New faces taking political center stage PRIMARY 1994

September 14, 1994|By David Michael Ettlin | David Michael Ettlin,Sun Staff Writer

Also in the Howard County section, the picture of people voting was incorrectly identified. In the photograph, election worker Patsy Gotschall talked to Keith Brigance of Gamber at the Mechanicsville Elementary School.

+ The Sun regrets the errors.

New faces took center stage in Maryland politics in yesterday's primary. Incumbent officeholders sought new jobs or retired -- and in many races faced stiff challenges for jobs they wanted to keep -- and former officials tried comebacks.

Delegates sought nominations for Senate seats or alternatives like county executive, and in one case a former county executive sought to become a delegate. Battles waged before council members or commissioners on such issues as zoning and development became defining issues for warring candidates.


Following are some election highlights from around Baltimore and elsewhere in the state:

Carroll County

With Julia Gouge taking and losing a longshot chance as the running mate of gubernatorial hopeful William S. Shepard, only two fellow members of the Board of County Commissioners sought re-election -- Democrat Elmer C. Lippy and the GOP's Donald I. Dell, each winning nomination for a second term.

Mr. Dell has pushed for an extension of the Northwest Expressway into Carroll, where Mr. Lippy and Ms. Gouge had given up active support of the proposal. Other Republicans nominated were Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown and Richard T. Yates of Eldersburg, a federal retiree.

Democrats winning with Mr. Lippy were a former county sheriff, Grover N. "Sam" Sensabaugh, and Westminster Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein.

The state's attorney's race -- featuring the opponents of the 1990 general election -- was so close that a count of absentee ballots today was necessary to determine the winner. Republican incumbent Thomas E. Hickman was 192 votes behind his former employee -- and former Democrat -- Jerry F. Barnes.

In legislative races, the lone and longtime House of Delegates incumbent in District 5, Westminster Democrat Richard N. Dixon, was among those winning nomination in a crowded field of four Democrats and eight Republicans. Redistricting gave Carroll a third seat there this year.

The other winners were Democrats Ellen L. Willis and Philip R. Deitchman and Republicans Nancy R. Stocksdale, W. David Blair and Joseph M. Getty.

In the District 5 Senate race, county teachers union president Cynthia Huggins Cummings of Silver Run won the Democratic primary and will face incumbent Republican Larry E. Haines in November. He is a real estate broker and vice president of the conservative Church of the Open Door Inc. in Westminster.

Anne Arundel County

Faces in county government and Anne Arundel's General Assembly delegation will be changing -- or moving -- in part because of a primary election in which two incumbent delegates set their sights on the top job of county executive and three council members were barred from running by a term-limit law.

GOP County Executive Robert Neall, himself a former legislator, did not seek a second term. Three-term Del. John G. Gary, giving up his 33rd District seat, was unopposed for the Republican nomination for the job, while 32nd District Del. Theodore J. Sophocleus -- a former councilman beaten by Mr. Neall in 1990 -- was the winner among five candidates in the Democratic primary.

For County Council, wide-open primary races developed in four of the seven districts, thanks to a two-term limit approved by voters two years ago. Incumbents David G. Boschert and Virginia Clagett both won nomination in House of Delegates races, and Maureen Lamb retired.

Council Chairman C. Edward Middlebrooks, who is finishing his first term, switched his party affiliation and won the GOP nomination for state Senate in District 32. He faces incumbent Democrat Michael J. Wagner in November.

In legislative races, most state senators ran unopposed in their primary races. Del. John Astle, seeking a move up to the Senate in the 30th District, was unopposed in the Democratic primary but will face Republican Mary M. Rose in November.

The lone Republican senator, the 33rd District's veteran John A. Cade, faced no opposition in either the primary or general elections.

Among those on the comeback trail was former Del. John Leopold, who was among the nominees in the GOP House primary in Pasadena's District 31. Incumbent Democrats there all won renomination.

Howard County

Republican County Executive Charles I. Ecker was unopposed in the primary but will face opposition in November from a civic activist who has been a thorn to his administration -- Democrat Susan Gray.

Ms. Gray, who has fought the administration frequently on zoning changes, defeated attorney Sue-Ellen Hantman, former chairwoman of the local Democratic Central Committee who was favored by party regulars.

County Council candidates from each party ran unopposed in three of the five districts.

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