 8, Sue V. Mills has been a member of the council since 1978 after service on the school board; this experience is valuable to her colleagues and constituents alike. In District 9, incumbent F. Kirwan Wineland's record is without highlights. His Republican opponent, Karen J. Crownover, has no public service record to speak of -- and is hardly equipped to take over the job.
For state's attorney, incumbent Alexander Williams Jr. deserves a resounding victory for two main reasons. First, he has served the county well. Second, his Republican opponent, Arthur A. Bud Marshall, forfeited any further claim to this office when he originally lost to Mr. Williams and began what has been a marathon personal grudge match wrapped in an appeal to return to a day long gone in a county now seeking sophisticated approaches to law enforcement.
Also on the ballot is a proposed charter amendment that would require an election for any vacancy on the county council occurring more than 90 days before a primary or general election. At present, in the last two years of any four-year term a vacancy is filled from a list of three names picked by the central committee of the party to which the former member belonged. Elections cost money but are considered a more open procedure. A vote FOR would make this change. Other questions are bond proposals for projects throughout the county; the money derived would not all be spent in a year but would be geared to a construction schedule for libraries, public safety facilities and other improvements. Smart money management is the issue here, and voter support for the bonds is the way to do it.