GOP has lock on delegation Miller cannot hold off challenge

all seats go to Republicans

Haines runs unopposed

General Assembly

November 04, 1998|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

Sen. Larry E. Haines of Westminster led a field of five Republican incumbents and a political newcomer to the party's first legislative sweep in decades last night.

Haines, who heads Carroll County's General Assembly delegation, was re-elected to a third term in the state Senate. The 60-year-old real estate magnate was unopposed in the primary and yesterday's general election and was the top vote-getter last night.

Much of the drama yesterday centered on whether the county's only incumbent Democrat -- Del. Ellen Willis Miller of Westminster -- would be able to hold off a Republican challenge in District 5, the heavily populated eastern portion of the county.

She could not.

Miller, 51, who finished fifth in the balloting four years ago, finished a distant fourth last night behind newcomer Carmen Amedori of Westminster and GOP incumbents Joseph M. Getty of Manchester and Nancy R. Stocksdale of Westminster, who was the leading vote-getter in her race last night.

Miller had replaced Carroll County Democrat Richard N. Dixon when he became state treasurer in 1996. She was the only Democrat in the four-person race for three seats in the House of Delegates in eastern Carroll.

Amedori, 42, finished third behind Stocksdale, 64, and Getty, 46, in the Sept. 15 GOP primary and held that position again last night.

In September, Amedori had to wait until absentee ballots were counted to confirm her narrow victory over W. David Blair of Manchester.

Her margin last night was great enough that she will not have to wait this time.

"I am overwhelmingly proud of the voters in Carroll County," Amedori said. "Your elected officials reflect the conscience of the community, and I think Carroll County should be proud to have Republicans representing them in Annapolis."

Amedori's bitterly contested primary battle with Blair left many Republicans with a sour taste. Miller was praised by Republican Mayors Kenneth Yowan of Westminster and Christopher Nevin of Hampstead in Miller's campaign literature.

"I'm disappointed. I'm surprised," Miller said. "I had expected to prevail. I had good support from the Republicans but it didn't turn into votes."

The key match in western Carroll and eastern Frederick counties yesterday was a repeat of the District 4 race four years ago. Then, Republican Timothy R. Ferguson of Taylorsville beat Democrat George Hayes Littrell Jr. by 4 percentage points with 52 percent of the vote.

Ferguson won last night with 55 percent of the vote.

Littrell, 64, had served three terms in the House of Delegates before challenging Ferguson, 43, four years ago for the seat left vacant by retiring Democrat Charles H. Smelser of Union Bridge.

Smelser had served 40 years in the General Assembly -- first as a delegate and then as a state senator. He might have played a role in this year's election but decided to stay on the sidelines even though he believed Republicans would outnumber Democrats at the polls.

"I did not get involved" in the Ferguson-Littrell contest, he said. "The national party is too liberal. The party used to be more middle of the road. Now it's way to the left."

His only interest this year, Smelser said, was to see that former Gov. William Donald Schaefer was elected comptroller. "It's important to keep [the state's] triple-A credit rating," Smelser said. "He's been down that road and it's important to have him."

The House of Delegates race in western Carroll and eastern Frederick pitted Democrat Ann M. Ballard of Mount Airy, 54, a popular member of the Carroll school board, against Del. Donald B. Elliott of New Windsor, 67, a three-term Republican incumbent.

Elliott beat Ballard by a 2-to-1 margin last night.

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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