County Sheriff Robert G. Pepersack Sr. just squeaked by in his bid for re-election against a man who barely campaigned for the job.
Mr. Pepersack beat challenger John E. Moran IV, a 30-year-old deputy with the Baltimore City Sheriff's office, by slightly more than 1,000 votes. Mr. Pepersack beat Mr. Moran in the same race four years ago by nearly 9,000 votes.
The close margin took the county's Republican officials by surprise.
Meredith Parenti, chairwoman of the Annapolis City Republican Central Committee, said she had never seen Mr. Moran campaigning.
"He has had no presence at all at any Republican-type meetings," she said.
In the Nov. 8 general election, Mr. Pepersack will face Democrat George Johnson IV, who was unopposed in the primary.
The races for County Council held fewer surprises. All three incumbents -- George F. Bachman and Carl G. "Dutch" Holland, who each faced two opponents, and Diane Evans, who was unopposed -- will move on to the general election.
The council races featured many new faces and wide-open contests because of a two-term limit, set by voters two years ago, that placed the unwelcome mat out for incumbents David G. Boschert, Virginia P. Clagett and Maureen Lamb. Council Chairman C. Edward Middlebrooks has switched parties and is running for state Senate in District 32.
In Pasadena's 3rd District, Mr. Holland should face a spirited race against Pasadena businessman Thomas Redmond, whose campaign of nearly two years resulted in a big victory last night.
Mr. Redmond received 55 percent of the vote, compared with 34 percent for A. Shirley Murphy. Elmer Dunn Jr. had 11 percent.
Mr. Holland won his primary by a 58 percent to 26 percent margin over his nearest opponent, businessman Romie A. Songer. Severna Park accountant Martin Kolb had 16 percent.
In two key races in South County, school board member Dorothy Dixon Chaney won over attorney Joseph Collinson III in the Democratic primary for the 7th District seat by 51 percent to 35 percent. A third candidate, community activist Patricia O'Brien, had 14 percent.
In the 7th District's Republican race, Crofton attorney John J. Klocko III won the nomination over James C. Overmier Jr., comptroller for the Crofton special benefits district, and Jacqueline A. Potter, a Mayo accountant and community activist. Mr. Klocko had 64 percent of the vote, Mr. Overmier had 20 percent and Ms. Potter had 16 percent.
William C. Mulford II, an assistant state's attorney, took the Republican primary for Annapolis' 6th District seat by a 74 percent to 26 percent margin over Kenneth R. Sosnoski. The winner will face Democrat Melinda Hamilton in November.
In the 1st District, Mr. Bachman, a Linthicum Democrat, won his party's nomination over former Sheriff William R. Huggins, 64 percent to 25 percent. Charles E. Beatty, a part-time librarian at the Baltimore City Detention Center, drew 11 percent of the vote.
Mr. Bachman will face Republican Frank G. Phelps Jr., who was unopposed in the primary.
In West County's 4th District Democratic primary, Bill D. Burlison, an Odenton attorney and former Missouri congressman, had 59 percent. Norman G. Myers Sr., a print shop owner from Gambrills, was in second with 20 percent and Robert H. McMurtrie, a Severn community leader, had 15 percent. Keith Green of Severn, who did not wage a campaign, received 6 percent.
Mr. Burlison will face Republican Bert L. Rice, who was unopposed.
In two other council districts, the candidates from both parties had no primary opponent.
Diane Evans, the Republican incumbent in the 5th District, will go against Democrat David DeAngelis in November.
In the 2nd District, Republican Arthur C. Emge will face Democrat James E. "Ed" Degrange.
In the race for clerk of the Circuit Court, Democrat Janet S. Owens will face Republican Robert P. Duckworth.