Guzzone Unseats Quinter in House Race; Livesay Defeated
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Howard County voters narrowed their choices yesterday for the school board from a crowded field and moved toward picking a new County Council. Both races were seen as significant as one of the nation's wealthiest counties looks for ways to maintain its highly rated school system and control growth.
The county's most watched contest was in the District 13 House of Delegates race, where incumbents Shane Pendergrass and Frank S. Turner were nominated along with former County Council chairman Guy Guzzone in the Democratic primary. They defeated incumbent Neil Quinter and financial analyst Nina Basu.
Earlier this year, Quinter decided to give up his General Assembly seat to run for the 3rd District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, a candidate for the U.S. Senate. As the Democratic field for the open 3rd District seat became more crowded, Quinter dropped out, deciding to try to reclaim his spot in the House of Delegates. By then, Guzzone had already grabbed the third spot on the slate with Pendergrass and Turner.
On the Republican side in District 13, pastor Rick Bowers, social worker Loretta Gaffney and Mary Beth Tung, a patent agent, will represent the GOP on the November ballot.
New electronic equipment frustrated voters and poll workers alike at scattered locations. Howard Elections Director Betty L. Nordaas said that some people left the polls without voting because of the delays. In some cases, she said, poll workers failed to offer voters provisional ballots when machine troubles occurred.
"You can recover from this, but with new technology and new [poll] judges, there's a learning curve," Nordaas said.
Because of term limits, County Executive James N. Robey (D) could not seek reelection. He ran unopposed yesterday in the Democratic primary for the state Senate in District 13 and will face incumbent Sandra B. Schrader (R) on Nov. 7 in what is expected to be a closely watched contest.
Ken Ulman, a County Council member who represents West Columbia, defeated Harry M. Dunbar, a retired personnel manager, for the Democratic nomination for county executive and will now run against Republican Council Chairman Christopher J. Merdon in November. Independent C. Stephen Wallis, a school principal and firefighter, will also appear on the ballot
In the Board of Education contest, voters were asked to pick up to five candidates from a list of 14. The top 10 vote-getters will appear on the November ballot, and voters will elect five to the board.
The board is expanding from five to seven members, so the two additional seats are expected to be occupied by Diane Mikulis and Mary Kay Sigaty, whose terms expire in 2008. Sigaty, however, won the Democratic nomination for County Council in District 4, defeating Joshua Feldmark, a former chairman of the Columbia Council and X UNcommon, a real estate agent. She will face Republican Tom D'Asto, a mechanical analyst, on Nov. 7 and must step down from the school board if she's elected. A successor would be appointed to the school board.
In the race for the District 2 (East Columbia) seat, Democrat Calvin Ball, who was appointed to the council to replace Councilman David A. Rakes, who resigned, defeated Adam Sachs. On the GOP side, Gina Gabrielle Ellrich, a communications consultant, beat David R. Hlass.
In western Howard's District 5, Republican Greg Fox, a former member of the county public works board, defeated G. Wayne Livesay, who stepped down this year as Howard County police chief. The winner will face Democrat Don Dunn, a member of the recreation and parks board, in the general election.
Elsewhere in the county's legislative races, Republicans in District 9A, which includes some of the county's rural west, chose Dels. Gail H. Bates and Warren E. Miller over Melissa Ridgely Covolesky. The winners will face Democrat David Leonard Osmundson, a retired National Security Agency worker, in November.
The Democratic and Republican candidates for the county's three state Senate seats ran unopposed in their respective primaries. There were no party contests for two of the four seats the county holds in the House of Delegates. Of the 10 candidates competing for the five seats on the County Council, six faced no opponents yesterday.