Annapolis Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins last night overcame accusations of poor leadership to easily win the Democratic Party's nomination for a second term over political neophyte Sylvanus B. Jones.
Larry Vincent captured the Republican nomination with a resounding victory over last-minute entry Michael W. Fox and political gadfly Louise M. R. Beauregard.
All incumbent city council members won their primaries, while Democratic candidate Michael Brown lost in an upset to Kenneth Kirby in Ward 6.
Both mayoral victors were successful in every ward. Mr. Hopkins won by a nearly 2 1/2 -to-1 margin, while Mr. Vincent won by a 5-to-1 margin.
Mr. Hopkins said he did not expect to win the primary by such a large margin, but he said he was not taking his victory for granted. "I will continue to knock on doors," the mayor said.
He had kind words for Mr. Jones and said he would ask for his support in the fall campaign.
Mr. Jones said several issues needed to be resolved before he would support the mayor. "We have certain people trying to run the city like a corporation. It should be run like a service to the community. If the policy is going to be to run the city like a corporation, I will not support that," he said.
The mayoral results set up a November rematch among Mr. Hopkins and two of his former opponents: Mr. Vincent, the GOP's standard bearer in 1989, and Dennis M. Callahan, an independent candidate who lost the Democratic primary to Mr. Hopkins in an upset four years ago by 181 votes.
The 68-year-old mayor asked voters to give him a second term to complete work left undone in his first four years. He said he wants to open a senior citizens center and oversee the rebricking of Main Street.
Mr. Jones, 63, a retired federal employee who runs a consulting business, campaigned against Mr. Hopkins' fiscal management of the city, alleging that the city had lost millions of dollars by failing to obtain a fair property tax differential from the county and by failing to collect cigarette tax revenue he said the county owed the city. He promised to reduce taxes if elected.
Mr. Jones said he will remain in politics as long as tax issues need to be addressed.
Although Mr. Jones ran a credible campaign, Mr. Hopkins appeared to retain his core constituency: senior citizens and longtime residents.
About 30 percent of the electorate cast ballots and the light turnout apparently helped Mr. Hopkins. Mr. Jones said he was disappointed in the voter turnout and attributed it to a lack of media coverage.
Mr. Jones is the first African-American to run for mayor in Annapolis, where blacks make up about 25 percent of the electorate.
Although Mr. Hopkins appeared to have angered some black leaders during his term he nevertheless did well in predominantly black wards. Mr. Jones captured only his home precinct, and that by a margin of six votes.
Mr. Hopkins now is making a concerted effort to appeal to black voters. Both Mr. Vincent and Mr. Callahan also are working hard to capture this constituency. One of Mr. Vincent's campaign pledges is to try to ease racial tensions by meeting with black leaders and encouraging business development in the African-American community.
Mr. Callahan, 51, captured the city's two predominantly black areas, Wards 3 and 5, in 1989 and recently has picked up support from the city's prominent black ministers.
"There is no doubt the black vote will be the pivotal vote in the general election," said Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a Ward 5 Democrat and one of two blacks on the city council.
Mr. Vincent, aided by a small army of volunteers and two years of legwork for the city's top post, relished his victory with supporters at a local restaurant.
"Everywhere I look in here is someone who helped me," said the 47-year-old GOP nominee, who pledges to be an "activist" mayor, with an eye toward lowering crime and keeping close tabs on city spending.
Mr. Fox, a 42-year-old Republican newcomer who registered 15 minutes before the filing deadline in August, said he was disappointed but vowed to return.
"We're going to be back in four years," he said.
He sought to bring "common sense" to city government, advocating an aggressive push for new business, a midnight curfew for 16-year-olds and year-round schools, he said.
In the 4th Ward, land planner Joseph Shepard Tullier decisively beat longtime community activist Gertrude "Trudi" McGowan and Comquest computer salesman John Rea.
In November, he will face Republican Joseph Sachs, who was appointed last month to fill the unexpired term of Ruth Gray. Mr. Sachs was unopposed in the primary.
In Ward 6, Democrat Kenneth Kirby defeated Michael Brown by 173 to 112 for a chance to face Wayne C. Turner, the GOP incumbent who defeated Mr. Brown in 1989 by seven votes.
In the 7th Ward, incumbent Theresa DeGraff turned back a challenge from James M. Leckinger, 28, a moving company account executive in the Republican primary race.
Ms. DeGraff will face Democrat Richard Staisloff in the general election. Mr. Staisloff ran unopposed in the primary.
Here are the unofficial results of yesterday's primary election in Annapolis.
Alfred A. Hopkins 1,595
Sylvanus B. Jones 639
Louise M. R. Beauregard 61
Michael W. Fox 146
Larry Vincent 753
Gertrude McGowan 62
John Rea 83
Joseph Shepard Tullier 182
Michael Tyrone Brown Sr. 112
Kenneth Aaron Kirby 173
M. Theresa DeGraff 89
James M. Leckinger 54