The Sun

Jessup man joins race for school board
Engineer becomes fifth candidate for single position
Primary set for March 5
Five will compete for two judges slots in Circuit Court

by James M. Coram and Howard Libit SUN STAFF The Baltimore Sun

December 27, 1995 Page(s): 1B
Section: METRO
Length: 899 words
Index Terms:
Howard County

Record Number: BSUN428004


The final shape of the primary races for a Howard County school board seat and two Circuit Court judgeships became clear last night with the addition of a fifth
candidate for school board.

Arthur Neal Willoughby of Jessup joined four previously announced school board candidates -- Virginia Charles of North Laurel and Vincent Pugliese, Jane
Schuchardt and Francine Wish- nick, all of Columbia -- in the battle for the school board seat held by Chairwoman Susan Cook, who is not running for re-election.

A part-time professor at Morgan State University and full-time civil engineer with the Department of Defense at Fort Meade, Mr. Willoughby, 38, said he entered
the race because he does not believe Howard County is putting enough emphasis on math and science.

"I hope my candidacy will address the shortage of scientists and engineers and increase the number of mathematicians graduating from high school," he said.

There were no last-minute filings in the judges race. Three previously announced judicial candidates will attempt to oust the two judges appointed by Gov. Parris N.
Glendening last month as part of his plan to have more racial and gender diversity on the bench.

Like all new appointees, Circuit Judges Donna Hill Staton and Diane O. Leasure must be confirmed in the first general election after their appointments if they are to
remain on the bench.

In the past, confirmation was routine. But this year, Ms. Hill Staton, the county's first black circuit judge, and Ms. Leasure, the county's first female circuit judge, are
facing a stiff and bitter challenge in the primary.

District Judge Lenore R. Gelfman, a Democrat, and Columbia attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Republican, announced last month that they would be running as a
team against what they called Governor Glendening's "interim appointees."

Judge Gelfman and Mr. Smith were among the nominees the governor interviewed for the judgeships given Ms. Hill Staton and Ms. Leasure. They say they have
more experience than either of the new judges.

And they allege that four-term County Councilman C. Vernon Gray, an early supporter of Mr. Glendening, unduly influenced the governor's selections.

Mr. Gray said it is not unusual for elected officials to speak to the governor on behalf of judicial nominees. He said Ms. Gelfman's husband had sought his support
when she was nominated for a Circuit Court judgeship and that Mr. Smith had sent him his resume when he was nominated.

The Gelfman-Smith ticket raised more than $12,000 at a $35-a-person fund-raiser in Columbia this month, said Betty Smith Adams, their campaign manager.
Judges Hill Staton and Leasure are planning a $100-a-person fund-raiser Jan. 11.

Many of the Gelfman-Smith supporters, especially those in the Republican rank-and-file, see the judicial race as an opportunity to send a message to the governor
and check the political power of Mr. Gray, an East Columbia Democrat contemplating a run for county executive in 1998.

Pikesville attorney Jay Fred Cohen, a long-time Columbia resident, also entered the race this month, saying he has more experience than any of the candidates. Like
judges Hill Staton and Leasure, Mr. Cohen is a Democrat.

With the local bar association deeply divided between members supporting the two competing camps of judicial candidates, Mr. Cohen, 62, could end up playing a
spoiler's role.

All five judicial contenders are entered in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. The two top vote-getters in each of the two party ballots will be on the
ballot in November -- so two, three or four candidates could wind up claiming victory March 5.

Four candidates would be on the November ballot if the two highest candidates in each party vote were different. Three candidates would be on the ballot if two
candidates led one of the two primaries, but only one of them finished first or second in the other.

And if the same two candidates finished first and second in both primaries, they would run unopposed in November. Losers would not be able to run as

Unlike the judicial race, votes from independents and from both party primaries will be lumped together in the balloting for the school board race. Only two
candidates -- those receiving the highest number of votes altogether -- will survive to face each other in November.

Mr. Pugliese, 66, and Dr. Schuchardt, 58, are retired teachers. Mr. Pugliese retired about 10 years ago after a career teaching social studies in Montgomery County
high schools. Dr. Schuchardt retired in June. She had been teaching in the Howard school system since 1959.

Ms. Wishnick, 43, a former member of the Oakland Mills Village Board and the Columbia Council, is a member of the Oakland Mills Middle School PTA board.

Ms. Charles, 48, is a former teacher and county PTA Council vice president. PTA bylaws forced her to resign her PTA position when she decided to run for office.

Copyright 1995, 1996 The Baltimore Sun Company