'Brown-out' in the primary Carroll County: Incumbent sheriff and commissioner up for delegate were defeated in GOP primary.

September 17, 1998

AFTER A lively Republican primary in Carroll County, the Browns are out but most political veterans are still alive for the general election Nov. 3.

More Republicans than Democrats voted Tuesday, with all but two local races and the 6th Congressional District race requiring GOP voters to make a primary choice. In a county that is decidedly Republican, GOP primary contests often determine the winners in November.

The biggest surprises were the defeat of outspoken two-term Sheriff John H. Brown and the resounding loss handed W. Benjamin Brown, who ran for state delegate after terms as county commissioner and mayor of Westminster. The sheriff was beaten 2-1 by Kenneth Tregoning, a state police lieutenant who ran as a Democrat in 1994 and lost to Mr. Brown. Commissioner Brown (no relation) finished a distant last in the five-candidate GOP race for three delegate seats.

County Commissioner Richard T. Yates also lost a bid for re-election. But it's hard to generalize about dissatisfaction with the current commissioners because the third member of the board, Donald I. Dell, won renomination for a possible third term. (Mr. Dell could be overtaken by Melvin Mills in a close final tally, with 800 absentee ballots to be counted.)

Other apparent victors among the 14 Republicans who sought three spots for commissioner on the Nov. 3 ballot were Julia Walsh Gouge, who served two terms as commissioner before taking a four-year hiatus, and Robin Bartlett Frazier, who reported spending the most on the campaign.

The turnout of registered voters was less than four years ago, 30 percent vs. 39 percent in 1994. But based on history, nearly 70 percent of registered voters are likely to cast ballots in November -- more than twice as many as voted in the primary. Tuesday's victors have a lot of campaigning ahead in the final leg of the election race.

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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