Annapolis voters go to polls today in primary Candidates for mayor, alderman are running

September 16, 1997|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

Annapolis voters head to the polls today to choose candidates for mayor and alderman in an election that will radically alter the face of the city council.

Four incumbents are running for nine slots, and two-term Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins is prohibited from running for re-election by the City Charter.

In the mayoral race, Democratic voters will choose among a former mayor, a city council member and a former federal employee. Republicans will choose from two city council members and a perennial candidate for their nominee.

And if this year's primary is anything like the one four years ago, turnout will be the key, candidates say. In 1993, about 30 percent of the city's electorate voted.

Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a Democratic candidate for mayor, said that's why his campaign workers were busy ironing out details yesterday afternoon to organize bus, van and taxi service for voters needing a ride to the polls.

"Thirty-six hours before the campaign, and we feel real good where we are," said Snowden, who faces former mayor Dennis Callahan and Sylvanus B. Jones, a former federal employee, in today's primary. "We have literally covered every church and synagogue in this city and it's paid off, I think.

"Now, the only thing left is the ability to get your supporters out to vote," Snowden said.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The city has 19,414 registered voters.

The Callahan campaign spent much of yesterday morning passing out fliers with an endorsement for the former mayor from the Annapolis Capital to about 5,000 Democratic households.

"The die is cast," Callahan said. "We just hope it comes up a seven and not boxcars."

"But we're trying to be more laid-back about this election. We're mostly going around encouraging the troops to keep up the good work," said Callahan, who had a racquetball match planned to "keep physically, as well as mentally sound."

Jones is making his second run for mayor.

On the Republican side, political observers are expecting a close race between Alderman M. Theresa DeGraff of Ward 7 and Alderman Dean L. Johnson of Ward 2. Perennial candidate Louise M. Beauregard is not expected to pose much of a threat.

Other races to watch include Ward 6, where Republican Alderman Wayne C. Turner dropped out nine days ago. However, voters may still vote for him because he withdrew too )) late for his name to be taken off the ballot. The ward's other Republican candidate, Telia Brown, 20, is an Anne Arundel Community College student and political neophyte.

If Turner wins, the Republican Central Committee must choose a successor for him. No Democrats are running in Ward 6.

"My prediction is that when it's all said and done, despite whoever wins the mayoral nominations, there's going to be a significant change on the city council," Snowden said. "And I'm leaning toward a city council that will be filled predominantly with women."

Pub Date: 9/16/97

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