Incumbents have easy time, except for Dyson U.S.HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 07, 1990|By Peter Kumpa | Peter Kumpa,Evening Sun Staff

Maryland voters found only one congressional "rascal" to throw out of office, five-term Democratic Rep. Roy Dyson. The state's remaining seven representatives -- five Democrats and two Republicans -- won their re-election bids by comfortable margins, showing that voters might not like Congress as an institution but had faith in their own congressmen.

Wayne T. Gilchrest, the Kennedyville Republican, ran away from Dyson, sweeping most of the Eastern Shore and Harford County. His margin of victory was 56 to 44 percent, some 20,000 votes over the Democrat.

The contests for the other incumbents, all of whom had overwhelming advantages in campaign money, seemed easy. There was no significant fall-out of support from previous races as the veteran legislators faced largely unknown political newcomers with little cash and less experience. Their attacks that centered on pay raises and the inability of Congress to handle the nation's deficit didn't succeed.

GOP Rep. Helen Delich Bentley won a fourth term in the 2nd District, Baltimore and Harford Counties, over Democrat Ronald P. Bowers, 58, a retired federal worker, by a 73 to 27 percent margin. For Bentley, 66, it was a slightly higher margin that her victory two years ago.

In the 3rd District, Democratic Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, 47, coasted to a third term over his Republican challenger, Harwood Nichols, 48, a Baltimore banker. Nichols asked voters if they were "tired of having Congress raise your taxes?" Voters gave Cardin a 72 to 28 percent victory.

Though Republicans chalked up wins in other races in Anne Arundel County, Democratic Rep. Thomas McMillen, 38, scored an impressive 59 to 41 percent third-term victory in the 4th District over Robert P. Duckworth, 50, a Crofton Republican. "I'm just pleased to be re-elected," said McMillen. Duckworth said he was encouraged by his first outing.

"We came a long way in four months in this David and Goliath battle," he said. "We met all our objectives and we will go forward." He was looking for a return fight in 1992.

The fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, 51, his party's Caucus Chairman, had a runaway re-election victory over Lee F. Breuer, the GOP challenger. Hoyer's margin was 81 to 19 percent in the 5th District contest. Breuer had not been backed by her own party in the primary but continued on a personal theme that Hoyer personified "the political machine" that controlled too much of Prince George's County.

The margin of victory was a bit thinner for the state's senior representative, Democratic Rep. Beverly B. Byron, 58, who moves on her to her 7th term in the House. She won by a 65 to 35 percent margin over GOP challenger Christopher F. Fiotes, 56, of Gaithersburg, in the 6th District, that covers Western Maryland. Fiotes, a Baltimore native and a real estate operator in Montgomery County, ran a shoestring campaign and tried to work up anti-tax sentiment against Byron with little effect.

The widest margin for any incumbent was run up by Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume, 42, who buried his challenger, Kenneth Kondner, 48, a Woodlawn Republican. In the Baltimore City and County 7th District, Mfume was ahead by an 85 to 15 percent margin going for a third term. Kondner had tried to tie the tax and spending label on Mfume but conceded that voters were telling him that their congressman was no rascal.

In Montgomery County's 8th District, Republican Rep. Constance A. Morella, 59, strolled away from James Walker, Jr., 42, a real estate broker on his second try for office. She captured her third term by a 77 to 23 percent total. Morella, one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress, had no trouble despite a 3-to-2 Democratic registration edge in her district. Walker, who posed for his political ads with a turned up cigarette holder, failed to impress voters with his calls for a new national industrial policy to save jobs.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.