Ruppersberger takes 2-1 lead in executive's race At least 2 newcomers to join County Council

Skinner leads in the 4th

Election 1998

November 04, 1998|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

At least two newcomers will join the incumbents on the Baltimore County Council next term, while early returns showed County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger -- a likely candidate for governor in four years -- headed for an easy re-election.

Running on a record of economic development, public safety, schools and community revitalization, the Democratic county executive was poised to easily defeat Republican challenger John J. Bishop to win a second term in office.

With more than one-third of the precincts reported, Ruppersberger had received 48,527 votes compared with Bishop's 24,219.

In trying to unseat Ruppersberger, Bishop faced a popular and well-financed incumbent. With only a few thousand dollars to spend, Bishop, a former Parkville state delegate, called for cutting income taxes and questioned Ruppersberger's claims about creating new jobs and repairing older neighborhoods.

Bishop, 50, also protested the county's pension system under which an elected county official can retire at full pay for life,

regardless of age, after 20 years' service.

If the 52-year-old Ruppersberger serves a full second term, his combined 17 years of Baltimore County Council and executive service would make him eligible for an $89,250 annual pension for life.

Supporters say chances are he won't end his public service in the county executive's post.

Ruppersberger resisted the urging of some party leaders who wanted him to run for governor this time, deciding to bide his time and build a base of support outside the Baltimore area. With a campaign chest of $600,000, he is on his way to amassing a fund for a run at the governor's mansion in 2002.

Council changes due

On the County Council, newcomers will replace departing Councilmen Douglas B. Riley, a Towson Republican who decided not to seek re-election in the 4th District, and Louis L. DePazzo, a Dundalk Democrat who lost in the September primary.

With 65 of the 187 precincts reporting, Riley's seat appeared likely to go to the Republican candidate, Wayne B. Skinner, a longtime community activist and former member of the county Planning Board.

Skinner, 44, a Loch Raven Village resident, appeared to have the edge against Democrat John J. Appel, 73, a semiretired Towson lawyer.

Democratic territory

The 7th District seat seemed certain to remain under Democratic control with a victory for John A. "Johnny O" Olszewski, a 38-year-old newcomer who defeated DePazzo in the primary. Olszewski faced no Republican on the ballot, although Larry A. Leone, 37, of Edgemere filed as a write-in candidate.

Two incumbents, Catonsville Democrat Stephen G. Sam Moxley and Perry Hall Democrat Vincent J. Gardina, faced spirited competition but seemed poised to win re-election in the county where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-to-1.

Perry Hall race

Republican Allen Thompson, a political newcomer, hoped to stop Gardina's election to a third term.

The former president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association, who retired this year from a 25-year career in the loan business, criticized the incumbent for being out of touch with the constituents.

Gardina said he has worked to reduce zoning densities throughout the district, to eliminate rundown apartment complexes and to plan for Honeygo, a large new community of homes north of White Marsh.

In the 1st District, Republican John Manley tried to reclaim the seat his wife, Berchie Lee Manley, lost in 1994 to Moxley.

Mr. Manley, 71, a retired professor and administrator at Catonsville Community College, charged that Moxley, 39, is too close to Ruppersberger.

In the other council races, Fullerton Democrat Joseph Bartenfelder, Pikesville Democrat Kevin Kamenetz and Owings Mills-North County Republican T. Bryan McIntire, were expected to handily win re-election.

Bond issues sought

County voters also were asked to approve $195 million in bond issues, mostly to fund repairs to schools, roads, alleys, bridges and storm drains, and were to vote on three charter amendments.

Nearly half the bond total -- $85 million -- would be earmarked for schools, including $1 million in planning money for a new high school in Owings Mills and repairs at older elementary schools.

Also to be funded through the bond issues is $10.4 million to help pay for the extension of Route 43, White Marsh Boulevard, to Interstate 95 and $3.2 million to help fund the extension of Owings Mills Boulevard to Liberty Road; $2.5 million to plan a county detention center and $1.1 million to help pay for Bloomsbury Community Center in Catonsville.

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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