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Arundel council race still undecided, though Peroutka has 38-vote lead

Elections

An attorney who co-founded the Institute on the Constitution and belongs to a Southern secessionist organization widened his lead in a Republican primary for a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council on Wednesday.

Michael Anthony Peroutka held a 38-vote lead over former school board member Maureen Carr-York for the Republican primary in a district that includes Severna Park, Arnold and Broadneck.

Elections officials counted provisional ballots and all absentee ballots on hand on Wednesday. The results won't be finalized until Monday after any late-arriving absentee ballots that were postmarked by Election Day are counted.

Carr-York, a lawyer and civic activist, was not ready to concede the race yet. She began the day with a 16-vote deficit to Peroutka.

"It's still too close to call. There's still a possibility of more votes coming in between now and Monday," she said.

Peroutka did not respond to requests for comment and his spokesman, John Lofton, said the campaign would have no comment until the results are final.

Peroutka is a co-founder of the Institute on the Constitution, a group that offers classes that he says promote an "American view" of law, while critics say it promotes a theocratic government. Peroutka's work with the Institute on the Constitution and his membership in the secessionist group, League of the South, landed him on a list of "extremist" candidates compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Peroutka and Carr-York and two other candidates challenged incumbent Councilman Dick Ladd, who finished third.

The winner of the Republican primary will face Democratic nominee Patrick Armstrong in November's general election.

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

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