With 90 percent of the vote tallied in the race for Baltimore County Council, incumbent Republican William A. Howard IV lost his seat to Democrat Joseph Bartenfelder and another GOP incumbent, Berchie L. Manley, was in danger of losing re-election.
Meanwhile, in what could be the biggest surprise, Republican T. Bryan McIntire appeared to defeat Democrat I. Williamn Chase for an open seat in the Third District. Mr. McIntire would become only the second Republican to represent the conservatie district since district representation became affective in 1974.
But another GOP incumbent, Douglas B. Riley, as expected handily won re-election in the Fourth District over Democratic challenger Joh J. Appeal Jr.
Democrats Kevin B. Kamenetz won election to an open seat in the Second District, overwhelming Republican Jacquleine A. Fleming and incumbent Vincent J. Gardina beat back a challanger from Republican Thomas Rzepnicki in the fifth.
Mr. Bartenfedler, a popular state delegate, won with an unofficial total of 62 percent of the vote.
"This is a vote of confidence, a mandate from the poople. . . who want a voice in local government and that's what I will give them," said Mr. Bartenfelder.
"I ran on my record in this campaign, a record I'm still proud of," said Mr. Howard.
The question heading into today's voting was whether the GOP would increase the unexpected gains it made in 1990 or return control to a strong Democratic majority.
In the closing days of the campaign, two scenarios still seemed possible: Voters could send four Republicans to the seven-member council with an outside shot at a fifth. Or, the electorate could return only one GOP candidate.
Three Republicans now hold seats on the council, all upset winners who ousted incumbent Democrats in 1990 in an election frenzy that swept five of the seven incumbents out of office.
That sentiment didn't appear as strong this year, but the council election was 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 also gave up his seat for the executive race and won his party's nomination.
In the 7th District, first-term Councilman Donald C. Mason decided not to seek re-election.
Among these, Republicans mounted a strong challenge only for the seat in the 3rd District. No Republican even filed in the 7th.
Republican candidates hoped that a strong showing by gubernatorial candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey and by Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the hotly contested 2nd Congressional District race would spill over into the council races. Ms. Sauerbrey and Mr. Ehrlich were north county delegates to the General Assembly.
In the 1st District, Mrs. Manley 65, of Catonsville faced a strong challenge from Democrat Stephen G. Samuel Moxley, 31. Mr. Moxley, a Catonsville lawyer and Democratic Party stalwart, attacked Mrs. Manley for her anti-development stance during the past four years.
Mrs. Manley countered that she has been true to the wishes of the voters who put her in office to put a rein on the impact of development on residential neighborhoods.
In the 2nd District, Mr. Kamenetz, 36, of Pikesville, turned back c, was expected to outdistance Republican Jacqueline A. Fleming, 55, of Gwynn Oak.
In the northwestern 3rd District, Republican T. Bryan McIntire of Glyndon battled Democrat I. William "Billy" Chase of Owings Mills. Both are lawyers.
Republican Thomas Rzepnicki, 31, an Essex businessman, was considered a dark horse candidate in the 5th District against incumbent Democrat Vincent J. 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, incumbent Republican William A. Howard IV, 32, of Carney, the council chairman, fought a well-organized challenge by Del. Joseph Bartenfelder, 38, of Perry Hall, a popular Democrat.
Louis L. DePazzo, 62, of Dundalk, winner of the Democratic primary in the 7th District, was unopposed yesterday.