Pepersack 'brothers in law' elected Anne Arundel, Baltimore Co. sheriffs

November 08, 1990|By David Michael Ettlin

Norman and Robert Pepersack are truly "brothers in law."

The brothers, both Republicans, upset political apple carts Tuesday in being elected as sheriffs -- Norman M. Pepersack in Baltimore County, and Robert G. Pepersack Sr. in Anne Arundel County.

The double victory added to a long family history in law enforcement. Robert Pepersack, 49, is a 25-year veteran of the state police and commander of the agency's firearms licensing section -- the same job brother Norman, 56, held before he retired from the force about six years ago.

Their grandfather, Mathias Anthony Pepersack, was the first Maryland state trooper, assigned badge No. 1 in 1920, and Penitentiary warden and correction commissioner Vernon L. Pepersack was their uncle

And Norman's son, Charles Pepersack, is traveling a nearby path as an addictions counselor at the Charles H. Hickey School for delinquents in Cub Hill.

Robert Pepersack won two-thirds of the vote in defeating Anne Arundel's seven-term incumbent Sheriff William R. Huggins, 75.

Norman Pepersack mustered 56 percent of the vote as he ousted Baltimore County Sheriff J. Edward "Ned" Malone, who was appointed sheriff in 1984 and elected to a full term in 1986.

Robert Pepersack said their campaigns benefited from volunteer help, a resurgence in Republican strength, and a "throw-the-rascals-out" sentiment as they preached "cost-effective government."

They also had a cost-effective campaign.

"We used the same sign," Robert noted. "It said, 'Pepersack for ** sheriff,' a red and white sign, nice and bold, and it was in two counties from North Beach and Chesapeake Beach all the way to the Pennsylvania line. . . . We got a discount on them because we bought a lot of them."

James Brewster raised a lot of eyebrows in making the best showing of any city Republican legislative candidate in 35 years -- taking 46 percent of the vote, but losing to Democratic incumbent state Sen. John A. Pica Jr. in Northeast Baltimore's 43rd District.

Mr. Brewster preferred to say yesterday that voters "wanted someone other than John Pica" when they pulled down the Brewster lever -- and that they were not confusing him with Gerry L. Brewster, a Democrat and son of former U.S. Sen. Daniel Brewster. Gerry Brewster won election to the House of Delegates in the neighboring 9th Legislative District in Baltimore County.

The city Brewster acknowledged, however, that some voters may have been afflicted by the same-name syndrome.

"I had one guy who said, 'I helped your dad on his Senate campaign,' " the city Brewster allowed.

Still, the city Brewster figured that the county Brewster owed him just as much of a debt.

"This is a name-recognition business. We had 400 signs up all over the district. I stood on a different street corner, waving every morning with my name on a sign . . . and half the people I saw were county residents passing through the area. And we have a lot of people who go into the county to shop. We helped each other."

L But most important, the city Brewster insisted, was, "People

looked at Senator Pica and felt he was not doing a good job. When they looked at me, they thought I was a viable candidate, a good substitute."

What now for James Brewster, Republican?

"City Council's coming up in a year," he said.


How valuable is a name?

Just ask Sandra O'Connell, a Republican who was elected to one of three seats on the Baltimore County Orphans' Court.

Mrs. O'Connell, a political unknown, ran at the behest of area Republicans who noted that the party had rarely put up competition for the county office.

Why Mrs. O'Connell?

According to one party official, it was her name -- remarkably similar to that of Sandra A. O'Connor, the Republican state's attorney in Baltimore County, who was unopposed for re-election.

But the reason the idea was brought to mind, said Baltimore party chief David Blumberg, was that Mrs. O'Connell mentioned that she was involved in an Orphans' Court case. Her husband, a Republican who helped GOP causes, had died about a year earlier and Mrs. O'Connell was having his estate probated.

Among those handling the case is Alexander Page Jr. -- the court's chief judge and the very candidate for re-election whom Mrs. O'Connell defeated on Tuesday.

Regardless of what happens in probate, Mrs. O'Connell will be receiving at least $27,000 a year -- the salary that goes with her new job.

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