Gary suddenly on easier path to executive's office

July 06, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Sun Staff Writer

An article in yesterday's Anne Arundel County edition of The Sun incorrectly identified the party of Kenneth R. Sosnoski, a candidate for Anne Arundel County Council in District 6. Mr. Sosnoski will face William R. Mulford in the Republican primary in District 6, which includes Annapolis. Melinda M. Hamilton is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The Sun also inadvertently omitted the names of two candidates who registered Tuesday to place their names on the Republican primary ballot. Victoria J. Muzzuco of Severn is running for state Senate in District 32, which includes Glen Burnie and Jessup. Ronald Pullen of Annapolis is seeking one of three state House of Delegates seats from District 30, which includes Lower Broadneck and Mayo.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Things are looking up for state Del. John G. Gary's bid for county executive.

When the deadline for candidates to place their names on the September ballots passed last night, Mr. Gary had no competition in the Republican primary.


A few months ago, Mr. Gary appeared to be facing a divisive, politically exhausting primary battle, all but guaranteeing the return of a strong Democratic candidate to the fourth floor of the Arundel Center.

Now, with the withdrawal of former state Del. John R. Leopold from the GOP race and the entrance of not one but several strong candidates in the Democratic primary, the tables appear to have turned.

Yesterday, Democratic Party officials were gnashing their teeth over the entry of three strong executive candidates. Many of them have publicly embraced state Del. Theodore Sophocleus, who narrowly lost to Republican incumbent Robert R. Neall in 1990, as the party's champion.

But some privately express disappointment and frustration that Mr. Sophocleus delayed his decision to enter the contest until the 11th hour, enticing Robert Agee, an aide to former County Executive O. James Lighthizer, and H. Erle Schafer, a former clerk of the Circuit Court, into the primary battle.

"It's going to be a blood bath," bemoaned one Democratic official.

Mr. Gary's path was cleared when Mr. Leopold, 51, of Elizabeth Landing, abandoned his two-year bid for executive Friday. Citing the huge expense of a primary battle with Mr. Gary, Mr. Leopold said he will instead seek a third, four-year term to the House of Delegates.

Mr. Leopold, who gave up his delegate's seat four years ago to run against state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, estimated that it could cost him up to $150,000 from his own pocket to run against Mr. Gary. He estimated that it would cost less than one-tenth that to win a delegate seat.

Uncontested in the primary, Mr. Gary, 50, of Millersville, can conserve his campaign resources for a general election fight with the winner of the Democratic primary. Mr. Gary has served three terms in the House of Delegates and has owned several businesses.

When the 9 p.m. filing deadline had passed, six Democrats had entered the primary. They are:

* Mr. Agee, 45, of Crofton. Mr. Agee, a graduate of Glen Burnie High School, is a vice president of Chaney Enterprises, a gravel and concrete company based in Southern Maryland. He has garnered the support of former county Councilman Michael Gilligan and former state Sen. Al Lipin.

* William Brill, 61, of Annapolis. A former county councilman, Mr. Brill lost a executive bid in 1982 to Mr. Lighthizer. He is a former political science professor at Georgetown University, where he specialized in the study of terrorism and the use of force. He now is a professional security consultant.

* Louise Rothschild Beauregard of Annapolis. Ms. Beauregard frequently testifies before county and state lawmakers. She won the 1986 GOP primary for executive.

* Mr. Schafer, 56, of Glen Burnie. He owns a pest control company as well as rental properties. Mr. Schafer has served single terms on the County Council, in the state Senate and as court clerk.

* Mr. Sophocleus, 55, of Linthicum. A former executive for a pharmacy chain, he still works as a pharmacist part time. He was a county councilman from 1982 until 1990. He was appointed to a delegate seat in District 32 last summer when Tyras S. "Bunk" Athey was named Maryland secretary of state.

* Larry E. Walker, 47, of Rolling Knolls. Mr. Walker is a corporal with the county police and is a volunteer spotter for the department's fledgling helicopter program.

Candidates can withdraw their names from, but not add to, the primary ballots until July 14.

Candidates for other county offices also filed yesterday.

In council District 1, incumbent George F. Bachman of Linthicum, Charles Edmund Beatty of Brooklyn Park and former Sheriff William R. Huggins of Brooklyn Park are vying for the Democratic nomination. Frank Phelps of Linthicum is the only Republican candidate.

Two Glen Burnie men, James E. "Ed" DeGrange, a Democrat, and Arthur Calvin Emge, a Republican, will face off for the District 2 council seat in the Nov. 8 general election.

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