Twenty-year veteran Montgomery County Council member Neal Potter defeated incumbent executive Sidney Kramer in a race where growth was a major issue.
Mr. Kramer, 65, a self-made millionaire seeking his second term, and Mr. Potter, 75, an economist and a popular maverick, each insisted he'd outdo the other in controlling growth in the county, which has become the state's most populous jurisdiction.
Mr. Potter will meet Republican Albert Ceccone in November.
In Prince George's County's Democratic primary yesterday, black challengers tested the strength of the county's two black senators.
Sen. Decatur W. Trotter held off ex-Sen. Tommie Broadwater Jr.'s bid to overcome the stigma of his 1983 food stamp fraud conviction and win his old seat back. Mr. Broadwater, 48, the county's first black senator, was replaced in 1983 by Mr. Trotter, 58.
Prince George's other black senator, Albert R. Wynn, 39, easily defeated Delegate Juanita Miller, 43.
Delegate Gloria G. Lawlah, who tested the growing black population's power in this county, where whites have dominated politics, by trying to become Prince George's third black senator, edged two-term Sen. Frank J. Komenda in a contest where abortion was an underlying issue. Senator Komenda opposes abortion, while Delegate Lawlah believes in a woman's right to choose.
Sen. Leo E. Greene, who opposes abortion, beat his abortion-rights challenger, newcomer Terezie Bohrer. The winner will face R. Nicholas Palarino, who was uncontested in the Republican primary.
In another Democratic contest, two-term County Executive Parris N. Glendening, 48, handily defeated a challenge from black longtime councilman Floyd E. Wilson, 54. Mr. Glendening is white, and Mr. Wilson has said the county, estimated to be 50 percent black, needs a black county executive. Mr. Glendening is expected to defeat Republican candidate Charles W. Sherren Jr. in the November general election.
In Montgomery County, abortion was a major factor in two critical races, as challengers parlayed their pro-choice stance into victory. Delegate Mary H. Boergers beat Sen. S. Frank Shore in the Democratic primary. And Delegate Patricia R. Sher, 59, defeated 29-year Sen. Margaret C. Schweinhaut.
Some close local races beckoned to voters in Southern Maryland. In St. Mary's County, Sheriff Wayne Pettit handily defeated Donald Purdy in the Democratic primary. In Calvert County, the state GOP chairwoman, County Commissioner Joyce Lyons Terhes, easily beat six GOP challengers and will face Hagner Mister in the general election. Incumbent State's Attorney Warren Sengstack retained his seat against a challenge from fellow Democrat Thomas M. Telagatti.
In Charles County, Democratic Delegates Samuel C. Linton and Michael J. Sprague vied for re-election against lawyer Stephen Braun.