Buoyed by a cable television advertising campaign patterned after the pitch of an automobile dealership, Anne Arundel County Councilman Theodore J. Sophocleus, D-1st, captured the Democratic nomination for county executive last night.
"I can tell you the victory is sweet, but the friends we've made over the last few weeks and the last few years are sweeter," the 51-year-old Linthicum pharmacist told supporters gathered for a victory celebration in Odenton last night.
Mr. Sophocleus easily bested second-place finisher Dennis M. Callahan, the former Annapolis mayor, by a margin of almost 2-to-1, followed by Councilman Michael F. Gilligan, D-2nd, and former Delegate Patricia Aiken for the right to face Republican Robert R. Neall in the general election.
As expected, Mr. Neall, 41, a former House minority leader, coasted to an easy win over William J. Steiner Jr. for the GOP nomination.
An eight-year council veteran, Mr. Sophocleus emphasized his willingness to respond to the concerns of his constituents and knowledge of county government during the campaign. Growing concern over rising property taxes, growth and the environment were popular topics during the Anne Arundel primary.
Whoever succeeds County Executive O. James Lighthizer will face a substantially different council. Three of seven council seats were up for grabs this year.
In the race to assume Mr. Sophocleus' 1st District post, former Councilman George F. Bachman, 69, won and will face Republican Gerald P. Starr, 49, of Linthicum.
Edward Middlebrooks won in a field of five in the hard-fought 2nd District Democratic primary. Earnest C. Michaelson lead Michael J. Serabian by just nine votes in the GOP contest with the district's outstanding absentee ballots not yet added to the unofficial total.
Mrs. Baker's 5th District seat will continue to be held by a woman because Linda Gilligan, 38, sister-in-law to Michael Gilligan, beat seven other candidates to become the Democratic nominee, while the Republican winner was Diane R. Evans, a Circuit Court employee.
Three incumbent council members, Edward C. "Buddy" Ahern, D-3rd, of Pasadena, David G. Boschert, D-4th, of Crownsville and Council President Virginia P. Clagett, D-7th, won their Democratic primaries handily. Mr. Boschert's victory meant re-election because he does not have a Republican challenger. Mr. Ahern and Mrs. Clagett will face Republicans Carl G. Holland, who was unopposed, and John J. Klocko III, respectively.
Council Member Maureen Lamb, D-6th, had no primary opponent. Glenwood Gibbs, 62, of Edgewater won the Republican nomination and will square off against her this fall.
In the county's State House races, all the incumbents survived primary election night.
In District 30, incumbent Democrats John C. Astle and Michael Busch won in the House race, as did Edith Segree, who edged out Patricia Clagett. They will face Republicans Aris Allen and Phillip Bissett, who were unopposed. The district's incumbent senator, Gerald W. Winegrad, was not opposed, nor was his Republican challenger, Charles E. Thomann.
Democratic incumbents W. Ray Huff and Charles Kolodzeijski won and were joined by Joan Cadden, a former school board member, in the District 31 House contest. Mrs. Cadden was the top vote-getter. They will square off against Republicans Douglas Arnold, Evelyn O. Kampmeyer and James J. Riley.
Philip C. Jimeno, the district's incumbent Democratic senator, had no primary fight but faces a well-known politician, Republican Delegate John Leopold, in November.
In Districts 32 and 33, Sens. Michael J. Wagner and John A. Cade won re-election months ago when no Democrats or Republicans filed for their seats. District 32 House incumbents Tyras Athey and Patrick C. Scannello, and Victor A. Sulin, a county urban renewal administrator, won the Democratic primary and thus the election since they have no Republican challengers.
District 33 Democrats, including incumbent Marsha G. Perry as well as Bill Burlison and Sabine N. Bosma, ran unopposed. GOP winners are incumbents Elizabeth S. Smith and John G. Gary, and Edwin E. Edel, a retired railroad executive.