Brock beats Aron, will face Sarbanes in Senate race PRIMAY 1994

September 14, 1994|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writers Shirley Leung and Kate Shatzkin contributed to this article.

Despite months of attacks by his chief rival, former Tennessee Sen. Bill Brock won a solid victory yesterday in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate nomination.

In choosing Mr. Brock, Republicans rejected Montgomery County developer Ruthann Aron's negative campaign tactics, which sought to portray him as a tax-raising, carpet-bagging, career politician.

"People want to know what you want to do, not your motives," Mr. Brock said last night. "I hope this is the beginning of a change [in] American politics, where we can go back to honorable people talking about their issues honorably."

On Nov. 8, Mr. Brock will face three-term Democratic Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, who handily defeated three little-known primary rivals.

Even as votes were being tallied, Mr. Brock criticized Mr. Sarbanes as being ineffective and detached. "This state needs somebody to fight for Maryland, and I intend to do that."

Saying that he feared a negative campaign, Mr. Sarbanes

responded: "Brock has a record that will have to be accounted for to the people of the state. I'm quite happy to put up my record of public service and the things I've stood for against his."

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Brock had 38 percent of the vote; Ms. Aron, 26 percent.

Since late last year, Mr. Brock has been the favored candidate of the Republican Party, which saw him as its best hope of defeating Mr. Sarbanes. Ms. Aron, who entered the race in November, refused to give way to her better-known foe, hammering him constantly in a divisive campaign.

The victory moves Mr. Brock, 63, an heir to a Tennessee candy fortune, a step closer to becoming the first person in U.S. history popularly elected to the Senate from two states.

He faces an uphill battle against Mr. Sarbanes. While Republicans have considered the Baltimore liberal vulnerable to a strong challenge, polls matching him against possible opponents give him a substantial and, in recent weeks, widening lead.

Mr. Brock, who has lived in the state full time only since 1990, will have to shake the "carpetbagger" label that dogged GOP Senate nominees in 1988 and 1992. Mr. Sarbanes is a lifelong Marylander with broad name recognition and -- as of late August -- nearly $1.2 million in his campaign treasury.

Yesterday's GOP Senate primary was the most competitive in memory and the most expensive in state his tory, according to the Maryland GOP.

Mr. Brock, who lives in Annapolis, spent $710,000 of his own money -- $220,000 in the past three weeks. All told, his campaign spent at least $1.4 million on the primary -- more than twice Ms. Aron's expenditures. Ms. Aron, a Potomac resident and millionaire, contributed $258,000 to her own campaign.

Given Mr. Brock's national stature, critics argued that he should have been able to beat his lesser-known, less-experienced foes with a lot less money. In addition to 14 years in Congress, Mr. Brock served as chairman of the national Republican Party and as a member of President Ronald Reagan's Cabinet.

By contrast, Ms. Aron's political experience has been limited to two years on the Montgomery County Planning Board. She has never held elective office in the state.

While the two generally agreed on core issues, the campaign was dominated by Ms. Aron's near-constant attacks on the former Tennessee senator, who was defeated in 1976.

Mr. Brock adopted the above-the-battle stance of a front-runner until the final week. The race then degenerated into a series of charges and counter-charges, with each candidate calling the other a liar.

SENATOR Republican

Allegany

TP = 46

PR = 46

Aron = 1,279

Brock = 1,941

Franks = 838

Greyber = 201

Ladd = 181

Pierpont = 544

Webb = 285

Anne Arundel

TP = 155

PR = 155

Aron = 4,252

Brock = 16,351

Franks = 5,394

Greyber = 120

Ladd = 220

Pierpont = 945

Webb = 528

Baltimore Co.

TP = 180

PR = 180

Aron = 7,758

Brock = 12,217

Franks = 6,312

Greyber = 716

Ladd = 771

Pierpont = 4,933

Webb = 772

Baltimore

TP = 408

PR = 408

Aron = 1,648

Brock = 2,351

Franks = 985

Greyber = 176

Ladd = 152

Pierpont = 1,556

Webb = 185

Calvert

TP = 10

PR = 10

Aron = 707

Brock = 1,127

Franks = 518

Greyber = 41

Ladd = 957

Pierpont = 100

Webb = 97

Caroline

TP = 9

PR = 9

Aron = 309

Brock = 346

Franks = 528

Greyber = 39

Ladd = 27

Pierpont = 94

Webb = 44

Carroll

TP = 41

PR = 41

Aron = 2,505

Brock = 4,118

Franks = 2,833

Greyber = 145

Ladd = 257

Pierpont = 1,090

Webb = 832

Cecil

TP = 14

PR = 14

Aron = 608

Brock = 632

Franks = 1,057

Greyber = 212

Ladd = 134

Pierpont = 335

Webb = 80

Charles

TP = 28

PR = 28

Aron = 1,017

Brock = 1,677

Franks = 530

Greyber = 162

Ladd = 998

Pierpont = 267

Webb = 419

Dorchester

TP = 36

PR = 36

Aron = 392

Brock = 389

Franks = 521

Greyber = 21

Ladd = 44

Pierpont = 113

Webb = 68

Frederick

TP = 38

PR = 38

Aron = 2,721

Brock = 3,491

Franks = 1,914

Greyber = 309

Ladd = 210

Pierpont = 510

Webb = 930

Garrett

TP = 19

PR = 19

Aron = 838

Brock = 733

Franks = 620

Greyber = 111

Ladd = 114

Pierpont = 373

Webb = 141

Harford

TP = 54

PR = 54

Aron = 3,297

Brock = 4,274

Franks = 3,071

Greyber = 196

Ladd = 215

Pierpont = 1,653

Webb = 413

Howard

TP = 82

PR = 82

Aron = 3,430

Brock = 4,636

Franks = 2,432

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