- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Early returns in Maryland showed lawyer Paul H. Rappaport ahead of seven other candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate more than two hours after polls closed last night.
Mr. Rappaport was leading the pack with 81 percent of precincts reporting, at 23 percent.
Locked in a tight race for second were retired Baltimore surgeon Ross Z. Pierpont at 18 percent and Rob Sobhani, an international consultant from Montgomery County, with 16 percent; and Robin Ficker, an outspoken Montgomery County lawyer known for his tax-reform referendum drives, with 15 percent.
Mr. Rappaport, a former Baltimore County police chief, was his party's choice for attorney general in 1998 and lieutenant governor in 1994.
Mr. Pierpont, who won the 1998 U.S. Senate nomination, is making his 16th bid for elective office.
Kenneth Timmerman, an investigative reporter also from Montgomery County who writes for national magazines and this newspaper had 9 percent, trailed Kenneth Wayman, a Carroll County businessman, who had 10 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Paul S. Sarbanes, Democrat of Baltimore, had already sprinted beyond the reach of George English and Sidney Altman, Montgomery County Democrats who challenged his fifth bid for a six-year term.
Unseasonably warm, sunny weather helped get voters to the polls in Maryland, where turnout got a boost because independents, who account for 12 percent of the state's voters, were allowed to vote for he first time in the Republican primary.
In the race for U.S. House seat representing the 8th District, Terry Lierman a self-made millionaire whose businesses include health care companies and a Capitol Hill lobbying firm was on pace, with 61 percent of the Democratic vote, to take on Constance A. Morella. Mrs. Morella, who has represented the district containing most of Montgomery County in the House since 1987, had no opposition in seeking the Republican nomination.
"I feel really gratified," Mr. Lierman said last night.
In the presidential primary, with 55 percent of Maryland precincts reporting, Democrat Vice President Al Gore held a more than 2-to-1 margin over former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, with 64 percent of the vote to 31 percent. For Republicans, Texas Gov. George W. Bush received 57 percent of the vote and Arizona Sen. John McCain garnered 36 percent.
But the contest for a Montgomery County Council seat held the promise of real suspense last night and will continue to do so through the election April 18.
A short, intense campaign to represent Montgomery's most affluent southwestern council district began in January after Betty Ann Krahnke, Republican, announced she planned to relinquish the seat April 17 because of illness.
Mrs. Krahnke, who has been fighting Lou Gehrig's disease for more than a year and a half, alarmed some party leaders when she offered her endorsement and leftover campaign funds to Democrat Patricia Baptiste.
Mrs. Baptiste, who shares Mrs. Krahnke's dedication to historic preservation, held a wide lead with 42 percent of District 1 precincts reporting. She had 55 percent of the vote, over Roger Berliner, a lawyer endorsed by the county employees' union, with 35.1 percent.
Former state Sen. Howard A. Denis, with 41 percent, barely led Mary Kane with 37.9 percent, for the Republican council nomination. Mr. Denis, on leave from his job as counsel to the House Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee on the District, was also on the ballot as a McCain delegate to the national convention. Mrs. Kane, whose family owns trucking companies including Office Movers, was on the ballot as a Bush delegate.
Democrat Albert Wynn was cruising to an early, easy win over fellow Democrat E. Richard Rosenthal and is expected to have little trouble again representing the 4th District, which includes northern and inside-the-Beltway Prince George's County and the eastern corner of Montgomery. Mr. Wynn is expected to have little difficulty securing a fifth term when he meets the lone Republican candidate, John B. Kimble, in November. Mr. Kimble alienated party leaders in a 1996 campaign for the seat when he offered to pose nude to raise $1 million.
Incumbent Democrat Steny H. Hoyer was expected to trounce challenger Bruce M. Ross and to easily regain his party's nomination. But Mr. Hoyer, who is in line for the job of Democratic Whip if his party recoups a majority in the House, may face one of the toughest races of his 20-year congressional career when he takes on Republican Thomas E. "Tim" Hutchins of Charles County. Mr. Hutchins, retired commander of the Maryland state police academy and delegate to the Maryland General Assembly, faced no opposition because two other Republicans withdrew.
Charles Haughey led Sharon Cox in the nonpartisan race for a seat on the Montgomery County school board by 27.3 percent to 24.8 percent.


Capital News Service reporter Ananda Shorey contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.

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