GOP storms forward in General Assembly races ELECTION 1994

November 09, 1994|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Sun Staff Writer Sun Staff Writers Andrea F. Siegel and Carol L. Bowers contributed to this article.

Anne Arundel County Council Chairman C. Edward Middlebrooks, who switched from Democrat to Republican to run against Democratic Sen. Michael J. Wagner of Ferndale, toppled the 13-year State House veteran in an upset last night.

"The voters told me I could spend my Februarys in Florida instead of Annapolis," Mr. Wagner said in his concession speech shortly before 10 p.m. at Michael's Eighth Avenue, his Glen Burnie banquet hall. "They said we're tired of you. We want change. And you know, I feel that way myself sometimes."

The final tally gave Mr. Wagner 48 percent to 52 percent for Mr. Middlebrooks.

"It's not parties at the local level, it's candidates that are more important," said Mr. Middlebrooks. "This campaign proved to me that we're dealing with a different type of voter. They don't want to hear that somebody endorsed you. They want to know where you stand on the issues."

Republicans also stormed forward in the House of Delegates races, winning a majority of the seats for the first time in memory. Longtime Democratic incumbents W. Ray Huff and C. Stokes Kolodziejlski were defeated in North County, along with Victor A. Sulin in Glen Burnie.

The new GOP House members include John Leopold, Victoria L. Schade, James E. Rzepkowski, Michael Burns, Janet Greenip and Robert C. Baldwin.

Meanwhile, Democrat John C. Astle beat GOP candidate Mary Rose for the Senate seat being vacated by Gerald W. Winegrad, the Annapolis Democrat who represented Annapolis and South County for 13 years. Mr. Astle won 51 percent of the vote, while Ms. Rose won 49 percent.

Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, the Brooklyn Park Democrat, easily outpaced Republican Nancy Schrum, PTA president at Bodkin Elementary School, to retain the seat he has held since 1985 representing Riviera Beach, Brooklyn Park and Pasadena. He won 60 percent of the vote.

In the House races, some new -- although familiar -- faces will be joining the Assembly in January.

Mr. Leopold will return to a District 31 seat he held from 1983 until he left in 1990 for an unsuccessful run for state Senate.

Former County Council Chairwoman Virginia P. Clagett, a South County Democrat, will be part of the District 30 delegation.

But David G. Boschert, another Democrat and former County Council member, was unable to capture a House seat in District 33.

Mr. Middlebrooks slammed Mr. Wagner as part of the "tax-and-spend crowd" in Annapolis and said voters want change and new ideas. He called for a limit of two terms for state senator.

Mr. Wagner countered at one point in the campaign, "We have term limits. They're called democratic elections."

Ms. Rose tried to use similar themes against Mr. Astle, an 11-year veteran of the House of Delegates, labeling him as part of the liberal, old-boy network, even though he's been a moderate voice in the General Assembly. The Senate seat represents Annapolis, Broadneck and Edgewater.

She pointed to her record as a personnel manager in the Reagan administration, where she worked for the Office of Personnel Management, headed the White House personnel office and served as a deputy undersecretary of education.

Mr. Astle, who touted his constituent service, acknowledged during the campaign that he was not a leader on any issue in Annapolis, terming himself a "generalist." He did say he was most proud of his work to improve the state's MedEvac system.

In District 33, Sen. John A. Cade, the Severna Park Republican, didn't have to deal with questions of longevity or spending. He was unopposed.

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