The Baltimore Sun November 3, 1998, Tuesday,

                                            Copyright 1998 The Baltimore Sun Company
                                                       The Baltimore Sun

                                            November 3, 1998, Tuesday, FINAL EDITION


   LENGTH: 1190 words

   HEADLINE: Voters get the final word; Elections today to fill top state posts and congressional seats; Campaigning to the wire; Glendening,
   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 today
   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 between
   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 Paul H.
   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 Z.

   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
   more years?

   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 Columbia
   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, Glendening
   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 three
   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.

   Improved procedures

   Linda H. Lamone, the state elections chief, said the office has made efforts to prevent a repeat of four years ago, when the close election for
   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 address and
   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 have been
   "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.

   Other races

   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 to succeed
   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 Court

   C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger is running for a second term as Baltimore County executive against Republican John J. Bishop, a former two-term
   state delegate.

   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 races include
   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

   Pub Date: 11/03/98