- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 9, 2002

Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. said yesterday he will seek a recount of ballots in Tuesday's election after apparently losing to Republican challenger LeRoy E. Myers.
A count of absentee ballots in legislative District 1C, which covers Allegany and Washington counties, narrowed the gap between Mr. Taylor and Mr. Myers to 71 votes Thursday. Mr. Taylor met with advisers and lawyers about whether to ask for a recount before the Nov. 18 deadline.
"We're going ahead with a request of a recount. I really do think that the statewide importance of the election and the closeness of the count warrant a recount to bring closure to this issue," said Mr. Taylor, who has been House speaker since 1994.
There were 11,219 votes cast in the race: Mr. Myers received 5,645 votes and Mr. Taylor 5,574. Nearly 30 ballots remain to be counted before Allegany and Washington counties certify the election Friday.
Mr. Myers claimed victory Thursday, but Mr. Taylor has yet to concede.
"A lot of this is a negative vote against Casper Taylor. People in Washington County did not want to vote for him; they wanted LeRoy Myers to represent them," Mr. Myers said. "And in Allegany, where I was an unknown until four months ago, the people wanted change."
Mr. Taylor, a Democrat, has represented Allegany County in the House of Delegates since 1975. This year his legislative district was redrawn to include more voters from Washington County, based on changes in state population from the 2000 census.
Allegany is one of four counties in the state that used a new computerized voting system in this year's elections. A sampling of precincts yesterday showed that the vote had been 100 percent accurate, said Kitty Davis, county administrator of elections.
With Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's loss to Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the governor's race, Mr. Taylor's loss was one of two major upsets for Maryland Democrats on Tuesday.
Several Democratic lawmakers, including Delegates Michael E. Busch of Anne Arundel County and Howard P. Rawlings of Baltimore are eyeing the speaker's job.
Meanwhile, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. announced changes Thursday to five of the six Senate leadership posts, vacated by retiring legislators and others who lost their elections.
Sen. Thomas M. Middleton of Charles County will lead the Finance Committee; Sen. Ulysses Currie of Prince George's County will lead the Budget and Taxation Committee; Sen. Brian E. Frosh of Montgomery County will lead the Judicial Proceedings Committee; and Sen. Paula C. Hollinger of Baltimore County will lead the Education, Health and Environment Committee. Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden of Baltimore will be the new majority leader.
Mr. Miller said he wanted to move quickly to fill the leadership slots so the Senate would be prepared for the new governor's transition.
"I am pleased to announce a strong and committed leadership team that will work through the transition and hit the ground running on Jan. 8, 2003," he said.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide