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McKee, Shank primary showdown seems imminent

May 28, 2002

What little hope Del. Christopher B. Shank and Del. Robert A. McKee held that they wouldn't have to run against each other in the Sept. 10 primary quickly faded last week with a court adviser's recommendation.

Retired Court of Appeals Judge Robert L. Karwacki recommended only small changes to the once-a-decade redistricting plan that put the two Washington County Republican incumbents in the same district.

Those changes could change the election district boundaries on the Eastern Shore, but won't affect Washington County, local political observers said.

The Maryland Court of Appeals, which appointed Karwacki, is expected to issue a final ruling in June.

Lawmakers attacked for trying to contact judges

Speaking of the Maryland Court of Appeals, last week Democratic lawmakers from elsewhere in the state were taken to task for trying to contact the judges about the redistricting case.

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Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, called on his challenger Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, to join him "in condemning the actions of these senators and delegates."

Hecht was out of town on vacation at the time. Her campaign manager, Sue Tuckwell, said the issue was not significant enough to bother Hecht.

"This is a nonissue here. Of course nobody condones unethical behavior. Let's talk about something that affects constituents," Tuckwell said.

Steering committee members in question

When is an endorsement not an endorsement?

Apparently, when it comes from a member of a candidate's steering committee.

Two people listed as serving on Vikki Nelson's steering committee say they never agreed to the job.

U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., and former Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said they don't want to favor Nelson over the two other Republicans running for Maryland House of Delegates in District 2A.

Nelson and campaign manager Vincent Dellaposta said they talked to everyone on the committee.

But Bruchey said Nelson must have misunderstood his words of encouragement for an endorsement.

Dellaposta, who puts together the newsletter, was frustrated by the turnaround and that neither person had contacted him about the issue.

"All they have to do is call," he said.

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