Copyright 1998 The Baltimore Sun Company
The Baltimore Sun
November 3, 1998, Tuesday, FINAL EDITION
SECTION: TELEGRAPH (NEWS), Pg. 1A
LENGTH: 1190 words
HEADLINE: Voters get the final word; Elections today to
fill top state posts and congressional seats; Campaigning to the wire;
Sauerbrey run neck and neck in bitter race for governor
BYLINE: Jay Apperson, SUN STAFF
Bombarded with negative ads and desperate pleas to register
their support at the ballot box, Maryland voters get their chance to speak
when they go to the polls to decide a governor's race that remains too close to call.
Starting at 7 a.m. and ending when the polls close at 8
p.m., Marylanders will cast their votes to settle the hard-fought rematch
Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey. In renewing their battle of four years ago, the candidates have
blasted each other as political extremists -- and given voters a stark choice.
"What's at stake in the governor's race is the direction
of state government -- nothing less than that," said Donald F. Norris,
a professor of
policy studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a close observer of Maryland politics. "Fundamentally, we've got two quite
different candidates in terms of their political philosophy and their political ideology." State elections officials predict a turnout of 57 percent of
the state's 2.5 million registered voters, which would be slightly less than the 61 percent turnout in 1994.
Today's forecast is for cloudy skies with periods of rain, with an afternoon high temperature in the upper 40s.
In addition to choosing a governor, voters will select
a state comptroller to succeed the late Louis L. Goldstein, whose name
will not be on the
ballot for the first time in nearly four decades. The race for the powerful comptroller's post brought former Gov. William Donald Schaefer out of
retirement and back into politics. Schaefer, who easily won the Democratic nomination, is running against Republican Larry M. Epstein, an
Owings Mills accountant.
Voters will also elect a state attorney general, choosing
between three-term Democratic incumbent J. Joseph Curran Jr. and Republican
Rappaport, a former Howard County police chief who was Sauerbrey's running mate in 1994.
They will also decide whether Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski
will retain her seat in the U.S. Senate; she is opposed by Republican Ross
County offices at stake
County executives and county councils are being elected
in Baltimore County and in Anne Arundel, Howard and Harford counties. Three
commissioners are being elected in Carroll County. Also up for grabs are Maryland's eight seats in the House of Representatives, all 47 seats in
the state Senate and all 141 seats in the House of Delegates.
On top of all this, scores of courthouse officials are
being elected throughout Maryland -- clerks, registers of wills and state's
attorneys -- and
dozens of bond issues are being decided.
In choosing a governor for the next four years, voters
will answer two questions: Will Sauerbrey, who in four years rose from
underdog in the
Republican primary for governor to become the state party's dominant personality, complete her climb to become Maryland's highest elected
official? Or will Glendening, who touts his record and seeks votes in a Democratic-majority state, return to the governor's mansion for four
Running to the finish
With the finish line in sight, the candidates continued to campaign hard yesterday.
Glendening scheduled a 17-hour day that included traveling
from Prince George's County to Montgomery to Baltimore and back to the
Washington suburbs in hopes of winning last-minute votes and boosting a strong Democratic turnout.
"We're feeling good, but we keep running like we're behind
by one vote," Glendening said as he shook hands at Mondawmin Mall in Northwest
Baltimore. "That's why we're going through until 1 a.m. I feel energized."
Sauerbrey was upbeat about her election prospects as she
shook hands with lunchtime diners at the busy food court at The Mall in
yesterday. The campaign stop in Howard County was one of seven she had scheduled in a day of campaigning starting in Montgomery County
and ending in Parkville.
"We're feeling great," Sauerbrey said. "We've got energized people who really care about this election."
The neck-and-neck governor's race has drawn the attention
of President Clinton and a host of national political leaders. Together,
and Sauerbrey spent more than $ 10 million, making the 1998 race the most expensive in Maryland history. Much of that money was spent on
television advertisements designed to scare voters away from their opponents.
Glendening will benefit from big turnouts in his strongholds
of Baltimore City and Prince George's and Montgomery counties -- the only
jurisdictions that he carried in 1994. Sauerbrey hopes voters turn out in large numbers in the more conservative areas of Western Maryland and
the Eastern Shore.
Linda H. Lamone, the state elections chief, said the office
has made efforts to prevent a repeat of four years ago, when the close
governor was marred by allegations of voter fraud. Lamone said that all 24 local elections boards were audited in the past year and that uniform
procedures for overseeing the vote and the absentee ballot count were established.
Also, improved procedures to identify voters are in place,
Lamone said. For instance, election judges will no longer read a voter's
ask if it is correct; instead, voters will be required to provide their addresses.
One point of contention after the 1994 election is no longer
an issue. Four years ago, Republicans complained that voters who should
"purged" from the rolls for failing to vote in successive elections were allowed to cast ballots. That provision for disqualifying voters no longer
exists, Lamone said.
In addition to the statewide races, voters in metropolitan Baltimore will be deciding a variety of hotly contested elections.
In Howard County, Republican County Councilman Dennis R.
Schrader and retired police Chief James N. Robey, a Democrat, are vying
County Executive Charles I. Ecker.
In Harford County, Republican Del. James M. Harkins is
running against former state Sen. Arthur H. Helton Jr., a Democrat, to
succeed Eileen M.
Rehrmann as county executive.
Anne Arundel County Executive John G. Gary, a Republican,
is running for re-election against Democrat Janet Owens, a former Orphans
C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger is running for a second term
as Baltimore County executive against Republican John J. Bishop, a former
In Carroll County, seven candidates, including one incumbent, are running for the three seats on the Board of County Commissioners.
Among the General Assembly races, Republicans were hoping
to gain seats in the state's rural districts. Closer to Baltimore, key
Republican Del. Kenneth Holt's challenge of state Sen. Michael J. Collins in eastern Baltimore County and Republican David P. Maier's rematch
with Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer in Howard and Baltimore counties.
Polls will close at 8 p.m. after the last voters in line
have cast ballots. As results arrive, they will be posted on the state
elections board's Web
site at www.elections.state.md.us.
Pub Date: 11/03/98