M. Elizabeth Bobo, ousted as county executive four years ago in a tide of local Republican victories, yesterday easily won the Democratic nomination for a new seat in the House of Delegates.
Her victory all but guarantees Ms. Bobo, 50, a seat in Annapolis in the heavily Democratic District 12B, which includes most of western Columbia, Columbia Hills and southern Ellicott City.
Ms. Bobo was one of 16 candidates who landed their parties' nominations to represent Howard County residents in the House of Delegates yesterday.
"I never worked harder on a campaign," said the smiling Ms. Bobo at county Democratic Party headquarters in Kahler Hall in Harper's Choice village. "I'm really looking forward to getting back to working on public policy and working for Howard County."
With 47 percent of the vote, Ms. Bobo defeated nursing instructor Rosemary E. S. Mortimer, 43, and attorney Ethel B. Hill, 61, who had 27 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In November, Ms. Bobo will face university student Charles E. Scott, who ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.
Also capturing delegate nominations were County Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass, who along with business law professor and former Orphan's Court Judge Frank Turner came out on top of a six-candidate Democratic field with 31 percent and 27 percent of the vote, respectively.
Ms. Pendergrass said she was proud of the primary battle because all the Democrats in her race waged a "a positive campaign."
She said she will focus on her experience as a county legislator and her "commitment to education" in the general election against the Republicans. She expects to run on a ticket with Frank Turner, the other victor in the race.
Defeated were Pearl Atkinson-Stewart, with 16 percent, Wanda Hurt, with 16 percent, Robert Ardinger, with 5 percent, and James Fitzgerald, with 5 percent of the vote.
In November, they will face Michael Grasso of Scaggsville and Kenneth Miller of Long Reach village. Mr. Grasso is president of the Howard County Republican Club, and Mr. Miller is vice president. Receiving 49 percent and 32 percent of the vote respectively, the two easily defeated Charles H. Fiege Jr., who received 19 percent of the vote.
One independent candidate in District 13A, attorney Arthur Reynolds, will compete with the four nominees in the general election.
The winning Democrats are expected to have an advantage in November because of legislative redistricting, and are likely in the general election to reverse some of the gains Republicans made in 1990.
But Republicans are expected to to retain District 14B, most of Ellicott City, western Howard County and a small portion of northeastern Montgomery County. That district no longer includes loyal Democratic precincts in west Columbia, which were stripped away to create District 12A.
In District 14B, incumbent Republicans Robert H. Kittleman and Robert L. Flanagan held off a strong challenge from John B. Clark, an insurance broker and retired Defense Department technical adviser who received 29 percent of the vote.
Mr. Clark had charged that the incumbents were too liberal. Mr. Flanagan received 36 percent, ahead of Mr. Kittleman's 35 percent.
Attacking the incumbents as too conservative was Andy Levy, an attorney who won one of two slots in the district's Democratic primary with 26 percent of the vote.
Also winning a spot on the Democratic ticket was Carolyn "Casey" Willis, a former county public information administrator and tourism director who received 36 percent of the vote.
The two defeated Teresa M. Rush, with 22 percent, Richard E. Crabb, with 8 percent, and Bushrod W. Hopkins, with 7 percent of the vote.
"I think we're really going to make a race of this. I think that Kittleman and Flanagan have gotten very complacent. No one's ever run against their record," Mr. Levy said.
But Mr. Flanagan defended the incumbents Republicans' records.
"I think both Bob Kittleman and myself reflect the views of the voters of the district," he said.
"They were by and large looking for candidates who want to down-size government and keep taxes as low as possible, to privatize government functions wherever possible. That's what we've done . . . in Annapolis. That's what we've offered voters again in this election."
In 13B, a single-member Laurel-area district, incumbent Del. John S. Morgan ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.
He will face John A. Giannetti, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland law school and a former marketing director for Phillips Seafood Restaurants, who defeated former Laurel Mayor Joseph R. Robinson.
In District 12A, a two-member district that includes most of Elkridge but is dominated by Baltimore County precincts, conclusive results were not available at press time.