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Corderman running for County Commissioner

July 02, 1998

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Former Washington County Circuit Court judge and state Sen. John P. Corderman filed to run for Washington County Commissioner on Thursday, saying he wants to be more active in the community.

"The business of a county commissioner is vital to the future of Washington County," said Corderman, a local attorney who retired from the bench in 1993 on medical disability.

Corderman, 56, said he still hears ringing in his head, a result of the December 1989 bombing that seriously injured the then-judge. No one was ever charged for the bombing.

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While his health would prevent him from being able to concentrate on drawn out litigation as a judge, Corderman indicated his health wouldn't affect his performance as commissioner, if elected.

There is no specific issue spurring Corderman to run for office, he said.

Corderman said water and sewer issues are significant, but he wasn't in a position to criticize or comment on past actions of which he didn't know all the facts.

He said he wants to examine all areas of duplication between Hagerstown and Washington County governments to eliminate waste, whether it's related to water and sewer or law enforcement.

As for economic development, Corderman said the county should continue to look at opportunities case by case.

"Obviously we all want to have the six-figure income positions located in our community. However, it's not always possible. ... There are some warehousing operations which have significant payrolls and are desirable in terms of providing jobs to citizens in our community," he said.

Corderman said the commissioners and Washington County Board of Education need to talk and interact more to improve education.

"It strikes me that there is a them-vs.-us attitude that seems to prevail," he said.

"Education is clearly key to the economic success of Washington County" and must be a top priority when it comes to spending taxpayer money, Corderman said.

"There are many worthy endeavors that seek assistance from the county. We can't say yes to everyone to the detriment of education," he said.

Corderman's wife, Ann, was a resource teacher at Fountaindale, Winter Street and Conococheague elementary schools this past school year, he said.

Corderman, of Oak Hill Avenue, filed as a Republican, switching parties last November, according to the election board.

"The Democratic Party as I knew it in 1973, when I last sought public office, is not the Democratic Party of today," he said.

He said he agrees with the principles and positions embraced by the Republican Party but still supports gun control.

Corderman said he believes in limited government, opposes abortion, doesn't believe in tax-and-spend legislation and thinks it's unfortunate that the nation has become one of "hyphenated Americans," such as Irish-American or Native American.

"I thought I was a native American. I was born here," he said.

Corderman was a state senator from 1975 to 1977.

Candidates have until July 6 to file. The primary election will be held Sept. 15 and the general election will be Nov. 3. The job pays $20,000 a year.

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