- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2002

State's Attorney Jack Johnson briefly celebrated his Democratic primary election and returned to the campaign trail yesterday, heading for the Nov. 5 general election for Prince George's County executive.

He will face Republican opponent Audrey E. Scott, 66, a County Council member and former Bowie mayor. She won 75 percent of the votes Tuesday, defeating J. Mitchell Brown, 72, of Upper Marlboro, a retired Army general.

Four other county candidates will have to wait, probably until Monday, to learn who won the Democratic primary in the races for sheriff and register of wills. The primary results will be the finale because there are no Republican candidates to face in November.

The Democrat candidates have huge favorable odds for winning the general election. They make up 85 percent of more than 311,000 registered voters in Prince George's.

Cpl. Michael Jackson, 38, of Brandywine has a lead of about 1,400 votes over his boss, Sheriff Alonzo "Al" Black, 57, of Capitol Heights. Incumbent Register of Wills Lynn L. Skerpon of Upper Marlboro has just over 50 percent of the votes compared with 49.59 percent for Cereta A. Lee of Bowie.

Leaders in both races could be overcome when unreported votes from four of the 209 precincts and 2,300 absentee ballots are counted. Election officials said the four precincts were unable to transmit votes to headquarters Tuesday night.

Some workers on the sheriff's campaign said voters in two of the four precincts were big supporters, and they expected most of the absentee votes would be for Sheriff Black.

Mr. Johnson, 53, won nearly 36 percent of the county executive votes over four other Democrats: County Council member M.H. Jim Estepp, 61, of Upper Marlboro; the Rev. C. Anthony Muse, 44, of Oxon Hill; Delegate Rushern L. Baker III, 43, of Lanham, and Major Riddick, 52, of Largo, chief of the Maryland governor's staff.

After election results Tuesday night, Mr. Johnson, wife Leslie and three children, all of Suitland, met in celebration with hundreds of supporters and campaign workers in the Greenbelt Marriott Hotel.

Last night, Mr. Johnson met as usual each Wednesday with his campaign workers at their headquarters in Suitland.

This morning in Forestville, Mrs. Scott, a former teacher, is describing her "comprehensive blueprint for the county's educational future." Her presentation is scheduled in Longfields Elementary School, which she adopted earlier this year.

County executive candidates have agreed that improving county schools, rated among the worst in Maryland, is one of three leading issues. The other issues are the county's economy and reforming the maligned Police Department, which is being investigated by the FBI.

In his victory celebration speech Tuesday night, Mr. Johnson said as county executive he wanted to build "world class schools" in the county.

Mr. Johnson's successor to the State's Attorney's Office will be Glenn Ivey, 41, of Hyattsville, formerly a federal prosecutor and chief counsel to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat.

Mr. Ivey won 60 percent of the primary vote to defeat Deputy State's Attorney Mark Spencer, 42, of Forestville, a county prosecutor for nine years.

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