Defeated councilman joins GOP Pasadena's Redmond plans to run again in four years

October 04, 1998|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

Thomas W. Redmond Sr. may be down, but he's not dead.

The 3rd District Anne Arundel County councilman, defeated in the Sept. 15 Democratic primary by A. Shirley Murphy, announced Friday that he is switching to the Republican Party and wants to run for County Council or county executive in four years.

"I'm too conservative to be a Democrat," Redmond said Friday. "My loss in the Democratic primary was due to my refusal to play partisan politics with the north county Democrats and become one of the 'good old boys.' "

The towing-business owner from Pasadena also received good news in a Court of Special Appeals ruling Friday that he should not have been held in contempt of court for violating the conditions of a 1988 divorce.

In August 1997, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner ruled that Redmond should be sentenced to 90 days in jail for failing to remove the name of his former wife, Sandra C. Redmond, from the mortgage of an Ocean City home in foreclosure.

Lerner later said Thomas Redmond did not have to go to jail, because he had declared bankruptcy and was making efforts to fix the mortgage problem. But Friday's ruling removes a cloud over Redmond.

In an interview, he said he plans to sell the auto-parts portion of his business to repay his debts.

In the months before the Sept. 15 primary, Redmond was burdened by $1.6 million in debts, $41,797 in delinquent county business property taxes and a ruling that he had violated ethics laws by helping to pass an ordinance to help a business associate.

"Why isn't that man in jail?" his opponent, Murphy, asked shortly before beating Redmond with 64 percent of the vote in the 3rd District Democratic primary.

Murphy will face Republican Carl G. "Dutch" Holland, who represented the district on the council from 1990 to 1994, in the Nov. 3 general election.

Redmond said his tax and bankruptcy problems helped lead to his defeat. He said his stand in favor of a proposal to build a racetrack north of Riviera Beach also might have motivated his opponents.

"Of course, my personal problems gave lots of ammunition to my opponents," Redmond said. "And, unfortunately, those who were for the racetrack didn't turn out to vote."

Pub Date: 10/04/98

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