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Rockville voters oust mayor; Greenbelt diversifies council

By John Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rockville ousted its mayor Tuesday, and Greenbelt voters elected the first African American to a City Council that was recently expanded to encourage minority representation.

Other Maryland mayors fended off challeges, and a Democrat won a narrow victory in Annapolis as voters decided a three-way, partisan race for an open mayoral seat. Other elections listed below were nonpartisan.

Gaithersburg

Mayor Sidney A. Katz easily won another four-year term against Richard Koch, a real estate developer making his first bid for elected office.

Two incumbent council members, Henry F. Marraffa Jr. and Michael A. Sesma, were also reelected to at-large seats, turning back a challenge by Tom Rowse.

Rockville

Fellow City Council member Phyllis R. Marcuccio denied Mayor Susan R. Hoffmann a second term in a hard-fought contest. Hoffman, first elected in 2007, and Marcuccio had found themselves on the opposite side of many issues.

Two incumbents, John Britton and Piotr Gajewski, were among the leaders in a 10-candidate race to fill four at-large seats on the council, as returns came in late Tuesday night.

Takoma Park

Mayor Bruce Williams turned back a challenge from Roger Schlegel to win a second term in one of the state's most liberal jurisdictions.

In City Council elections, Ward 4 incumbent Terry Seamens defeated write-in candidate Eric Mendoza, and neighborhood organization leader Frederick Schultz prevailed over activist Navid Nasr for the open Ward 6 seat.

Bowie

Mayor G. Frederick Robinson easily won another two-year term over Samuel R. Graham, president of the Bowie Boys and Girls Club.

Two incumbents seeking reelection to at-large seats on the council, Dennis Brady and Geraldine Valentino-Smith, also had easy wins, with challenger Anthony Kennedy running a distant third. In a race for the District 2 seat, first-term incumbent Diane M. Polangin defeated challenger Piero V. Mellits.

Greenbelt

Emmett V. Jordan, an African American, was among the seven candidates elected to the newly expanded council. All five white incumbents were also successful, according to unofficial returns, as was newcomer Silke Pople. Nine candidates, including a second African American, competed for the seven spots.

There has been no minority representation on the council since Greenbelt was formed 71 years ago, and it had been 16 years since an African American sought office. After the NAACP and ACLU complained last year, the city decided to increase the council membership by two seats and increase minority outreach.

College Park

Andrew Fellows, a former City Council member, was elected mayor in a city that has not had a contested race in 20 years. All four council districts, which are represented by two members each, had contested elections.

Annapolis

Anne Arundel County Council member Joshua J. Cohen (D) narrowly defeated David H. Cordle Sr. (R) for mayor, with Chris Fox (I) running a distant third.

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