Absentees don't beat GOP trio Dell, Amedori, Reisig lose margins, not race

September 18, 1998|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

No reversal of fortune came yesterday for three Republican candidates who eked out victories in Tuesday's primary.

County Commissioner Donald I. Dell, state House of Delegates candidate Carmen Amedori and Orphans' Court judge candidate Herbert J. Reisig saw their margins of victory dwindle after absentee ballots were counted yesterday, but not enough to matter.

Dell, a two-term incumbent, edged Finksburg resident Melvin Mills by 14 votes to win the Republican nomination for a third term.

The other Republican nominees are Julia W. Gouge, a former two-term commissioner from Hampstead; and Robin Bartlett Frazier, a former planning commission chairwoman from Manchester.

Dell, a Westminster resident, led by 35 votes election night.

"In the back of my mind, I was concerned," Dell said. "But I've been very busy. I haven't lost any sleep. My biggest concern is that I wish it had been somebody else."

Dell and Mills are "good friends and neighbors who have helped each other over the years," Dell said. "I would have had a different feeling if it had been somebody else. I feel kind of bad about it."

Regardless, Dell said he will campaign hard between now and the general election.

"I'm not good at it, and I despise it," he said. "But I love this job and I think it's important to have continuity" on the Board of County Commissioners. The other two commissioners -- W. Benjamin Brown of Westminster and Richard T. Yates of Eldersburg -- were defeated in Tuesday's primary.

Yates was seeking re-election, Brown was looking to win a seat in the House of Delegates.

Mills, a Westminster businessman and former member of the county election board, looked confident yesterday when he showed up at the election board office to watch the ballot counting. He joked with employees and confided to an old friend that he was more "apprehensive than nervous."

No fanfare

When he received the news of his defeat three hours and 40 minutes later, it was without fanfare. A board member simply handed him and Amedori a copy of the election report as it was spit out by a computer.

Mills and a small entourage of friends rushed to a corner. One groaned aloud. They knew the bad news instantly.

"If I were to say I weren't disappointed, it would be untrue," Mills said. "We ran a good race. The voters have chosen the people to represent them the next four years. What I need to do now is support those candidates."

Amedori, meanwhile, was handed her election report while standing alone in a doorway. "Is this true?" she asked loudly. It was as though she were looking for a second page that might somehow show a different outcome.

Amedori, who like Mills spent most of her morning at the election board, had a right to be concerned.

Four years ago, the Westminster resident had gone to sleep on election night thinking she had won a seat on the party's Central Committee only to learn two days later that she had lost by 10 votes.

She had not gone to the election board in 1994, but she arrived early yesterday, looking tired and drawn.

"I'm as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof," she said early on. "This is nerve-racking."

Manchester resident W. David Blair, who won his party's nomination for a House of Delegates seat in eastern Carroll in 1994, would have needed to capture 67 percent of the absentee vote yesterday to beat Amedori. But he netted only 57 percent.

'This is great'

Amedori breathed a sigh of relief.

"This is great," she said. "I was praying in my heart for this. This is great news. I am so happy."

The other Republican nominees in District 5 are incumbents Joseph M. Getty of Manchester and Nancy R. Stocksdale of Westminster.

Blair came to the election board early yesterday, but had to leave before the vote counting began. An aide gave him the news.

Dell did not go to the election board. Neither did Orphans' Court nominee Reisig, who led incumbent Albert W. Selby on Tuesday night, 3,243 to 3,097.

Selby bested Reisig by more than 2-to-1 in yesterday's absentee balloting (160-70), but it was still not enough to win one of his party's three Orphans' Court judge nominations.

The other nominees are Walter T. Haines Jr. and Dorothy V. Utz.

Pub Date: 9/18/98

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