Because of a typesetting error, five words were dropped from a the sentence in a story about the November election races in Montgomery County. The sentence should have read: "Incumbent Dels. Judith Toth and Jay Bernstein (appointed to office in May) will attempt to withstand challenges by Thomas H. Williams, a Potomac lawyer, and Robin Ficker, a Republican maverick known for his frequent successful efforts to put refrendum questions on the county ballot.
The "Dollars for Democrats" drive has started. A new Democrative Party leader had been elected. Two campaign strategy sessions have been held, and more rapidly than in recent memory Montgomery Country Democrats have "kissed and made up" over primary election wounds, according to one party regular.
Although such behavior might be expected for a party wanting to win a general election, it was hardly a traditional display for the count's Democrats who usually end up fending after most primary elections. But his year, the party's new leader, Stanton Gildenhorn, has declared, "there appears to be total unity."
At the same time Republican candidates were holding meeting of their own, formulating a yet-to-be announced campaign theme for all their races according to party sources.
Thus far, these strategy sessions have consumed all the time of both county executive candidates, who have off from jumping into an active, acrimonious campaign, in contrast to their counterparts in the Prince George's County race.
State Sen. Charles W. Gilchrist's sweeping victory in the primary for county executive has encouraged party leaders to believe that I may take over the executive's office for the first time ever next January.
Republicans intend to keep control of the office even after Republican James P. Gleason, the county's executive for eight years, retires after the election.
The GOP candidate, Richmond M. Keeney, an insurance manager, has begun steering his "relevant experience" as a planning board member and former county councilman who has dealt with many of the problems facing the county government.
Gilchrist said the county needs someone who knows how to "work with the rest of the state" to get the county's fair share of tax dollars, particularly for education and Metro construction. His four years in the legislature, including his work with fscal issues and his career as a tax lawyer "speak for themselves" as credentials, he said.
Although Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 among registered county voters, Republicans also hope to break the Democratic lock on the County Council and state legislative delegation. In the 16th district in Potomac, legislative State Sen. Howard A. Denis, the only Republican in the 26-member state delegation, will try to keep his seat against the challenge of Joseph D. Gebhardt, a public interest lawyer.
In addition, Republicans are trying to pick up new seats in the House of Delegates in these races.
In the 16th District, three wellknown Republicans - Graham Weaver, John T. Perrin and Constance A. Morella - will attempt to defeat three Democratic incumbents in the the House of Delegates - John X. Ward, Nancy Kopp and Marilyn Goldwater.
In District 14A in the eastern corner of the County, Republican Linda Wood will face incumbent Del. Joel Chasnoff, who has earned a reputation of being responsive to his constituents.
In the 15th District, incumbent Sen. Lawrence Levitan, a Democrat, will vie against John Henry Hiser Jr., a Republican builder. Incumbent Del. Judith Toth and Jay Bernstein (appointed to the office in May) will attempt to withstand challenges by Thomas H. Williams, a Potomac lawyer, and known for his frequent successful efforts to put referendum questions on the county ballot.
In the 17th District, a conservative stronghold, incumbent Democrat Joseph E. Owens and two newcomers. Paul McGuckian and Jennie M. Forehand, will face liberal Republican Luiz Simmons, who narrowly lost four years ago, and Eleanore Arn, who is active in Republican women's groups.
Republicans also hope to penetrate the seven-member all-democratic County Council. Only three incumbents are seeking reelection. Two hardest-fought races probably will be between Republican Bob Brennan and Democrat Ruth Spector and between incumbent Democrat Neal Potter and Republican Jackie Simon.
Brennan, a builder, is a former planning board chairman; Spector is a legislative aide to Gilchrist, Simon is a well-known former county housing official.