Moyer wins election as next mayor

Democrat's margin over McMillan is 700 in unofficial totals

First woman to head city

4 incumbents returned to city council, which will have 3 minorities


November 07, 2001|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

In a nearly citywide victory, Democrat Ellen O. Moyer defeated Republican Herbert H. McMillan to become the next mayor of Annapolis and the first woman to head the historic city.

Last night's unofficial totals showed that Moyer defeated McMillan by about 700 votes, winning every ward except two - downtown Ward 1 and McMillan's Ward 5.

Moyer, 65, who has served as Ward 8 council representative from Eastport for 14 years, launched a well-financed and highly organized campaign against the tough-shooting McMillan, who knocked incumbent Mayor Dean L. Johnson out of the race in the Sept. 11 primary.

She will preside over the city's first majority-female council, with women holding the posts in Wards 1, 2, 3 and 6.

Standing on stage last night overlooking a small banquet room packed with several hundred supporters, Moyer thanked those who backed her, saying she was in awe of people's willingness to help.

"What I learned in our campaign talking to people will guide me" during the term, she said. "I'm pleased and so proud to be your leader."

Even before the last precinct reported, the crowd started cheering and chanting "Moyer! Moyer!" The supporters spilled out of the warm room at Carrol's Creek Restaurant in Eastport, talking on cellular phones, shaking hands and hugging each other.

Those attending the gathering included state legislators, former mayors, state officials and County Executive Janet S. Owens, who declared to a cheering audience, "Women rule in Anne Arundel County!"

Moyer, a retired lobbyist for the Maryland State Teachers Association, easily beat four challengers in the Democratic primary, including former Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins.

McMillan, who conceded the election in a speech before friends, family and supporters in his Hunt Meadow home, then went to Moyer's victory party to congratulate her in person. He talked to her privately and left.

Before joining Moyer, McMillan spoke to the large crowd gathered at his home in a voice hoarse from days of campaigning.

"We congratulate our opponent, and we look forward to the next four years," McMillan told them. "We should not have any long faces tonight. We have done our very best."

The 43-year-old Naval Academy graduate, professional airline pilot and Navy Reserve commander promised to continue to "frame the debate" during Moyer's term and left the door open for future political runs in the city or beyond, saying "we will [win] next time."

Meanwhile, four incumbents were returned to their seats on the city council, which will maintain its 7-2 Democratic majority, and include three African-Americans, the most minority members at once on the council.

In Ward 1, voters re-elected eight-year Alderman Louise Hammond, a Democrat. She defeated Isaac Opalinsky, 25, the state's first Green Party candidate.

Former city police officer George O. Kelley, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Alderman Joseph Sachs in Ward 4, which was significantly altered by this summer's redistricting.

McMillan's Ward 5 seat will go to Republican David H. Cordle Sr., chief investigator for the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office. He defeated independent Wilford Scott, an art historian who heads the city's planning commission.

Ward 6 voters re-elected Alderman Cynthia Carter, a Democrat who narrowly won the seat in a 1997 write-in campaign, despite a two-pronged challenge from Republican Riccardo Paradiso and independent Julie Stankivic.

Democrat Joshua Cohen, who at 28 will be the city's youngest official, was elected to fill the seat vacated by Moyer, who had endorsed him as her chosen successor. He defeated real estate agent Robert McWilliams, a Republican who challenged Moyer four years ago.

The incumbents in Wards 2 and 7, Democrat Sheila M. Tolliver and Republican Michael W. Fox, ran uncontested in their wards. Classie Gillis Hoyle, who defeated 20-year Alderman Samuel Gilmer in the Ward 3 Democratic primary, also was unopposed in the general election.

There were 312 absentee ballots issued citywide, which are not expected to alter the outcome of any of the races. The ballots, which will be counted today, could affect whether Moyer indeed won in Ward 2 and McMillan in Ward 1.

The new mayor and council will take office Dec. 3.

Sun staff writer Laura Barnhardt contributed to this article.


The unofficial winners in the Annapolis election are as follows:

Mayor: Ellen O. Moyer (D)

Ward 1: Louise Hammond (D) (incumbent)

Ward 2: Sheila M. Tolliver (D)* (incumbent)

Ward 3: Classie Gillis Hoyle (D)*

Ward 4: George O. Kelley (D)

Ward 5: David H. Cordle Sr. (R)

Ward 6: Cynthia Carter (D) (incumbent)

Ward 7: Michael W. Fox (R)* (incumbent)

Ward 8: Joshua Cohen (D)

*Candidate was unopposed in yesterday's general election.

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