7 incumbent prevail in primaries for House PRIMARY 1994

September 14, 1994|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Sun Staff Writer

Seven incumbents took commanding leads as they sought renomination for spots in Maryland's congressional delegation, while a battle was waged for the eighth seat, vacated by U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, the five-term Republican who chose to run for governor rather than seek re-election.

Mrs. Bentley's voluntary departure from a district tailor-made for her spurred nine candidates to run for her seat, making for probably the most interesting congressional race in Maryland.

Democrats in the district hold a 2-1 voter registration edge, but the 2nd District, which includes eastern Baltimore County, Harford County and part of northern Anne Arundel County, has favored conservative candidates in recent elections.

In fact, the Democratic front-runner going into the primary, Towson Del. Gerry L. Brewster, has talked more like a Republican than traditional Democrat, with his support for a line item veto, balanced budget amendment and welfare reform.

But after 38 percent of the votes were counted, Mr. Brewster trailed behind Joe Bish, a Belair defense industry employee who campaigned as "the serious conservative" in the race with his pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business stances.

The early results could be misleading, because they came mainly from Harford County, Mr. Bish's home turf and the most conservative area of the district. With 64 of 170 precincts reporting, Mr. Bish had 39 percent of the vote, Dundalk Delegate Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis had 33 percent and Mr. Brewster had 25 percent.

Results from Baltimore County, where most of the votes in the 2nd District are located, were slow to come in, as were results from Anne Arundel County.

John Olsen, a Brewster campaign worker, said Mr. Brewster was actually leading the race, after his campaign workers took results from 16 key precincts in Dundalk and Towson.

On the Republican side, two-term Timonium Del. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. took a lead over Towson banker Bill Frank with 52 percent of the vote in early returns. Mr. Frank, running as a non-lawyer and political outsider, had 44 percent.

Mr. Frank refused to accept political action committee money, and signed a pledge that if elected he would serve only eight years in office. Mr. Ehrlich has campaigned on his record in Annapolis, often challenging people to ask Democrats what they think of him. "I'll stand on what they say."

In Maryland's 6th District, a slew of Democrats have campaigned to win the right to face incumbent U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Republican who appeared vulnerable after several missteps in office, including a remark that a list of scholarship winners lacked "normal names."

Mr. Bartlett has regrouped and last night won his nomination with an estimated 88 percent of the vote.

Seven Democrats competed for the right to face Mr. Bartlett, but former state delegate Paul Muldowney emerged victorious with 29 percent of the vote, with 92 percent of the vote counted.

Former congressional aide Neil S. Dhillon, having raised the most money with $380,000, appeared to be a serious candidate until recent revelations that he didn't vote between 1982 and 1990 and that he had been convicted in 1989 of assaulting a Virginia bank official.

Mr. Dhillon's troubles probably helped Muldowney, Galen Claggett, a former Frederick County commissioner, and Steve Crawford, a public policy professor, but Mr. Muldowney edged out his opponents. He will face Mr. Bartlett in November.

In early returns from the 1st District, U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, a second-term Republican, won his party's nomination with 73 percent of the vote over GOP challengers Bradlyn McClanahan, Scott Meredith and George Williams. Of the three Democrats running, Steven R. Eastbaugh, a George Washington University professor, garnered 74 percent of the vote over rivals James Brown and Ralph T. Gies.

In the 3rd District, Democratic incumbent U.S Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin won his primary with 86 percent of the vote after 32 percent of the vote was counted. He will face Robert Ryan Tousey in the November general election.

In Maryland's 4th District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn, a Democrat, locked up his party's nomination with 81 percent of the vote after 22 percent of the vote was counted. Republican Michele Dyson ran unopposed.

In the 5th District, Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the state's most influential Congressman, dominated his opponents with 83 percent of the vote. Republican and former Reagan personnel director Donald Devine led the early returns with 48 percent of the vote over Harold R. Moroz and John E. Smathers.

U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, a Democrat, ran unopposed in the primary for the 7th District. He will face Republican Kenneth Kondner, who also had no primary opposition, in the general election.

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