Thomas L. Bromwell, head of Baltimore County's state senators, beat back a determined Republican challenger to win a fourth term yesterday, but in a stunning defeat, House Majority Leader Kenneth H. Masters of Catonsville lost his seat and the county's only powerful leadership position in the General Assembly.
Senator Bromwell defeated the GOP challenger, Del. John J. Bishop Jr., 45, by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent and proclaimed it "a sweet victory after a tough primary and a tough general election. I just feel grateful to the voters of the 8th District."
Mr. Bishop had represented the Towson-based 9th District and was moved into the 8th by the redistricting after the 1990 census, and this year decided to challenge Mr. Bromwell for the Senate seat.
"I don't want to talk about it," Mr. Bishop said last night as he stalked out of a Republican gathering at the Tall Cedars Hall on Putty Hill Avenue.
Masters comes in last
Mr. Masters finished last in a four-candidate race for Baltimore County's two seats in District 12A.
Howard County has the third seat in that district.
Mr. Masters, who could not be reached for comment, may have fallen victim to heavy ticket splitting, as voters said they would choose candidates they felt would be most responsive to their demands.
Absentee ballots could still be a factor in close races. Doris J. Suter, the county election board administrator, said about 7,000 ballots, an unusually high number for a nonpresidential election, were mailed out and 5,500 to 6,000 have been returned.
The absentee ballots are to be counted tomorrow.
In the 8th District House race, Democratic newcomer Katherine Klausmeier, 44, of Parkville, a child-life coordinator at St. Joseph Medical Center, led all candidates in the vote and will join re-elected incumbent GOP Dels. James F. Ports, Jr., 35, of Perry Hall, and Alfred W. Redmer, Jr., 38, of Parkville, in the House.
20 percent in city
On the west side, the new 10th District made political history by electing the county's first black members to the General Assembly.
Created after the 1990 Census, the 10th has a 62 percent black population, elected a black senator and three black delegates.
The new district's boundaries cross the city-county line, giving it makeup of 80 percent county residents and 20 percent city residents.
"Never before has Baltimore County had elected officials of color," said the Rev. Emmett C. Burns Jr., a black Democratic House of Delegates candidate in the 10th who led the ticket.
In the district's Senate race, a veteran black delegate, Democrat Delores G. Kelley, 58, who moved to Randallstown from her old, city-based 42nd District, defeated a white political novice, Jerome Goodman, 65, by a 3-1 margin.
Running on the ticket with Ms. Kelley were Mr. Burns, 53, of Milford, pastor of Rising Sun Baptist Church; Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, 55, of Rognel Heights; and Joan N. Parker, 59, a state government fiscal officer, of the Haywood section.
All won easily over their Republican opponents.
The GOP candidates, all from Randallstown, were Clifford H. Andrews, 75, a businessman; Clifton McDonald, 55, the black Republican candidate and a trucker; and Beverly Goldstein, 56, an insurance broker.
Three-term Republican F. Vernon Boozer of the central county's 9th District was the only incumbent senator unopposed for re-election.
In a see-saw battle in the redrawn 12th District, which includes parts of Baltimore and Howard counties, Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer, 49, a Democrat from Columbia who served in the Senate from 1986 to 1990, edged Republican David P. Maier, 37, of Elkridge, by a margin of 51 percent to 49 percent.
In other Senate races around the county, incumbents did well.
On the east side, 6th District Democratic Sen. Michael J. Collins, 54, of Essex, a retired county teacher, easily won a third term, defeating Alfred E. Clasing Jr., 69, a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. management employee from Essex who has been on the county Planning Board for four years.
In the southeast, incumbent 7th District Sen. Norman R. Stone Jr., 58, a Dundalk Democrat, handily defeated Republican Russell Mirabile, 47, a Dundalk businessman making his first run for office after years of working for Republican and Democratic candidates.
In the large, redrawn 11th District, which covers the western and northern part of the county, Sen. Paula C. Hollinger, 54, of Pikesville, romped to a third term over GOP newcomer Dr. Richard Manski, 40, of Reisterstown, a professor at the University of Maryland Dental School.
Ms. Hollinger, who represented the old 11th District, trounced fellow Sen. Janice Piccinini of the old 10th District in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary after a bitterly fought campaign.
Their residences put both into the new 11th District.
Among the liveliest House races were contests in the 9th District, now divided into two sections.