Annapolis mayor wins Democratic nomination Vincent is victorious in GOP mayoral race

September 22, 1993|By Liz Atwood and Tom Bowman | Liz Atwood and Tom Bowman,Staff Writers

Annapolis Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins last night overcame accusations of poor leadership to easily win the Democratic Party's nomination for a second term over political neophyte Sylvanus B. Jones.

Larry Vincent captured the Republican nomination with a resounding victory over last-minute entry Michael W. Fox and political gadfly Louise M. R. Beauregard.

All incumbent city council members won their primaries, while Democratic candidate Michael Brown lost in an upset to Kenneth Kirby in Ward 6.

Both mayoral victors were successful in every ward. Mr. Hopkins won by a nearly 2 1/2 -to-1 margin, while Mr. Vincent won by a 5-to-1 margin.

Mr. Hopkins said he did not expect to win the primary by such a large margin, but he said he was not taking his victory for granted. "I will continue to knock on doors," the mayor said.

He had kind words for Mr. Jones and said he would ask for his support in the fall campaign.

Mr. Jones said several issues needed to be resolved before he would support the mayor. "We have certain people trying to run the city like a corporation. It should be run like a service to the community. If the policy is going to be to run the city like a corporation, I will not support that," he said.

The mayoral results set up a November rematch among Mr. Hopkins and two of his former opponents: Mr. Vincent, the GOP's standard bearer in 1989, and Dennis M. Callahan, an independent candidate who lost the Democratic primary to Mr. Hopkins in an upset four years ago by 181 votes.

The 68-year-old mayor asked voters to give him a second term to complete work left undone in his first four years. He said he wants to open a senior citizens center and oversee the rebricking of Main Street.

Mr. Jones, 63, a retired federal employee who runs a consulting business, campaigned against Mr. Hopkins' fiscal management of the city, alleging that the city had lost millions of dollars by failing to obtain a fair property tax differential from the county and by failing to collect cigarette tax revenue he said the county owed the city. He promised to reduce taxes if elected.

Mr. Jones said he will remain in politics as long as tax issues need to be addressed.

Although Mr. Jones ran a credible campaign, Mr. Hopkins appeared to retain his core constituency: senior citizens and longtime residents.

About 30 percent of the electorate cast ballots and the light turnout apparently helped Mr. Hopkins. Mr. Jones said he was disappointed in the voter turnout and attributed it to a lack of media coverage.

Mr. Jones is the first African-American to run for mayor in Annapolis, where blacks make up about 25 percent of the electorate.

Although Mr. Hopkins appeared to have angered some black leaders during his term, he nevertheless did well in predominantly black wards. Mr. Jones captured only his home precinct, and that by a margin of six votes.

Mr. Hopkins now is making a concerted effort to appeal to black voters. Both Mr. Vincent and Mr. Callahan also are working hard to capture this constituency. One of Mr. Vincent's campaign pledges is to try to ease racial tensions by meeting with black leaders and encouraging business development in the African-American community.

Mr. Callahan, 51, captured the city's two predominantly black areas, Wards 3 and 5, in 1989 and recently has picked up support from the city's prominent black ministers.

"There is no doubt the black vote will be the pivotal vote in the general election," said Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a Ward 5 Democrat and one of two blacks on the city council.

Mr. Vincent, aided by a small army of volunteers and two years of legwork for the city's top post, relished his victory with supporters at a local restaurant.

* In the 4th Ward, land planner Joseph Shepard Tullier decisively beat longtime activist Gertrude "Trudi" McGowan and Comquest computer salesman John Rea.

* In Ward 6, Democrat Kenneth Kirby defeated Michael Brown by 173 to 112 for a chance to face Wayne C. Turner, the GOP incumbent who defeated Mr. Brown in 1989 by seven votes.

* In the 7th Ward, incumbent Theresa DeGraff turned back a challenge from James M. Leckinger, 28, in the Republican primary race.

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