Delegates with ethics scrapes heal fast
Two delegates whose most recent terms were marred by ethical issues did just fine in Tuesday's elections -- thanks largely to the highly partisan tilt of their districts.
Del. John S. Cardin, a Baltimore County Democrat who came under criticism for the use of a police boat in an ill-conceived 2009 marriage proposal stunt, recovered well enough to lead the House ticket in the three-member 11th District by almost 4,000 votes over his nearest ticket-mate, Del. Dan Morhaim. Cardin eventually apologized and paid $300 for his use of police resources.
Del. W. Anthony "Tony" McConkey, an Anne Arundel County Republican, had his real estate license suspended just a week before the election when he admitted to rules violations. It was a severe enough blow that he ran more than 5,000 votes behind fellow Republican Cathy Vitale in the two-member district. But it wasn't a serious enough lapse to tempt voters to choose a Democrat in the staunchly Republican District 33A. He beat his lone Democratic challenger, Madonna Brennan, by more than 3,500 votes.
Incidentally, an ultraconservative third party may have cost the GOP a pickup in one House race. Unofficial tallies show Democratic Del. David Rudolph holding on to his Cecil County seat with less than 50 percent of the vote after Michael Dawson of the Constitution Party took 766 votes, or more than 5 percent, in District 34B. Rudolph, a stubborn survivor of close races, was beating Republican Theodore Patterson by 404 votes.