Candidates settle in for tomorrow's primary Council, mayoral races marked by confusion

September 15, 1997|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

Who's in, who's out?

Those aren't such easy questions when it comes to the Annapolis city elections -- not when four aldermanic candidates have been disqualified, one has bowed out and two new ones have jumped in all within a month.

And it isn't just the aldermanic candidates who are livening things up in tomorrow's primary voting. Give credit, too, to the three city council members, a former mayor, a former federal employee and a perennial candidate who are running for mayor.

"I've been in Annapolis for a quarter of a century now, and I'd have to say this is the most interesting local election we've had in years," said former Mayor Dennis M. Callahan, who is running again after two unsuccessful attempts to retake the office.

Among the Democrats, Callahan is opposed by one of his strongest past supporters, Ward 5 Alderman Carl O. Snowden. Meanwhile, former federal worker Sylvanus B. Jones has been making up for a lack of name recognition by plastering hundreds of "Vote for Syl Jones" signs throughout the city.

The Republican primary between Aldermen M. Theresa DeGraff of Ward 7 and Dean L. Johnson of Ward 2 has been nasty and contentious. And perennial candidate Louise M. Beauregard, 71, just wishes someone would would give her a chance.

"All the signs are there to show how different this election year is," Snowden says. "Ward 6 alone shows how bizarre it's gotten."

At the same time that Telia R. Brown, an Anne Arundel Community College student, filed to run for alderman as a Republican, her father, Michael Brown, registered to run as an independent. Then the lone Democratic contender dropped out, and the city Elections Board disqualified the elder Brown because he didn't have enough signatures on his petition to run as an independent.

Last month, incumbent Wayne C. Turner, a Republican, quit the race because of health and money problems -- too late to have his name taken off the ballot -- but asked Ward 6 residents to vote for him so the Republican Central Committee could choose a candidate other than Telia Brown.

As if that weren't enough, there was the monthlong controversy over three other aldermanic candidates who failed to register to vote properly.

When the city Elections Board determined it didn't have the authority to remove the candidates, a resident sued to get them off the ballot and won, leaving Ward 5 without a Republican candidate and Ward 7 without a Democrat. The ruling gave each party's central committee the power to pick replacement candidates.

Herb McMillan, 39, was chosen to pick up the Republican slack in Ward 5 and David O. Colburn, 72, a former alderman who served on the city council in the 1970s, will run in Ward 7.

Ward 8, where the third candidate, a Republican, was removed, had two other Republican candidates.

Regardless of who wins the party nominations in the primaries, a slew of political newcomers will be seated on the city council because no incumbents are running in five of the eight wards and Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins, a Democrat, is prohibited from seeking a third term by the city charter.

Not everyone thinks this is the race to end all races, though.

Tom Davies, president of the Community Associations of Annapolis, says it could get better.

"I actually wish there were more good candidates running," Davies says. "Hopkins' first race was pretty amazing. With about $1.50 and a lot of legwork, he threw out an incumbent."

Luckily for Callahan, affable Al Hopkins is staying out of this one.

Confused? Not to worry, there's still one more day to sort it all out.

Annapolis primary candidates

MAYOR

Republican

M. Theresa DeGraff

Dean L. Johnson

Louise M. Beauregard

Democratic

Dennis M. Callahan

Sylvanus B. Jones

Carl O. Snowden

ALDERMEN

WARD 1

Democrat

Louise Hammond (incumbent)

Republican

Robert Malone

WARD 2

Democrat

Sheila M. Tolliver

Republican

Vernon R. Tate

WARD 3

Democrat

Samuel Gilmer (incumbent)

Classie G. Hoyle

Joyce R. Hunt

Republican

Steven C. Kerstetter

WARD 4

Democrat

Madeleine F. Powers

Donnell L. Harris

Republican

Julia A. Dein

Joseph Sachs

WARD 5

Democrat

Sheryl E. Banks

George O. Kelley

Republican

Herb McMillan

WARD 6

Republican

Wayne C. Turner (incumbent)

Telia R. Brown

WARD 7

Democrat

David O. Colburn

Republican

Richard Bengston

Michael Fox

WARD 8

Democrat

Ellen O. Moyer (incumbent)

Republican

Robert McWilliams

Deborah Thompson

Pub Date: 9/15/97

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