For GOP, a Baltimore County Council majority or just 1 seat ELECTION 1994

November 09, 1994|By Pat Gilbert | Pat Gilbert,Sun Staff Writer

As Baltimore County voters elected their County Council members yesterday, the question 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.

Republican incumbent Douglas B. Riley of Towson said he prepared two speeches for last night.

"One glorifies the great strides the party made in the election," Mr. Riley said. "The other talks about a setback and the need for the party to work harder."

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 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.

Only Mr. Riley, 41, a first-term councilman from the 4th District, was seen as a certain Republican winner. His Democratic opponent was John J. Appel Jr., 69, of Towson.

In the 1st District, incumbent Republican Berchie L. 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 no-holds-barred 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.

Heather Mays, 25, voting at Catonsville High School, backed Mrs. Manley "because I happen to think she's very good for our county."

In the 2nd District, which has the largest percentage of Democratic voters, Democrat Kevin B. Kamenetz, 36, of Pikesville 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.

Although a conservative area with the largest percentage of Republican voters of any council district, the 3rd has elected one only GOP council member since election-by-district began in 1974.

Conservative Republican McIntire, 64, 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.

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.

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