State Sen. John A. Pica Jr. turned back challenger Del. Curtis S. Anderson last night in the bitterly contested Democratic primary race in Northeast Baltimore's 43rd District.
With 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Senator Pica -- the chairman of the city's Senate delegation and a three-term incumbent -- had 56 percent of the vote. Delegate Anderson had 44 percent.
Mr. Pica, who nearly lost his seat to a newcomer four years ago, savored this year's convincing victory.
"I feel elated. There were times when I was concerned, but I knew that for the last four years I poured my heart and soul into my work on the Senate floor," he said.
Joining him in the winner's circle in state Senate races were both a current and former member of the City Council -- and five other incumbents.
In Southeast Baltimore's 46th District, City Councilman Perry Sfikas won the seat vacated by American Joe Miedusiewski for his unsuccessful gubernatorial run. With 84 percent of the vote in, Mr. Sfikas had 65 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Del. Anthony M. DiPietro Jr. and 5 percent for Thomas Siemek.
"We're going to bring some sense of security, a sense of stability and a sense that an area that was great after the Second World War will continue to be a great neighborhood to live in," Mr. Sfikas said.
In East Baltimore's 45th District, former Councilman Nathaniel James McFadden won over 2nd District Councilman Carl Stokes. With 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. McFadden had 60 percent of the vote and Mr. Stokes had 36 percent. Political unknown Clyde A. Stokes, running in the name's-the-same tradition of city politics, had 4 percent.
"I'm just terribly excited about what is a good victory," a jubilant Mr. McFadden said.
Of the five other incumbents who won last night, only first-term Sen. Ralph M. Hughes had faced a strong challenge.
But Mr. Hughes, representing West Baltimore's 40th District, won handily. With 87 percent of the returns in, he had 67 percent of the vote to 24 percent for Norman Brailey, the son of the man he defeated in 1990. Attorney Alfred Nance had 9 percent.
In the other Senate races, 42nd's Barbara A. Hoffman was unopposed. Sens. Clarence W. Blount in the 41st District, Larry Young in the 44th and George W. Della Jr. in the 47th faced only token challenges.
In the House races, incumbents generally fared well. Two exceptions were in South Baltimore's 47A, where City Councilman Timothy D. Murphy beat an incumbent and in West Baltimore's 44th, where Clarence M. Mitchell IV, scion of the illustrious civil right family, also scored a victory.
Mr. Murphy, a longtime councilman, was tied for first with incumbent Brian K. McHale with 31 percent of the vote, leaving incumbent R. Charles Avara a distant fifth with 10 percent.
In the 44th, with all the votes counted, incumbent Elijah Cummings led all candidates with 23 percent of the vote. Mr. Mitchell was second with 17 percent, while incumbents John D. Jefferies had 15.8 percent and Ruth M. Kirk had 15.7 percent.
In West Baltimore's 40th District, developer Robert L. Clay fell short in his well-financed first try for office. With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Del. Tony E. Fulton led with 24 percent, Del. Howard P. Rawlings had 21 percent and Del. Salima S. Marriott had 17 percent. Mr. Clay -- who drew criticism for financing his campaign largely out of his own pocket, for living part time outside his district and for having been charged, but never convicted, in two shooting incidents -- was fourth with 11 percent.
The 42nd, which was redrawn to include part of Baltimore County as well as Northwest Baltimore, had four incumbents vying for three seats. With 80 percent of the vote in, Del. S. I. "Sandy" Sandy Rosenberg had 28 percent, Del. James W. Campbell had 25 percent and Del. Maggie McIntosh had 24 percent. Del. Leon Albin was far behind with just 8 percent of the vote.
In the 41st, former Del. Nathanial T. Oaks was locked in a struggle for the third seat with incumbent Del. Samuel M. Parham. With 94 percent of the vote in, both candidates had 20 percent. Del. Margaret H. Murphy had 25 percent and Del. Frank D. Boston Jr. had 22 percent.
In the 43rd, 45th and 46th House races, all seven incumbents running were renominated.
The Pica-Anderson race took a particularly nasty turn in the last few weeks, as the candidates fought over the support of homeless advocate Bea Gaddy and traded charges over an inflammatory brochure calling Senator Pica a liar.
The number of legislative districts dominated by city residents shrank from nine to eight after reapportionment based on Baltimore's declining population. And three of those districts -- the 42nd, 46th and 47th -- now include parts of Baltimore County, while the old 44th that encompassed Bolton Hill and center city was obliterated. The demographic makeup of other districts changed with redistricting.
The effect of the changes was most apparent in the races for 23 seats in the House of Delegates.