- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2006

Democratic incumbents Ida G. Ruben and John A. Giannetti Jr. lost their re-election bids for the Maryland Senate in Tuesday’s primaries, marking an end to one political career that spanned decades and derailing another that had just begun.

With 77 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Giannetti, Anne Arundel Democrat, received 2,525 votes, or 40 percent, trailing former U.S. Ambassador James C. Rosapepe, who won 3,635 votes, or 58 percent.

“Obviously I’m pleased,” Mr. Rosapepe, 55, said of winning his party’s nomination, which pits him against Republican nominee John Stafford in the Nov. 7 general election. “I think in general people were looking for a mainstream Democrat who would be in tune with the values of the district.”

In Montgomery County, political newcomer Jamie Raskin, 43, captured twice as many votes as longtime incumbent Mrs. Ruben, 77.

With all precincts reporting, Mr. Raskin, an American University law professor, won 8,277 votes, or 66 percent, compared with Mrs. Ruben’s 4,192 votes, or 34 percent.

Mr. Raskin will run unopposed for Mrs. Ruben’s seat in November.

“Everyone told us that it couldn’t be done, that we couldn’t beat the machine … including people on my campaign,” Mr. Raskin said yesterday. “I think there’s a tremendous, pent-up demand for change politics.”

Both campaigns leading up to the primaries were filled with mudslinging and accusations of bullying tactics.

Mr. Rosapepe and Mr. Giannetti accused each another of stealing and defacing campaign signs. Meanwhile, Mrs. Ruben and Mr. Raskin accused one another of negative campaigning.

Mrs. Ruben’s career in the Senate spanned two decades. Her political career began in 1975, when she was elected as a Montgomery County delegate. She has served as Senate president pro tem since 2000.

Mrs. Ruben’s campaign manager, Philip Olivetti, said she looks forward to spending more time with her family, and will continue to lobby for a statewide smoking ban.

“She always will look back on her 32 years of legislative office as being more important than the results last night because she’s got so many victories,” Mr. Olivetti said.

Mr. Giannetti, 42, a former Prince George’s County delegate, served one term in the Senate. He did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.

In other primary races, Prince George’s County Council member Douglas J.J. Peters and former Delegate C. Anthony Muse will replace retiring Democratic Sens. Leo E. Green and Gloria G. Lawlah, respectively.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Peters, 42, won 7,138 votes, or 46 percent, and his nearest competitor, lawyer Bobby G. Henry Jr., received 6,436 votes, or 41 percent.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Muse, 48, who received 8,639 votes, or 55 percent, trumped Prince George’s Delegate Obie Patterson, 70, who captured 7,140 votes, or 45 percent, in the race to succeed Mrs. Lawlah.

The Democrats face no Republican challengers in November.

In Montgomery County’s race for the House of Delegates, Democratic incumbents Jane F. Lawton, 62, and Ana Sol Gutierrez, 64, retained their party nods.

With all precincts reporting, Mrs. Gutierrez, a vocal advocate for illegal aliens, won 5,558 votes, or 16 percent. Miss Lawton, the top contender, captured 6,804 votes, or 20 percent, while lawyer Jeff Waldstreicher, 26, received 5,294 votes, or 15 percent.

They will face three Republican challengers in November.

In Prince George’s County, Democratic incumbents James E. Proctor Jr., 70, and Joseph F. Vallario Jr., 69, retained their nominations in the House, receiving 6,331 votes, or 36 percent, and 5,617 votes, or 32 percent, respectively.

Republican Mike Hethmon, a lawyer who opposes a lawsuit that seeks licenses for illegal aliens, unsuccessfully tried to win the nomination to unseat Mr. Vallario. With 87 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Hethmon, 52, received 584 votes, or 29 percent.

Mr. Vallario and Mr. Proctor face Republicans Kenneth S. Brown and Antoinette “Toni” Jarboe-Duley in November.

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