The final of tally of ballots in Anne Arundel County shows two Republican legislative candidates edging out their Democratic opponents by narrow margins yesterday.
Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. beat Del. Joan Cadden by 28 votes for the third seat in House District 31, the county Board of Elections reported after counting absentee ballots from overseas. And two-term county Councilwoman Barbara D. Samorajczyk lost to Annapolis jewelery storeowner Ronald A. George by 53 votes for the third spot in District 30.
"I'm excited it was close because everyone made a difference," George said.
Though Dwyer and George declared victory yesterday, the Democratic candidates said they would not yet concede, leaving open the possibility of a recount. The Democrats also are questioning the rejection of more than 200 provisional ballots - some by people who claimed to have registered at the Motor Vehicle Administration. Cadden, a three-term legislator, said that a decision on how to proceed will be made next week, and that party attorneys are considering other issues as well, but she would not elaborate.
Barbara L. Fisher, the county's elections director, said that her office had not received any complaints or questions about the rejected provisional ballots. According to Fisher, the candidates will have three days from Dec. 8 - when the votes are certified - to ask the state Board of Elections for a recount.
The candidates waited for more than a week after Election Day to learn the outcome of the races. The Democratic candidates had been leading after Election Day, but absentee ballots boosted the Republicans by midweek, pushing them ahead.
Dwyer's win in District 31, which includes Pasadena and part of Glen Burnie, means that the district was swept by Republicans, who won all three House seats and the vacant Senate seat.
Meanwhile, in a tight legislative race in the Perry Hall area, the unofficial results after absentee and provisional ballots were counted gave Democrat Todd Schuler an apparent victory yesterday.
Schuler, an attorney from Overlea, received 95 more votes than Parkville community activist Ruth Baisden in the race for the third House seat in the 8th District.
"We're celebrating," Schuler, an attorney from Overlea, said last night, when reached by phone. Attempts to reach Baisden, a Democrat, were unsuccessful.
Del. Eric M. Bromwell, a Democrat, and Del. Joseph C. Boteler III, a Republican, were both re-elected in the district.
Sun reporter Laura Barnhardt contributed to this article.