BEL AIR -- Democratic Delegate Eileen M. Rehrmann held a narrow lead last night over Republican underdog Geoffrey R. Close for Harford County executive. But whether Mrs. Rehrmann's margin of 733 votes means victory won't be decided until more than 1,300 absentee ballots are counted.
Mrs. Rehrmann, 46, of Bel Air hopes to become the county's first female executive by defeating Mr. Close, the former Bel Air mayor.
Mrs. Rehrmann had said her experience as Bel Air town commissioner and two-term state legislator would make her the best manager.
Mr. Close had sought to portray her as a tool of outside interests.
In other races, Democratic Delegate William H. Cox Jr., hurt by controversy over his role in promoting the Gravel Hill rubble fill, lost his District 34 seat.
Mr. Cox faced five contestants for three seats, led by Democratic newcomers Mary Louise Preis and Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack and Republican David R. Craig, a former mayor of Havre de Grace.
In District 35A, where two seats were up for grabs, GOP challenger James M. Harkins and Donald C. Fry, former chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, beat out Republican Dorothy P. Stancill and Democratic incumbent Joseph Lutz.
Incumbent William H. Amoss defeated challenger James Cooper in the race for the Senate seat in District 35, while outgoing County Executive Habern W. Freeman Jr. was unopposed in the 34th District Senate race.
In the County Council races, incumbent Council President Jeffrey D. Wilson defeated Councilman Frederick J. Hatem, D-District F.
In District A, former Harford County Executive Charles B. Anderson Jr. lost to Republican Susan B. Heselton for the seat Barbara Risacher gave up to run in the Democratic primary for county executive.
Two of three council incumbents lost their seats. Republican Joanne S. Parrott won a surprisingly close race against Jeffries Webster in District B; Democrat J. Robert Hooper was upset by Republican Barry Glassman in District D; and Democrat G. Edward Fielder trailed Republican challenger Robert S. Wagner in District E.
Democrats Theresa M. Pierno of District C and Philip J. Barkerof District F were unopposed.