Ehrlich easily defeats DeJuliis in 2nd District Other House members also hold on to seats

Election 1996

November 06, 1996|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,SUN NATIONAL STAFF Sun staff writer Larry Carson and contributing writer Sara Marsh provided information for this article.

Despite the concerted efforts of the governor and national labor unions, Baltimore County Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. swamped Democratic challenger Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis yesterday in Maryland's 2nd District congressional race.

"We sent a very strong message tonight to the governor of the state of Maryland [and] to some big labor bosses in Washington, D.C., who thought they could buy a Congress," said Ehrlich, who represents most of Baltimore County, all of Harford County and a small part of Anne Arundel County.

Maryland's seven other incumbents easily won re-election to the House, some of them after beating back aggressive challengers.

In an attempt to knock off Ehrlich, who is viewed as a potential candidate for senator or governor, labor unions poured tens of thousands of dollars into DeJuliis' campaign and Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening helped her raise money. DeJuliis is a former state delegate who represented Dundalk.

But Ehrlich's voting record and outspoken opposition to a plan that would move poor, minority residents from Baltimore public housing to more affluent, largely white areas, mainly in the suburbs, won over the conservative district.

Yesterday's clean sweep marked the first time since 1988 that all of the state's incumbents had won re-election. In recent years, House members have lost because of scandal, unfavorable redistricting or tough primary challenges.

Despite his strong showing in the state, President Clinton did not provide the coattails that some Democratic candidates had hoped for. Political observers attributed Clinton's limited impact to ethical questions that have dogged his administration and the perception that he has wavered on issues.

"It doesn't appear as if there is any depth of voter loyalty to him that is transferable to other candidates," said Donald F. Norris, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

That helped doom Democrat Steve Crawford, who was easily defeated by Western Maryland Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett yesterday.

Crawford, a lecturer at the University of Maryland College Park, tried to portray Bartlett, one of the most conservative members of Congress, as a right-wing extremist.

But Bartlett's voting record and tireless traveling in the district, which includes Carroll County, most of Howard County and all of Western Maryland, won him a third term.

"I think that my votes and my philosophy reflect the values of the majority of the citizens of the 6th District," said Bartlett, who said he was a little disappointed that he did not win by a larger margin.

In Southern Maryland, Democratic Rep. Steny H. Hoyer beat back a spirited effort by Republican John S. Morgan in the 5th District.

Morgan, a conservative state delegate from Laurel, had tried to paint Hoyer as soft on crime and too liberal for the district, which includes most of Prince George's County, southern Anne

Arundel County and all of Southern Maryland.

But Hoyer, who has served eight terms in the House, convinced voters that he had been effective in bringing thousands of government jobs to the area.

"Obviously, economic opportunity for working families is critical to this district," he said last night.

Montgomery County Republican Constance A. Morella easily defeated Democratic challenger Donald L. Mooers Jr. in the 8th District.

Mooers, a former adviser to the U.S. State Department, ran the most aggressive campaign in years against Morella, a popular five-term incumbent. He told voters to cast their ballots for him to tilt the House toward Democrats and oust GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

But Morella, who has a fairly liberal voting record, has widespread appeal among Democrats in the county.

Democratic Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of Baltimore, a five-term incumbent, flattened former state legislator and conservative talk show host Patrick L. McDonough in the 3rd District.

McDonough, a Republican who opposes gun control and favors broad tax cuts, was widely viewed as a long shot in his race against Cardin in the heavily Democratic district, which stretches from Columbia through Baltimore's Inner Harbor and north past Pikesville.

"We are winning in every part of the district, which is great," Cardin said. "I really do think the voters wanted a more moderate message."

Republican Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest hammered Democratic challenger Steven R. Eastaugh in the 1st District, which includes all of the Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel County and Baltimore.

To the delight of Democrats and quite a few Republicans, Prince George's Democratic Rep. Albert R. Wynn handily defeated GOP challenger John B. Kimble in the 4th District.

Kimble, who alienated many fellow Republicans by verbally attacking immigrants, tried to raise money by pledging to pose for Playgirl.

In Baltimore's heavily Democratic 7th District, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings trounced Republican Kenneth K. Kondner. The 7th runs from central Baltimore to the western edge of Baltimore County.

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