After eight years without a county council member to their name, Prince George's Republicans say they stand a good chance of getting one in next week's elections because of redistricting and the opportunities opened for Republicans under a Republican county executive.

After eight years without a county council member to their name, Prince George's Republicans say they stand a good chance of getting one in next week's elections because of redistricting and the opportunities opened for Republicans under a Republican county executive.

Heading the GOP's hopes are Ella E. Ennis, who is challenging incumbent William B. Amonett in the council's 9th District, and Wilbert R. Wilson, who is facing school board member Jo Ann T. Bell in the 6th.

Redistricting has meant council candidates no longer run countywide and can concentrate on their own districts. The political appointments of County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan over the past four years have given the county GOP candidates with solid government experience, party leaders say. "It's opened a lot of doors," said Barbara Anderson, chairman of the Republican Central Committee.

Both the leading Republican candidates for council have had doors to opportunity opened for them by Hogan.

In the election four years ago, Wilson, now 38, ran as an "independent Democrat" for county council but lost. Then, after switching parties, he worked for four years as a senior assistant to Hogan, acting as his liaison with county municipalities and minority businesses and as chairman of the county's task force on drunken driving.

Ennis, 42, entered politics more than 10 years ago to work in Hogan's congressional campaigns. When Hogan was elected county executive, Ennis became his legislative liaison in Annapolis, where some delegates jokingly called her "the human postage stamp" because she carried Hogan's messages to the state capitol.

But with polls showing Hogan running well behind Democratic Sen. Paul Sarbanes in Prince George's in the race for U.S. Senate, Ennis, Wilson and other Republicans are now playing down their ties with Hogan.

"They are not Hogan prote'ge's," Anderson insisted. "They have worked with him, they are Republicans, but they are very obviously different individuals."

Ennis, who narrowly lost a race for the House of Delegates four year ago, argues it is Amonett who is not his own man, saying he prefers to go along with the council majority rather than take stands of his own for his district.

For instance, she criticized his recent vote to give a tax break to operators of the Capital Centre -- a stand she says she would not have taken. She also complained Amonett hasn't done enough to "bring home the bacon," such as state benefits for farmers.

Ennis said the TRIM charter ammendment, which froze county property taxes at their 1979 levels, should not be altered for at least two more years.

Amonett said he's willing to leave the issue to the voters: He supports TRIM modification but says, it's not a panacea, it falls far short."

Amonett heads a council task force set up this year to examine alternative ways of financing local government, but the task force has yet to meet. Ennis said the delay and Amonett's abstention on a controversial cable television franchise vote last year are evidence he has not been working as hard as he should.

She noted that since beating two strong challengers in the September primary, Amonett has appeared at few candidates' forums held by civic groups. "There is a symbol of the kind of leadership he's providing," she said. "There's an empty chair: He's not there."

But Amonett, who says he prides himself on his constituent work, has proven his popularity -- he has held his seat for eight years and trampled his Republican opponent, Janet N. Maus, by more than 23,000 votes in 1978. This year, he said, he is campaigning harder than ever and plans to spend about $40,000 in his bid for reelection, compared with $8,000 four years ago.

While Ennis zeros in on Amonett, county Republicans also are watching the race between Wilson and Bell.

At first glance, the 6th District is not the sort of turf Republicans run well on. A hodgepodge of older, lower middle-income communities, such as District Heights and Suitland, and newer developments, such as Kettering and Largo, it is one of three county districts where blacks outnumber whites. As in most of the county, Democrats outnumber Republicans 4 to 1.

But Wilson is black. He has considerably more money in campaign contributions than Bell -- $25,898 versus $6,746 as of Oct. 5 -- and he has been campaigning for more than two years.

Bell, on the other hand, leaped into the race at the last minute and took many of her own party members by surprise when she beat incumbent Council Chairman Gerard McDonough in September's primary.

Wilson said Bell's victory has given his campaign a boost because McDonough would have been much harder for him to beat. The primary win "was a vote against Gerry McDonough," he said. "I don't think that is an indication that Jo Ann was so strong. . . . Jo Ann didn't think she had a ghost of a chance; what actually happened was she was toying around with the idea of putting McDonough in his place, and the win caught her by surprise. I think she's still in shock."

But state Sen. Tommie Broadwater, who lives in the district and is a senior member of the Prince George's delegation to the legislature, said Wilson has it all wrong. "He would have been in better shape if Gerry had won the primary," Broadwater said.

"He made a drastic mistake to key in on Gerry; Gerry would have been a much easier opponent.

The fact that Bell is running against Wilson, whose campaign is well-financed, makes the race "interesting," Broadwater said. But he predicted a Bell win.

Wilson is "a decent guy," Broadwater said, "but a lot of his philosophy is Republican, and his associations have been with Republicans. When people look at the ballot and see that he's Republican, they'll vote for Bell."

Bell's fortunes have changed since the primary race, and she maintains she is firmly in control. After several months of knocking on doors with the help of friends who had little or no political experience, she now has experienced politicians standing at her side.

State delegates have been making the rounds with her, and leading Maryland Democrats, such as Rep. Steny Hoyer, Attorney General Stephen Sachs and Gov. Harry Hughes, have attended fund-raisers Bell has shared with other Democratic candidates.

"It's been easier" than the primary race, Bell said. "I haven't had to beg."