3 Democrats seek Ward 4 nomination Longtime activist vies with salesman, ex-county planner

September 20, 1993|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Staff Writer

A longtime community activist, a former county planner and a computer salesman are seeking the Democratic nomination for the only seat on the Annapolis City Council without a long-time incumbent.

In November, the winner of Tuesday's primary will face Republican Joseph Sachs, who was appointed last month to fill the unexpired term of 4th Ward Alderman Ruth Gray.

The Democratic contenders are activist Gertrude "Trudi" McGowan, land planner Joseph Shepard Tullier and John Rea, a salesman for Comquest Ltd.

Ms. McGowan, 65, has the most political experience of the three, having campaigned for former U.S. Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, the state's first black congressman, and worked for state Del. Howard P. Rawlings, a Baltimore Democrat.

She also is the Democratic Central Committee representative from the 4th Ward, an oddly shaped district that stretches along the city's western border between Forest Drive and Hilltop Lane, then cuts across Spa Road toward the Homeland community between West Street and Legion Avenue.

She said she is campaigning on her years of experience as a volunteer and community activist. "I can pick up the phone and have contacts in any place in state government," she said.

Ms. McGowan, who lives on Gemini Drive, is widely known in Annapolis for her volunteer work and involvement with the city's Human Relations Commission, on which she is in her second term.

She reared six children while holding down a variety of jobs, including work as an executive secretary for Baltimore government and as a housing and community relations specialist at the Annapolis Housing Authority.

She is now a hospice nursing assistant at Anne Arundel Medical Center and volunteers in her spare time at the Helping Hand center on Clay Street.

"I want to lend my expertise to the mayor and fellow aldermen in making this a better Annapolis," she said.

She promised that if elected she will continue to work for improved education, affordable housing and better health care.

A native Annapolitan and a graduate of the old Wiley H. Bates High School, Ms. McGowan would be the first black woman on the City Council.

Mr. Tullier, 45, formerly Anne Arundel's comprehensive planning administrator, is trying to bring his experience with land management and government administration to the City Council.

He worked for 15 years in the county's planning department before leaving in June to begin his own consulting firm, LandVision.

He said he would encourage more open discussions between the city and Anne Arundel County to plan growth along the city-county line.

"I think there have been some real lost opportunities on the edges where the city and county meet," he said.

He also is campaigning on what he says is the need to improve public safety and said he wants to encourage neighborhoods to become more active in crime-prevention programs. He also promised to see that the Bates School is preserved as a senior center and recreation area.

Mr. Tullier, of the 1400 block of Ritchie St., has lived in Annapolis since 1960. He graduated from St. Mary's High School and received a degree in political science from the University of Maryland.

He is married to the former Jean Campbell, and they have a 4-year-old daughter.

John Rea, 33, is campaigning on his knowledge of finance and business.

A salesman for Comquest Ltd. computers in Washington, Mr. Rea said he wants to improve benefits to police and firefighters, work for better education, oversee development of Chinquapin Round Road, find a solution to the Bates school dilemma and look for ways to manage the city budget more responsibly.

"I want to maintain a strong constituent service," he said.

Mr. Rea graduated from Southern High School and received a liberal arts degree from Loyola College. He is the only one of the three Democratic candidates to have run for office previously. He made a bid for Congress in 1988 but said he is "a little more serious" this time.

Mr. Rea lives in the 1000 block of Spa Road. He is divorced and the father of a 4-year-old daughter.

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