Hopkins declares love for wife, city But mayor undeclared for next 4 years

January 27, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

Standing next to a photograph taken on his wedding day, Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins crooned a song to his wife last night and demonstrated his continuing old-fashioned appeal to Annapolis' voters.

Mr. Hopkins, 67, stepped up to the microphone with a sentimental smile and sang, "I don't know why I love you like I do," to his wife, Marion. They were celebrating their 46th anniversary, surrounded by hundreds of well-wishers at a hotel in downtown Annapolis.

Although he has yet to announce officially a bid for a second term, Mr. Hopkins talked about his accomplishments over the past four years, such as repairing the crumbling roof at the police station, rebricking State Circle, and hiring enough paramedics to staff a third ambulance for the city.

He repeatedly declared, "I love this town," to loud applause.

Even his supporters acknowledge that Mr. Hopkins has not been Annapolis' most dynamic speaker or most impressive politician. But he is popular with many residents who still view Maryland's capital as a small town.

"I've been a longtime friend of Al's," said state Del. Michael Busch, an Annapolis Democrat. "Al coached my son at St. Mary's High School, and he made me famous when he covered St. Mary's games during the 1960s. It was a smaller town back then -- just a couple of schools at the time."

For Mr. Busch and many others, the mayor, a retired sports editor and third-generation Annapolitan, personifies that view of the state capital. Last night, Mr. Hopkins used one of his favorite metaphors to describe his job, saying Annapolis is his "mistress."

"I love my wife, and my mistress is this town," the grandfatherly, white-haired mayor said with a smile. "I truly love this town."

Mr. Hopkins told some 300 supporters at the Annapolis Loews Hotel that he has not accepted a pay raise for two years because he enjoys his job so much.

Mr. Hopkins, who served on the City Council for 24 years, upset former Mayor Dennis Callahan in the 1989 Democratic primary.

Mr. Callahan, 51, announced his bid to reclaim the city's top office Saturday, saying there is a "void in leadership." He plans to run as an independent.

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