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Koontz to run for delegate

July 10, 1998|By GUY FLETCHER

David P. Koontz remembers growing up in Hagerstown and traveling to Smithsburg and Ringgold to see the orchards.

Some of those orchards are gone, and existing open space is threatened by development, Koontz said.

"We need to take a look at what we want to be in the next 10 years," he said.

Koontz, 35, of Frederick, Md., has placed controlling growth among his top concerns in his bid for the Democratic nomination to a Maryland House of Delegates seat in District 3, which includes parts of Frederick and Washington counties.

He said state officials should work with county leaders to ensure quality of life by directing growth in a way that permits development but also protects agricultural land.

Koontz's other campaign priorities include bringing more high-paying jobs to the region, reducing the regulatory burden on small and mid-sized businesses, and bringing more state education money to the district.

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"We tend to fall into a black hole where we are not getting equal funding," said Koontz, who works in the advertising sales department at GS Communications.

District 3 covers most of the western part of Frederick County, including the city of Frederick, and the northeast section of Washington County, including areas such as Smithsburg, Cascade and Maugansville.

Koontz unsuccessfully ran for Washington County Commissioner in 1990 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996. He also has chaired the Western Maryland Gay and Lesbian Justice Campaign.

Although he once campaigned as an unabashed liberal, Koontz now stays away from the "L" word, saying people should not hold to rigid ideologies.

"The term (liberal) is moot. What is important is what one wants to do, not how one labels himself," Koontz said.

Other Democrats running for office in District 3 include Richard L. Stup and incumbent Del. Sue Hecht. The three will run unopposed in the Sept. 15 primary election.

But four Republicans will compete in a primary. They are William M. Castle, Timothy Brooks, Joseph R. Bartlett and incumbent Del. Louise V. Snodgrass. The top three vote-getters will go up against the three Democrats in the Nov. 3 general election.

The top three vote-getters in the general election will win seats in the House of Delegates.

Members of the House of Delegates make $29,700 a year, but are scheduled to receive a raise of $1,809 over the next four-year term.

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