As another senator retires, chamber turnover increases -- Gazette.Net


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Some will retire, some will seek other offices, but the number of Maryland state senators who won’t be returning in 2014 is increasing.

The latest is Republican Nancy Jacobs (Dist. 34) of Abingdon, the party’s only female senator, who announced Tuesday that she will retire when her current term — her fourth in the Senate — ends in 2014.

Jacobs, 62, said in a statement that she planned to spend more time with her family, including her eight grandchildren.

Jacobs joins Sens. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Dist. 9) of West Friendship and Barry Glassman (R-Dist. 35) of Churchville, who have said they’ll run for Howard County executive and Harford County executive, respectively.

On the other side of the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Garagiola (D-Dist. 15) of Germantown will retire in August, Sen. James Robey (D-Dist. 13) of Elkridge will retire at the end of this term, and Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Dist. 16) of Chevy Chase is planning a run for attorney general.

Sen. Norman R. Stone (D-Dist. 6) of Dundalk, who has served in the Senate since 1967, has not ruled out making another run in 2014, according to his staff. Del. John A. Olzsewski Jr. (D-Dist. 6) said he’s seriously considering a run for the seat if Stone retires.

Democrats may have a shot at picking up Kittleman’s seat, but a major change in each party’s numbers in the chamber isn’t likely in 2014, said Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton (D-Dist. 28) of Waldorf.

The northern shore region is solidly Republican, he said. “I don’t see a Democratic senator from Harford County,” Middleton said.

He said bigger changes in the dynamics of the chamber were likely to come in 2018, when several senators — including himself — might decide they are too old to serve.

Del. Brian J. Feldman (D-Dist. 15) of Potomac is seen as a likely successor to Garagiola, but Republican attorney Robin Ficker has said he’ll pursue the seat in 2014; Del. Guy Guzzone (D-Dist. 13) of Columbia will run for Robey’s seat, and Del. Susan C. Lee (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda has said she’ll run for Frosh’s seat.

Republicans are already facing a tough election cycle in 2014 — the first contest since legislative districts were redrawn by Democrats in 2011 — but the retirements don’t necessarily pose an extra challenge for the GOP, state party chair Diana Waterman said.

Republican delegates, rumored to include Gail H. Bates (Dist. 9A) of West Friendship and Donna Stifler (Dist. 35A) of Forest Hills, will look to fill the Senate seats, leaving the challenge of recruiting new candidates for the delegate races.

By announcing her plans this far out, Jacobs gave the party plenty of time to recruit a new candidate, Waterman said.

Republicans have had 12 Maryland Senate seats since the 2010 election, when they lost two seats to Democrats.

In all, there were 10 new senators and 29 new delegates in the class of 2010, while the class of 2006 included 11 senators and 34 delegates, according to the Department of Legislative Services.

dleaderman@gazette.net