The Republican mayor of Annapolis, John C. Apostol, was victorious in his bid for second term Tuesday, winning re-election by a margin of 642 votes over challenges from a city alderman and a former two-term mayor.

The city's Board of Convassers said about 50 per cent of the 16,009 registered voters turned out for the election, which was marked by charges of "dirty politics" and "Watergate tactics."

The board said Apostol polled 3,387 votes. Apostol's closest rival, independent candidate Roger W. Moyer, who served as mayor from 1965 until 1973, polled 2,745 votes.

The third challenger and chief critic of Apostol's administration, James J. Stilwell, tallied 1,922 votes and was in third position even in his home ward.

During the campaign the two challengers had attacked Apolstol on his handling of city finances during his first term as mayor.

Moyer, who left the city with more than a $1 million budget surplus when he handed the office over to Apostol, promised a return to "the good old days" of a balanced budget and a harmony between city businessmen, the City Council and residents.

Stillwell charged Apostol with poor management and with "close and secretive relationships with a couple of department heads."

Apostol said he used the Moyer budget surplus largely to fund the police and firemen pension plan, which was faced wit henormous backlog of payments and little money four years ago. During his first term Apostol increased the city's police from 68 to 98 officers and crime dropped 50 per cent as a result, he said.