Failed candidate wants district election voided

October 06, 1994|By Harold Jackson | Harold Jackson,Sun Staff Writer

Two lawsuits have been filed in city Circuit Court seeking to void the results of the House and Senate elections in the 40th Legislative District, which encompasses a large portion of West Baltimore.

Contractor Robert Clay, an unsuccessful candidate for the House, accuses the incumbents in his race of promoting numerous acts of election fraud, including urging election judges to pull the lever for them.

Mr. Clay's attorney, David B. Shapiro, said the main allegation is that Dels. Howard P. Rawlings, Salima Siler Marriott and Tony E. Fulton were responsible for campaign literature circulated throughout the district that called Mr. Clay a "deadbeat dad, a carpetbagger and an indicted murderer."

A separate lawsuit involving the 40th District elections also was filed Monday. In that suit, Norman Brailey, an unsuccessful candidate for Senate, claims election judges intimidated senior citizens who likely would have voted for him.

Mr. Shapiro said Maryland election law does not prohibit campaign literature that makes inaccurate or untrue statements, but the parties responsible for the literature must be clearly identified.

The "deadbeat dad" Clay leaflets included the names of the campaign treasurers for Delegates Rawlings, Marriott and Fulton but never mentioned the candidates.

Mr. Rawlings has acknowledged that the three incumbents were responsible for the literature.

"What you don't have is the literature that came from the labor unions and the Clay people that made a number of wild allegations about me, including a charge that I molest young boys," Mr. Rawlings said.

"They were slinging mud, hoping it would stick. Once they did that, I personally called our mailer and had him send out our literature we had prepared on Clay," Mr. Rawlings said.

Mr. Clay was sued for child support in 1983, but the case was dismissed the next year. In 1976, Mr. Clay was charged with attempted murder but was acquitted by a jury. In 1980, he was charged with murder, but those charges were dismissed after a witness changed his testimony.

Mr. Clay was accused of being a carpetbagger, because although he said he lived in the 40th District, he also maintained a home in Laurel.

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