Wife of former alderman considers run for council

January 05, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

The wife of former Annapolis Alderman John Hammond, a Ward 1 Republican, may seek the Democratic Party nomination to fill the vacancy created by his recent resignation.

Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins announced yesterday that the city would hold special elections, beginning with Democratic and Republican primaries Feb. 8, to replace Mr. Hammond, who resigned Dec. 30 to become County Executive Robert R. Neall's top budget officer.

Candidates must file at City Hall by Jan. 18 to run for the seat. The general election will be March 8.

Louise Hammond said yesterday that she has enjoyed the 16 years her husband was on the City Council, fielding telephone calls for him and tracking city issues with him.

Although they have belonged to different political parties throughout their 22-year marriage, "I loved it, and I think I'd like to continue" his work as alderman, said Mrs. Hammond, 45.

At least one of her potential opponents said her participation would smack of "old boy" politics.

Laurence Vincent, the GOP nominee for mayor in November, said he plans to run for the Republican nomination to the Ward 1 seat.

"The only thing that makes me uncomfortable is his [Mr. Hammond's] putting up his wife to retain his seat," said Mr. Vincent, a Main Street clothier. "I don't think it's the right thing to do necessarily."

Mr. Hammond said he vacillated between staying on the council, which pays $8,500 a year, or taking the $76,871 county post after learning that the law barred him from doing both.

Mrs. Hammond said it was not so much her husband's idea that she run as their 15-year-old daughter's.

"She loves politics," Mrs. Hammond said. "At first she wanted John to stay in the seat until she was old enough to run."

If she does run, Mrs. Hammond would face Craig Purcell in the Democratic primary. Mr. Purcell, an architect, lost to Mr. Hammond in the November election despite having the support of Mayor Hopkins.

"It's going to be an interesting race given the swing-vote issue," said Mr. Purcell, noting that the mayor needs a fifth, loyal vote to control the nine-member council.

The mayor supported opponents of four alderman during the past election, including Mr. Hammond, and failed to include Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a Ward 5 Democrat, on the Democratic ticket. As a result, Mr. Snowden has predicted that the mayor has lost control of the council.

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