Civic activist Sammie A. Abbott won reelection as mayor of Takoma Park by an overwhelming margin yesterday as all but one of the five City Council incumbents were defeated in the largest voter turnout of the city's 99-year history.
Abbott got 2,055 votes--nearly 60 percent of the total cast--to defeat Ronald J. Wylie, who got 1,541, according to unofficial returns.
Every incumbent council member was ousted except Frank Garcia, who was unopposed. It was the city's first ward-style election, with candidates selected from seven districts rather than at-large.
The election ended 30 years of council domination by candidates endorsed by Citizens for Sound Government, a political organization tied to business, landlord and Seventh-Day Adventist interests.
Abbott, a 73-year-old activist who has blocked bulldozers and seized the stage at school board meetings, pledged to keep fighting for local zoning power and stronger tenant rights and to unify the city, which is partly in Montgomery County and partly in Prince George's.
Incumbent council members, who often bore the brunt of Abbott's wrath, aligned with Wylie, who had promised "cooperation instead of confrontation."
In Ward 1, Louis D'Ovidio defeated Mary Anne Leary. In Ward 2, Carl Iddings beat incumbent Jennifer Saloma. William Eckert won over incumbent Jim Holland in Ward 3. Herman Williams beat incumbent Vernon Ricks in Ward 4. In Ward 5, Lynne Bradley won over incumbent Don Ramsey, Marc Elrich and Lynn McKinney. Joseph Faulkner defeated Janet Schwartz in Ward 7.