Tomorrow is primary election day in Annapolis. The battle over the city's most critical issues won't begin until after the ballots are counted; most primary candidates are running unopposed. Still, there are important choices to be made tomorrow.
In the mayoral race, only former mayor Dennis M. Callahan, an Independent, is assured a place on the general election ballot. Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins' bid for a second term is challenged by Democratic newcomer Sylvanus B. Jones, and the Republican contest pits clothier Laurance Vincent, businessman Michael W. Fox and political gadfly Louise M.R. Beauregard against each other.
Mr. Hopkins' first term showed him to be better at keeping things as they are than coming up with new, progressive ideas. But keeping the status quo is what many Annapolitans want. Mr. Jones has run a credible campaign on fiscal issues, but Mr. Hopkins, who has 28 years of elected experience, must be the Democratic choice.
On the Republican side, Mr. Vincent, who did well against Mr. Hopkins four years ago, is expected to win. Mrs. Beauregard cannot be taken seriously. Mr. Fox is a neophyte, as non-political as Mr. Vincent is political. But that might not be a bad thing. Mr. Fox seems a refreshing change -- intelligent and affable, with interesting (if undefined) ideas about economic development and crime prevention. We think Republicans should take a chance on him.
Three Democrats are running in Ward 4 for the city council nomination: community activist Gertrude "Trudi" McGowan, jTC computer salesman John Rea and former county planner Joseph Shepard Tullier. It's a close call between Mrs. McGowan and Mr. Tullier, but we give her the edge based on her extensive involvement in city social issues.
In Ward 6, Democrat Michael T. Brown, with a background in criminal justice, boasts an impressive resume; he lost to Republican Wayne Turner in 1989 by only seven votes. But Mr. Brown's history includes racial tactics too divisive for our tastes and a review of suspected fraud involving absentee ballots in the 1989 race. We support Kenneth A. Kirby, a city Housing Authority employee.
In Ward 7, GOP incumbent M. Theresa DeGraff's experience gives her the advantage over newcomer James M. Leckinger.