John Olszewski Sr., a product of the Battle Grove Democratic Club with strong machine support on Baltimore County's east side, battled political upstart Debi Golden last night to gain his second term on the County Council in the 7th District, which includes Dundalk.
With less than 10 percent of Dundalk's 31 precincts in, Olszewski was leading Golden by about a 3-to-1 margin.
The winner of that race will be spared a general election face-off because there are no Republicans contesting the 7th, traditionally a Democratic stronghold. The victor in the primary will win a seat on the council.
In the 3rd District, only Republicans are running and the victor will claim council seat. Incumbent T. Bryan McIntire of Glyndon was fending off challenges from Daniel E. McKew and Glen A. Thomas.
Withseven of the district's 43 precincts, McIntire was off to a quick start, leading with about half of the votes cast.
Olszewski, 42, was considered the overwhelming favorite in the 7th District, but some residents felt he did not energetically block a gubernatorial redistricting effort in January.
Although Olszewski eventually joined one of the lawsuits against carving Dundalk into four districts, many locals felt it was too little, too late. The Maryland Court of Appeals revised the governor's plan in June.
Golden, 41, community activist and businesswoman, hammered hard in her campaign at what she called the councilman's coat-tailing on the power of Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
Golden said that Olszewski "let his own district down" by not being more vocal and active against the governor's plan.
McIntire, 72, has represented the 3rd District since 1994. He prides himself on being an anti-development councilman who protects the Loch Raven watershed and other rural sections of the district.
McKew, 45, of Glen Arm wants to strike a balance between careful development and environmental concerns.
Thomas, 56, of Phoenix said that development was occurring and the incumbent has been inconsistent in protecting land from development.