The ballot box:Maryland voters, grumpy over taxes and...

Newswatch ... on last week in review

November 12, 1990

The ballot box:

Maryland voters, grumpy over taxes and development, on Tuesday booted out of office a host of incumbents.

Defeated in the surge of anti-incumbent sentiment were Rep. Roy P. Dyson, D-1st, 10 incumbent Democratic state legislators and seven county council members from around the Baltimore area.

Voters approved major bond issues for public works projects and rejected tax caps in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer was re-elected, garnering 60 percent of the vote. Attorney General J. Joseph Curran and Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein also were re-elected.

Except for Dyson, who lost 57 to 43 percent to Kent County teacher Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Republican, the other seven members of the Maryland delegation in the House of Representatives won re-election by big margins.

About 51 percent of the state's 2.1 million registered voters cast ballots.

Baltimore County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen, who was considered a heavy favorite a few months ago, lost 62 to 38 percent to Roger B. Hayden, a former county school board member.

Counts of absentee ballots Thursday confirmed the election of new two county executives: Republican Charles I. Ecker in Howard County and Democrat Eileen M. Rehrmann in Harford County.

Ecker, 61, finished 450 votes ahead of Democrat Elizabeth Bobo, 46, and Rehrmann, 45, defeated Republican Geoffrey R. Close, 42, by 775 votes.

In Anne Arundel County, Republican Robert R. Neall defeated Theodore J. Sophocleus by about 3,000 votes in the race for county executive, but Sophocleus' campaign announced Friday that the Democrat has asked for a manual recount of a sample 22 precincts.

Sophocleus' request cited potential problems with the county's new paper ballot voting system, which uses computers to read and tabulate results. He also mentioned the large discrepancy between the election results and media exit polls, which showed him winning by a comfortable margin.

Across the country:

* North Carolina's Sen. Jesse Helms defeated former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, who had sought to become the first black Democrat ever elected to the Senate.

* GOP Sen. Pete Wilson won the governorship of California, edging Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

* GOP Gov. Bob Martinez of Florida lost his job to former Sen. Lawton Chiles.

* Ann Richards was elected governor of Texas, the choice over Republican Clayton Williams.

The Democrats also captured Republican-held governors' chairs in Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. Republicans took previously Democratic governorships in Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Vermont. The Connecticut governorship, held by a Democrat, went to an independent, former GOP Sen. Lowell P. Weicker. USF&G, the Baltimore insurance giant, said Wednesday that its chairman, Jack Moseley, 59, is to retire and that the company is beginning a $75 million cost-reduction program that includes laying off workers and paying a smaller dividend to shareholders. A spokeswoman said the staff cuts would include some of the company's 2,500 workers in Maryland.

Extremist rabbi killed:

A gunman of Arab descent assassinated extremist right-wing Rabbi Meir Kahane after a speech at a New York hotel by the rabbi, who had demanded the ouster of all Arabs from Israel.

Kahane, 58, was shot to death Monday night in Manhattan after addressing a Zionist group at the New York Marriott East Side. The man identified as the gunman, El Sayyid Nosair, 34, was shot in the throat by a postal police officer as he fled and was hospitalized, police said.

Nosair, an employee of New York City, once lived in the occupied territories and is a native Egyptian, but his latest address was in New Jersey, police said.

Nosair, who entered no plea during a hospital arraignment but had denied shooting Kahane, may have been taking the anti-depressant drug Prozac, which critics claim induces violent behavior, the New York Times reported Friday.

Kahane, as founder of the Jewish Defense League, had urged Jews in the United States to arm themselves against anti-Semitism. Later, as a far right-wing member of Israel's Parliament, the New-York born Kahane was one of the Jewish state's fiercest anti-Arab politicians. Last Monday marked the start of Baltimore's large-scale curbside recycling effort, at 1,700 homes in certain northeast and north-central neighborhoods.

Weinberg, Martin die:

Harry Weinberg, the reclusive Baltimore billionaire who amassed his fortune in local real estate, died in Hawaii Nov. 4 of bone cancer at 82. He left behind an estimated $900 million to a charitable trust dedicated exclusively to helping the poor. Private funeral services and burial were Wednesday.

* Mary Martin, one of Broadway's most popular and talented stars who was best known for playing "Peter Pan," died Nov. 3 of cancer, in her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at 76.

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