ANNAPOLIS – Nearly three decades is long enough for the incumbent toserve in Maryland’s House of Delegates, say the three Republicanchallengers to A. Wade Kach, R-Baltimore County.
“He’s done a good job for us for the past 28 years but it’s time for a change. Obviously, a lot of people think it’s time for a change,” saidLeslie Sipes, 42, or there wouldn’t be three Republicans, two Democratsand an independent eyeing the same seat.
With 20 years of experience inside five state agencies, Sipes, a Republican, said she isn’t concerned with the fact that she’s never heldpublic office. Her central location in the district, involvement in thecommunity and 20 years of experience make her a better candidate thanKach, she said.
Even Kach’s former protegee is taking him on. Chris Cavey, 46, is amember of the Republican Central Committee and owner of an insuranceagency, who has tried and failed twice, in 1994 and 1998, to win a Houseseat. In 1994, it was Kach who encouraged him to run and contributed tohis campaign, albeit in a different district.
When Cavey decided to run for District 5B’s lone House seat, he phoned Kach to let him know he would be opposing him.
“It was very awkward at first, even making the decision, it was very awkward . . . I wanted Wade (Kach) to hear it from me,” Cavey said.
The fact that Kach has held his House seat for 28 years does not intimidate Cavey.
“My definition of experience is four to eight years of learning, doinga good job. Twenty-eight years, unless you have a big list ofaccomplishments or moved up in the ranks . . . 28 is no more than warminga chair,” Cavey said.
To get programs to Maryland citizens, Cavey said, one of his primary concerns is getting the state’s finances under control.
“I want to get Maryland fiscally sound because money driveseverything,” he said.
Recent estimates show Maryland is facing a $1 billion deficit nextfiscal year.
Kach vowed he won’t support a tax increase to bridge the gap.
Voters want and need an experienced representative in the House especially after redistricting, Kach said. “This is the first time thatNorthern Baltimore County will have one delegate…I think that now, morethan ever, District 5B needs someone with more experience,” Kach said.
The Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary, pitting William Harding Davis, 38, against Stephen C. Kirsch, 51, alawyer. Kirsch has run for the House of Delegates before, but Davis, whoworks in transportation, has never run for public office.
Davis wants to help Maryland citizens pay for the rising collegetuition costs, including providing higher education free for somehigh-achieving students. Tuition at the University of Maryland, CollegePark, has increased by about 6 percent since last year.
“I think if we can keep the best and brightest here in Maryland, that would benefit us,” Davis said.
Kirsch did not return phone calls for comment. The independent in therace is William T. Newton, 49, a home builder, running for the secondtime. Like his opponents, he said Kach has been there too long.
“I’ve always thought that experience is counterproductive. The longer politicians are in office the more corrupt they become,” Newton said.
While he said he knows his chances of getting elected are “slim tonone,” Newton wants his voice to be heard.
“I’m out to expose the candidates,” he said, “for the bumpkins theyare.” -30-