A two-term Republican incumbent lost his alderman's seat, and November's general election ballot was set for Annapolis aldermen and mayoral elections after yesterday's primaries.
The most fiercely contested race came in Ward 7, where challenger Laura Townsend defeated incumbent Michael W. Fox, 109 to 74, in the Republican primary, according to unofficial results released last night.
Elections officials did not know the voter turnout last night but said it was predictably low for an election in which there were no primary challenges for mayor and only half the alderman seats were contested -- in Wards 1, 2 and 3, in addition to 7.
Fox, who was seeking his third term, came under attack for often tipping the Democratic mayor's way in 5 to 4 council votes. In campaign literature, Townsend charged that she was "the only real Republican" in the race, assailing Fox for not supporting a reduced homestead tax cap, which currently limits taxable assessments at 10 percent above the previous assessment. Fox countered that Townsend, a fundraising manager for Catholic Relief Services, didn't understand city government and finances.
Townsend will face write-in candidate Arlene Berlin in the Nov. 8 general election.
In Ward 1, retired assistant attorney general Richard E. Israel beat public housing advocate Alice O. Johnson, 279 to 31, in the Democratic primary. In November, he'll face Republican Doug Burkhardt, who was unopposed in the primary, for the seat left vacant by Louise Hammond (D), who did not seek reelection.
In Ward 2, the most crowded race, Debbie Rosen McKerrow, president of Chesapeake Estate Services, defeated Joseph "Zastro" Simms, 240 to 86, in the Democratic primary. She'll face Republican Michael Christman, a Naval Academy alumnus and software entrepreneur, who received 203 votes to David A. Hanson's 66 and Robert H. Eades's 6. The seat is being vacated by Sheila M. Tolliver (D).
In Ward 3, first-term incumbent Classie Gillis Hoyle (D) easily held on to her seat despite a feisty challenge from Scott Bowling, a newcomer to city politics. With no Republican challenger, the primary victory ensures that Hoyle will retain her seat, barring an aggressive write-in campaign.
The day was not a good one for leaders of the African American community in Annapolis, who launched a late campaign to place black candidates on the ballet.
There were nine black candidates at the beginning of the day, including Republican mayoral candidate George O. Kelley Sr., the most in the city's history. By the end, the number had been whittled to six as Johnson, Eades and Simms lost.
For the remainder of the Nov. 8 ballot: Mayor Ellen O. Moyer will defend her seat against Kelley and independent Gilbert Renaut; Democrat Wayne Taylor will face Republican Tyrone Furman for the Ward 4 seat being vacated by Kelley; Ward 5 incumbent David H. Cordle Sr. (R) will face Democrat James R. Turner; Ward 6 incumbent Cynthia Carter (D) will defend against independent Julie M. Stankivic; and Ward 8 incumbent Joshua J. Cohen (D) will face Republican Regina Linton.