Catonsville, Parkville delegates keep seats Balto. County officials count absentee ballots

November 06, 1998|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

Two Republican incumbents retained their seats in the House of Delegates yesterday when Baltimore County elections officials counted absentee ballots and declared Donald E. Murphy a winner in the Catonsville area and James F. Ports Jr. the victor in Parkville.

Elections officials were scheduled today to continue counting about 6,300 absentee ballots to confirm the winner in the county sheriff's race. When the polls closed Tuesday night, challenger Anne K. Strasdauskas appeared to be the winner, leading incumbent Republican Norman M. Pepersack Jr. by 5,112 votes.

In House of Delegates District 12A, which covers Catonsville and a small portion of Howard County, Murphy beat Democrat Steven J. DeBoy Sr. by 255 votes.

That district is represented by two delegates rather than the usual three. The other delegate from 12A is James E. Malone, a Democrat. District 12B is in Howard County, where Elizabeth Bobo, a Democrat, is the representative.

Yesterday, Murphy, whose district is heavily Democratic, spent six hours at the election office in Towson awaiting the final count of absentee ballots and of misprinted ballots that had to be counted by hand.

"I feel elated. I guess I'm lucky to survive this, considering how badly my friends lost," he said, referring to Republicans who lost legislative seats in Howard and Anne Arundel counties. "I'm pushing the envelope here. I beat the odds."

In the 8th District, which includes Parkville, Perry Hall and a small portion of Baltimore City, Ports won his third term against Democratic newcomer J. Joseph Curran III by 118 votes.

Ports joins Katherine Klausmeier, a Democrat, and Alfred W. Redmer Jr., a Republican, in representing that district in the House of Delegates.

As elections officials counted the absentee ballots, Curran's father, Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., paced the hallway awaiting the outcome. Candidate Curran's brother-in-law, City Councilman Martin O'Malley, scrutinized absentee ballot records.

Ports later said he ran a difficult race against the son of Maryland's attorney general.

"It was a tough fight because the attorney general had commercials on the air with the same name," said Ports.

But he said he believes he won based on his record working with voters in his district.

"Just having a popular name isn't all it takes. It's community service that counts," he said.

Pub Date: 11/06/98

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