Norris leading McClernan in Baltimore Co. sheriff's contest PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS 1994

September 14, 1994|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Mary Maushard contributed to this article.

With no races for Baltimore County state's attorney or Circuit Court, interest in courthouse races focused on the Democratic primary for sheriff.

Democratic candidates Jack McClernan and Charles W. "Chuck" Norris Jr. battled one another yesterday for the right to run in November's general election against Norman M. Pepersack Jr., the incumbent Republican.

Mr. McClernan pulled ahead briefly during the night, but Mr. Norris was leading early today, 55 percent to 45 percent, with 84 percent of the vote counted.

"I got a real good feeling from traveling around the county and visiting the polling places today," Mr. Norris said. "Call it cautious optimism."

Mr. McClernan said he had no sense of how the race was going, but he joked that if he won by a landslide, he'd demand a recount.

Mr. Norris, 47, retired from the county police force as captain of the Parkville Precinct in 1992 after 23 years.

He now heads security at Eastpoint Mall for the Shopco Management Corp.

He was endorsed by the county police and firefighters, the state and county American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the AFL-CIO the Auto Workers and several Democratic clubs.

Mr. McClernan, 42, was a deputy sheriff in the county for 12 years, until his graduation from law school in 1988.

He now has a family law practice in Towson and went to bed with 74 percent of the votes counted because he had to be in court today.

Mr. McClernan emphasized his past experience, saying he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the office and wouldn't have to learn on the job.

Sheriff Pepersack, 60, served 23 years in the state police. He was elected in 1990.

Both of his Democratic challengers charged that Sheriff Pepersack tried to turn the department into a police force at the expense of its traditional duties: serving court papers, transporting prisoners and protecting judges and civilians.

In the Democratic primary for clerk of the Circuit Court, Suzanne Mensh, the incumbent, was far ahead of Kenneth N. Frederick with 84 percent of the vote in.

A crowded field of 14 Democrats and seven Republicans competed for three open seats on the county's Orphans Court, which handles estates of the deceased.

The 21 candidates included two incumbents, along with lawyers, courthouse clerks, party activists, a parole officer, a bus driver, business people and an unemployed car salesman.

Unlike other judicial candidates, the judges run as partisans and need not be lawyers.

With 84 percent of the vote in, incumbent Chief Judge Grace G. Connolly held a large lead in the Democratic primary, followed by Catherine A. Davis and Julie L. Ensor.

Three are nominated.

The Republican leaders were incumbent Sandra L. O'Connell-Hughes, followed by Victoria C. Chambers, Edward Fowler and Beverly E. Goldstein.

In the Democratic primary for register of wills, the longtime incumbent, Peter J. Basilone, led challenger Bonnie Lou Leisure.

On the Republican side, Patrick L. McDonough led L. Wayne Flora, while William J. Withers Jr. trailed by a large margin.

For the high-profile job of state's attorney, Republican Sandra A. O'Connor has been elected by default. She had no opponent in '' either party.

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