- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Democrat Jack B. Johnson became Prince George's County executive last night, handily defeating Republican challenger Audrey E. Scott, while Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan easily won re-election to his third term, defeating Republican challenger Eric Anderson.
Mr. Johnson had captured 66 percent of the vote to Mrs. Scott's 34 percent, with 95 percent of precincts reporting.
"I'm really pleased," said Mr. Johnson. "I'm going to do the job. We're going to unify this community with a common theme of excellence."
Mrs. Scott expressed disappointment and said she was surprised that the race was not closer.
"I thought it would be a statistical dead heat. We did the best we could by putting the issues out there," she said.
Mr. Duncan had received an overwhelming 76 percent of the vote to Mr. Anderson's 24 percent, with 84 percent of precincts reporting.
"It's a great night for Montgomery County Democrats. I'm pleased with voters' confidence in myself and Democrats across this county," Mr. Duncan said at a Democratic rally.
Incumbent Rep. Albert R. Wynn, a Democrat, crushed his challenger, John B. Kimble, gaining 90 percent of the vote.
"I've had great support and I'm thankful and appreciative," said Mr. Wynn. "I don't think I had the strongest challenger."
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Republican, 76, also won by a large margin over Democrat challenger Donald M. DeArmon, 47, to retain his seat in the 6th Congressional District, which encompasses northern and Western Maryland.
In Prince George's, many state Senate and House races were not even contested by Republican candidates in the overwhelmingly Democratic county.
Montgomery County voters went to the polls in droves to decide the state's tight gubernatorial race in which Republican U.S. Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., 45, defeated Democrat Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, 51.
State Sen. Christopher Van Hollen's successful bid to unseat eight-term Republican Rep. Constance A. Morella, 71, in the 8th Congressional District, also sparked voter turnout.
Mr. Duncan called voter turnout in Montgomery "extraordinary." Lines were long throughout the day and snaked around polling places even after polls closed at 8 p.m. Voters also adjusted to new electronic voting machines, possibly adding to the long lines, according to election officials.
Turnout in Prince George's, however, was slightly lower at 55 percent, an election official estimated. Four years ago, 60 percent of Prince George's voters went to the polls.
Mr. Johnson was heavily favored to win in large part because Prince George's has shifted in the last decade from a white majority to a 63 percent black majority. The county is also 73 percent Democrat.
Mr. Johnson, 53, retiring as the first black state's attorney, will replace County Executive Wayne K. Curry, who was forced out by term limits after two terms. He announced in May that he would return to "private life."
Though the underdog, Mrs. Scott, 66, claimed she gained black support through her three terms as Bowie mayor and two terms as County Council member. She and Mr. Johnson took similar positions on two key issues, with both calling improving schools and the police department top priorities.
County executives for both counties serve four-year terms. The Prince George's County executive is paid an annual salary of $101,000, and the Montgomery County executive is paid $124,302 a year.
Mr. Duncan, 47, spent most of his time prior to this election promoting the construction of the Intercounty Connector, an east-west highway that he hopes will ease congestion. Mr. Anderson, 40, a business consultant with no political experience, has lived in Montgomery County for seven years. Like Mr. Duncan, he supports the Intercounty Connector.
Races in two of eight state delegate races in Montgomery were extremely close, although Republicans won only one of six seats in the two districts. In District 14, Democratic incumbents Herman Taylor 35; Karen S. Montgomery, 67; and Anne Kaiser, 34, narrowly defeated all three of their Republican challengers, Patricia Cummings, 62; Patricia Anne Faulkner, 57; and Jim Goldberg, 49, in the race for three seats.
In District 15, Democrat Kathleen M. Dumais, 44, won easily while Republican incumbent Jean B. Cryor, 63, and Democrat Brian J. Feldman appeared likely hold on to narrow leads over Republicans Bill Askinazi, 44, and Mary Kane, 40, and Democrat Brian J. Feldman, 41, in the race for two seats.
In Prince George's, only two of eight state Senate seats were being contested by Republicans. In both those races, the Republican candidates were soundly beaten. Republican Toni Jarboe-Duley lost to the Democrat president of the Maryland Senate, Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., 59, in District 27. Republican Fran C. Shellenberger lost to Democratic Sen. Leo E. Green in District 23.
Prince George's Republicans also failed to run candidates in races for the Maryland House of Delegates in Districts 23B, 24, 25 and 47. They had a full slate of candidates for all available seats only in District 26, but Republicans Dale L. Anderson, Max Buff and JoAnn Fisher were turned away easily by Democratic Delegate Obie Patterson and Democrats Darryl A. Kelley and Veronica Turner.
One of the only two Republicans on the Montgomery County Council was defeated by the smallest of margins. Nancy H. Dacek, 68, lost her District 2 seat to Democrat Mike Knapp, 36, by two percentage points. Republican District 1 Council member Howard A. Denis, 62, drew a strong challenge from Democrat Duchy Trachtenberg, 48, but defeated her by about eight percentage points.
Mr. Duncan supported both challengers, even though Ms. Trachtenberg opposed the Intercounty Connector.
Republicans were challenging for seven seats on the Prince George's County Council, but lost in every race, including in District 4, which includes Bowie and Greenbelt, where Republicans are a substantial minority of registered voters, about one-third. Democrats outnumber Republicans about five to one throughout the rest of the county.
In District 4, Democrat Douglas J.J. Peters, 38, defeated Republican Melvin Bernard Johnson, 50, by a wide margin to take the seat vacated by Mrs. Scott, the Republican candidate for county executive.
Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler, 40, was unopposed in his bid for a second term and has said he plans on serving out his entire term. Some had speculated that Mr. Gansler, who grabbed headlines by being the first state's attorney to press charges against the sniper suspects, was aiming for a high-profile position under Mrs. Townsend, had she been elected governor.
Tom Eldridge, 39, the Montgomery County assistant state's attorney who was trying to unseat one of six of Montgomery's sitting circuit court judges, in the first contested race for judgeships in decades, was defeated by the six sitting judges.
The president of the Montgomery County Board of Education, Reginald M. Felton, 55, in District 5, had a serious challenge from registered nurse Robyn Anne Traywick, 37, but looked on his way to victory, with 53 percent of the vote to her 47 percent. Board Vice President Patricia O'Neill, 52, in District 3, easily handled conservationist and business consultant Kevin Schuyler, 33.
H.J. Brier and Arlo Wagner contributed to this report.

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