Who's on first in City Council race? Anne Arundel County: Ballot lists candidates not running and omits one who wanted to run.

September 10, 1997

VOTERS IN ANNAPOLIS' Democratic and Republican primaries for City Council have every right to be confused when they vote come Tuesday.

Three candidates who were deemed ineligible at the last moment and were removed from the ballot may have more name recognition than candidates still in the race. Incumbent Wayne C. Turner decided not to seek re-election in Ward 6 for health reasons, but his name remains on the ballot. Yet voters in that ward who were hoping to cast votes for activist Michael T. Brown won't find his name on the ballot. The old cliche about needing a scorecard to know the players is not applicable here; even the scorecard is wrong.

Much of the confusion can be traced to the uncertain status of three candidates ruled ineligible by a judge because they hadn't been registered voters long enough in their respective wards, as required by the City Charter.

Ironically, Republicans Timothy T. Troutner of Ward 5 and Michael S. Hay of Ward 8, and Democrat James M. Conley of Ward 7, received much publicity because of this snafu. Some voters may be puzzled to find them no longer on the ballot.

The Republican Central Committee named Herb McMillan as its nominee in Ward 5, and Democrats named David O. Colburn to represent them in Ward 7. (The GOP did not field a replacement for Mr. Hay in Ward 8, because two other Republicans are running: Robert K. McWilliams and Deborah H. Thompson.)

Meanwhile, the scenario in Ward 6 may be most bizarre of all. Mr. Turner vacated too late to have his name removed. His Republican opponent is Telia R. Brown, daughter of the aforementioned Michael T. Brown, who hoped to run for alderman in Ward 6 as an independent.

The well-known Mr. Turner may end up with more votes than Ms. Brown, whose father was disqualified by the Annapolis Elections Board because he did not collect enough signatures to be listed as an independent. Although she is the lone candidate seeking the councilmanic seat in Ward 6, Ms. Brown has an uphill battle. If Mr. Turner outpolls her, the GOP will name the nominee, which does not have to be her.

Annapolis voters will have seven weeks to sort out this mess before the general election. They'll need every day.

Pub Date: 9/10/97

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