Anne Arundel History

November 13, 2005|By JEAN PACKARD | JEAN PACKARD,SUN LIBRARY RESEARCHER

1986: TIGHT RACE

One of the closest congressional elections in recent state history took place in Anne Arundel County 19 years ago this week. And the votes took two weeks to count to make sure the result was right.

Running for Maryland's 4th District seat was Tom McMillen, a Crofton Democrat and former Rhodes scholar and Washington Bullets player. His Republican opponent was Robert R. "Bobby" Neall, a popular member of the state's House of Delegates and lifelong resident of Anne Arundel County. The county made up most of the district.

When it was all over on Nov. 19, 1986, McMillen had won by 428 votes. Neall called it the "the longest election night in history." State Sen. Michael Wagner, a McMillen backer, told a reporter, "If the race would have been another week longer, Bobby would have been the one with the narrow lead."

Neall was gaining in the polls in the final week, closing McMillen's 16-point lead to nearly a tie.

In 1992, McMillen was defeated by Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest when the two colleagues were thrown into the same House district after political boundaries were redrawn to conform with the 1990 Census.

[Jean Packard, Sun library researcher]

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