after disastrous loss
He might have been blown away in his own County Council district, but Democrat Michael F. Gilligan surely deserves recognition for his grace in losing the county executive race.
"We must accept the fact that it wasn't meant to be," the two-term councilman said Tuesday night when results showed he would not even win his own district. "There is no shame in failure. There's shame only in not making the effort.
"Hard as it may be at this moment to accept it, this is transitory, momentary, and though we're emotional, this has little importance in the broad scheme of things to come. What's important and lasting is that we made the effort together."
As Gilligan considered the enormity of his loss yesterday, it was clear that he simply hadn't made enough of an effort during his eight years in office.
Democratic nominee Theodore J. Sophocleus, a two-term councilman from Linthicum, won so strongly that he captured Gilligan's Southgate neighborhood.
"Ted for eight years spent every waking moment of his life attending every pancake breakfast and pot-luck dinner across the county and it paid off," Gilligan said. "I had other interests -- a law practice and everything else -- so I stuck to my own area, so to speak."
Placing third, Gilligan took only one precinct in his district and two precincts in District 5, where he was endorsed by retiring Councilwoman Carole B. Baker, D-Severna Park.
But Gilligan -- whose family and law practice tie him to the county -- said he will not disappear from the public scene after he leaves office in December.
"It's not a last hurrah," he said. "Carole Baker and I talked about it; we're going to become civic activists and the conscience of the council."
First on the agenda is to support FACT (Fairness for All County Taxpayers), a group Baker helped found to fight against efforts to roll back and freeze property taxes.
But as he finished his remarks at his election "wake" conducted in Annapolis Tuesday night in the Ramada Inn Ballroom in Annapolis, Gilligan put his loss in clear perspective.
"We have the room 'til midnight. We might as well make a good party tonight. I've always been a good partier and I intend to be one tonight. Tomorrow's another day. I'm going to get drunk tonight."
CANDIDATES FACE more political forums
A new round of political forums begins for the general election Tuesday, when the Severn River Association plays host to County Council candidates from districts 2, 4, 5 and 6, which lie in the Severn's watershed.
The debate will begin at 7 p.m. in the Legislative Services Building Joint Hearing Room in Annapolis.
*Wednesday: The Greater Odenton Improvement Association and the West Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce will hold separate candidates' debates for county executive, District 33 House of Delegates and U.S. House of Representatives.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Odenton Fire Hall.
*September 25: The Anne Arundel Trade Council will sponsor a county executive debate at 7:30 p.m. in the Pascal Performing Arts Center at Anne Arundel Community college.
The county Board of Supervisors of Elections wants voters and candidates to keep these deadlines in mind for the November 6 general election: *Sept. 24 -- Voter registration books re-open for general election.
*Oct. 9 -- Last day to register before general election.
*Oct. 9 -- Last day for elderly or people with disabilities to apply for accessible polling place for general election.
*Oct. 30 -- Last day for receipt of absentee voter applications for general election.
For more information, call the election board at 787-8210 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., or 787-1759 for 24-hour service.
Copyright The Baltimore Sun 1990