2 locked in tight race for council Skinner defeats Beadell for GOP nomination in 4th district

September 16, 1998|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

Early results from the Baltimore County Election Board showed that a 38-year-old party activist was locked in a tight race over Baltimore County Councilman Louis L. DePazzo for the Democratic nomination for the southeast's 7th Councilmanic District.

John A. "Johnny O" Olszewski, who works for a firm that prepares autos for showrooms, trailed DePazzo by slightly more than 100 votes, with about half of the precincts reporting. Olszewski worked methodically for months with backing from the large Battle Grove Democratic Club to erode support for the 65-year-old incumbent.

Wayne M. Skinner, a longtime state employee and community leader, defeated Kathleen F. Beadell, a real estate broker and president of Greater Timonium Community Council, to capture the Republican nomination for the 4th District -- the only vacant seat on the council. The council's other incumbents faced little or no primary election challenges.

Olszewski is vice president of the Battle Grove club, which expelled DePazzo as a renegade Democrat who backed Republican Congressman Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. instead of his own party's candidates.

Olszewski -- who was claiming victory late last night -- criticized DePazzo's personality, his support for the plan to sell and renovate the Hidden Cove apartments with public subsidies, and his zoning change to increase density for the Beachwood Estates development in North Point, despite the objections of neighbors.

DePazzo argued that he had changed his once-combative style, turning from being a political outsider to work closely with County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger to rebuild old neighborhoods and schools, and to add businesses and single-family homes to his long-neglected district.

An Olszewski victory would give him a decided edge in the heavily Democratic Dundalk district for the general election.

The 4th District Republican contest pitted two admirers of Douglas B. Riley, who did not seek re-election for a third term.

Skinner, 44, who had served on both the county Planning Board and the Recreation and Parks board and worked 20 years in the community, said last night's primary victory "gives me a tremendous feeling of satisfaction. I've got goosebumps and I'm shaking."

Skinner, an administrator of a state tax-credit program, campaigned on five main issues: education, jobs, crime, community conservation and commercial revitalization.

Beadell, 38, focused her campaign on community conservation and education issues, pledged to support Skinner in the general election and if he is elected to council. "I'm proud of Wayne. He worked so hard. I'm his right-hand girl."

The other Republican candidate was retired state employee Walter E. Boyd, 72.

Pub Date: 9/16/98

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