Incumbents advance in Assembly races Six Republicans, lone Democrat survive primary

Primary 1998

September 16, 1998|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

The six Republicans and the lone Democrat who represent Carroll County in the General Assembly survived yesterday's primary and will defend their seats in the Nov. 3 general election.

All except incumbent Del. Ellen Willis Miller, a Westminster Democrat, and Republican State Sen. Larry E. Haines, leader of the county's legislative delegation, had primary battles.

Republican incumbents advancing with Haines and Miller were Sen. Timothy R. Ferguson of Taylorsville and Dels. Donald B. Elliott of New Windsor, Joseph M. Getty of Manchester and Nancy R. Stocksdale of Westminster.

A fifth Republican, Carmen Amedori of Westminster, narrowly won her party's nomination for a third seat and the right to challenge Miller in November.

Amedori is a 42-year-old Westminster resident who resigned in February as chairwoman of a committee appointed to write a charter that would have changed Carroll from a three-commissioner government to one with a county executive and a five-member council.

After resigning from the committee, Amedori led the opposition to the change, which voters rejected by almost 2 to 1 last May. She made her opposition to charter government the cornerstone of her General Assembly run, hoping that voters opposed to the charter would support her candidacy.

Miller made two unsuccessful attempts to win a seat in Annapolis before Gov. Parris N. Glendening appointed her to fill a vacancy created in 1995 when Richard N. Dixon became state treasurer.

The Westminster Democrat was unopposed in yesterday's primary, as were Frederick resident George H. Littrell Jr., a former school principal who served three terms in the House of Delegates, and Mount Airy resident Ann Ballard, a member of the county school board.

Littrell, 64, will challenge Ferguson in November for the right to represent western Carroll and eastern Frederick counties in the state Senate.

Ferguson, 43, coasted to victory in his primary battle yesterday with Carroll Assistant State's Attorney Jerome J. Joyce of New Market, who was making his third try for elective office.

Joyce, 50, was defeated in 1990 when running as a House of Delegates candidate from Hampstead.

He tried again in 1994 but withdrew to prosecute a murder case.

Democrat Ballard, 54, who is serving her second term on the school board, will face three-term incumbent Elliott in November for the right to represent western Carroll and eastern Frederick in the House of Delegates.

Elliott, a 66-year-old New Windsor pharmacist, was opposed in yesterday's primary by Union Bridge resident Roy Pfeiffer, 44. Elliott defeated Pfeiffer by more than a 3-to-1 margin in the 1994 general election when Pfeiffer ran as a Democrat.

Yesterday, he more than doubled that margin, winning by more than 10 to 1.

Incumbent Republicans Getty, 46, of Manchester and Stocksdale, 64, of Westminster had little difficulty advancing to the November election. But there was lively competition among the challengers vying for the right to oppose Miller in November.

Three challengers were laying claim to the party's third seat and the right to challenge Miller in the general election.

County Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown, 54, who finished last in the contest yesterday, might have had the most to lose among those candidates.

Brown, who was twice elected mayor of Westminster before winning a seat on the Board of County Commissioners four years ago, declined re-election to compete in a crowded House of Delegates race. Brown has held elective office since 1988.

Manchester engineer W. David Blair, 49, had claimed "quasi-incumbent status" after finishing second to Stocksdale in the 1994 primary.

But he finished fourth in the general election that year behind Stocksdale, Dixon and Getty. Yesterday, he ran neck and neck with Amedori in the early returns, never trailing by more than 20 votes or 1 percentage point.

Stocksdale and Getty were the leading fund-raisers among the five candidates in the primary. Stocksdale, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said during the campaign that she helped bring state aid to the county.

Pub Date: 9/16/98

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