Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Incumbent Montgomery County State's Attorney Andrew L. Sonner was narrowly defeated Wednesday night in his bid for the reelection endorsement of the Democratic Coalition, a group of Montgomery County party activists.
Sonner lost to Assistant County Attorney Dan Cassidy, who is making his first bid for elective office, by a vote of 371 to 338.
Sonner, 43, who has been the county prosecutor for eight years, downplayed his failure to win the endorsement, saying it would have no real impact on his bid for a third four-your term. Democratic nominees will be chosen in a primary Sept. 12.
The endorsement of such groups as the Democratic Coalition is important to the extent that it can help winners obtain money and campaign workers.
Cassidy, 30, has been in the county attorney's office for two years. The office is legal adviser and handles civil matters for the county government.
Sonner has angered some Democratic Party activists in the last several years with his adamant opposition to political conventions that endorse candidates before primary elections.
"I know there may be some people I have antagonized by my position," Sonner told more than 700 people at the Educational Services Center in Rockville Wednesday, "but I am not antagonistic toward any incumbent Democrat or his supporters." Sonner acknowledged that he faces a "serious challenge" from Cassidy.
In another contest for the group's endorsement last night, state Sen. Margaret C. Schweinhaut, 73, veteran member of the country's state legislative delegation, narrowly won endorsement for reelection over state Del. Charles A. Docter, 46.
On the first ballot, Schweinhaut came within one vote of getting the endorsement. The vote was 100 for her to 95 for Docter, with five votes disqualified. She needed 101 votes - a majority of those voting. On a second ballot, Schweinhaut won, 77 to 63.