Democrats sweep 5 of 7 County Council seats ELECTION 1994

November 09, 1994|By Pat Gilbert | Pat Gilbert,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writers Elaine Tassy and Mary Maushard contributed to this article.

Democrats won five of Baltimore County's seven council seats yesterday, reversing a GOP resurgence that began in 1990.

GOP incumbent William A. Howard IV of Parkville lost his seat, while Republican Berchie L. Manley of Catonsville was trailing in her race with absentee ballots yet to be counted. Both were upset winners in 1990.

Republican Douglas B. Riley easily won re-election in the Towson-based 4th District with 75 percent of the vote over Democrat rival John J. Appel Jr. Another Republican, T. Bryan McIntire won a surprising victory over favored Democrat I. William Chase in the race for the open seat in the northwestern 3rd District.

Democratic incumbent Vincent J. Gardina of Perry Hall beat back the challenge of Republican Thomas Rzepnicki in the 5th District, winning with 63 percent of the vote. In the Pikesville-based 2nd District, Democrat Kevin B. Kamenetz got 82 percent of the vote in a contest for a vacant seat against GOP opponent Jacqueline A. Fleming.

Democrat Louis L. DePazzo of Dundalk was unopposed in the 7th District.

Mr. Howard, who came from political obscurity to win the 6th District seat in 1990, lost to Democrat Joseph Bartenfelder, a popular and well-known member of the House of Delegates. Mr. Bartenfelder won with 60 percent of the vote.

"This is a vote of confidence, a mandate from the people . . . who want a voice in local government and that's what I will give them," Mr. Bartenfelder said.

"I ran on my record in this campaign, a record I'm still proud of," said Mr. Howard. "I appreciate the 40 percent of voters who felt the same way I did."

Mrs. Manley beat a veteran incumbent when she won her 1st District seat in 1990. But Catonsville lawyer and Democratic Central Committee member Stephen G. "Sam" Moxley was ahead by about 1,000 votes, leaving the final result to the absentee ballot count.

In the northwest 3rd District, both Mr. McIntire and Mr. Chase said they were shocked by Mr. McIntire's win, with 55 percent of the votes to Mr. Chase's 45 percent.

"I'm shocked but pleasantly surprised," said Mr. McIntire, a former Carroll County state's attorney. "I thank God, my family and the people of the 3rd District for my victory."

"When you run a campaign based on the issues you expect to win," said Mr. Chase, whose seven years on the county Planning Board gave him an edge in experience over his opponent. "But there was a Republican wave out there in the district and I got caught in it."

Mr. McIntire becomes only the second Republican to win in the conservative 3rd District since district representation took effect 1974. The 64-year-old conservative, who practices law in Carroll County, criticized the size and spending habits of local government.

Betty McFall, voting at Cockeysville Middle School, said she voted for Mr. McIntire because "he represented the same set of values as mine."

Mr. Chase, 47, a moderate Democrat, pointed to his seven years on the county Planning Board as making him better prepared than his rival to be a council member.

The question heading into yesterday's voting was whether the GOP would increase the unexpected gains it made in 1990 or return control to a strong Democratic majority.

The council election was also noteworthy because of three vacant seats.

In the 2nd District, two-term Democrat Councilman Melvin G. Mintz gave up his seat to run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for county executive.

In the 3rd District, veteran Democrat Charles A. Dutch Ruppersberger III gave up his seat for his successful race for county executive.

In the 7th District, first-term Councilman Donald C. Mason decided not to seek re-election.

On the east side, Mr. Rzepnicki, 31, an Essex businessman, was considered a dark horse candidate at best in the 5th District against incumbent Mr. Gardina, 38, of Perry Hall. Mr. Gardina swept away token opposition in the primary and had a large campaign chest for the general election.

In the 6th District, Mr. Howard, 32, of Carney, the council &L chairman, fought a well-organized challenge by Mr. Bartenfelder, of Perry Hall.

Mr. Howard, a real estate broker, came from political obscurity in 1990 to upset incumbent Democrat William R. Evans. In his first term, he twice was elected by his peers to be council chairman.

However, Mr. Bartenfelder had strong name recognition from his community ties and 12 years in the legislature and slammed away at Mr. Howard for failure to address community concerns.

Typical of voters in the 6th was this from Vincent Fertitta who voted for Mr. Bartenfelder because "he's well known around here. He did a good job in Annapolis and I think he will do the same in Towson."

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