Bevins prevails, party balance of power on Baltimore County Council stays in Democrats' hands

Democrats will hold on to the party’s slim majority on the Baltimore County Council after all of the incumbents retained their seats in Tuesday’s general election.

In the most competitive council race, Democratic Councilwoman Cathy Bevins survived a challenge from Republican Ryan Nawrocki to hang on to her seat representing residents in the northeastern part of the county.

“It means four more years of serving my consistency and getting things done and advocating for dollars that are important to my district,” Bevins said late Tuesday. “The work paid off. I had Republicans vote for me. I had Democrats vote for me. I had unaffiliated people vote for me.”

According to the unofficial returns, Democrats retained their 4-3 advantage on the seven-member council. Republicans had mounted challenges with the hope of flipping at least one — and creating a GOP majority in the state’s third-largest jurisdiction.

Bevins had campaigned on constituent service, saying she and her staff have handled more than 6,000 issues since she took office. She also pledged to expand Police Athletic League Centers for children in her district.

Securing a third term makes Bevins the sole woman on the council. West-side Councilwoman Vicki Almond, also a Democrat, ran for county executive. She lost in the primary.

The 6th District has been a Democratic stronghold for decades, but Republicans targeted Bevins this year in hopes of capitalizing on what they saw as growing conservatism on the east side. Although the district is home to more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans, it overwhelmingly supported Republican Larry Hogan for governor in 2014, and went by a narrower margin for Donald Trump for president in 2016.

Live results: 2018 general election in Maryland »

Bevins’ challenger, Nawrocki, a self-employed marketing professional who previously worked for the Maryland Transit Administration, campaigned on a platform of improving schools and lowering crime. He said Bevins has been dismissive of concerns raised by constituents.

Tuesday’s election is the second time that Nawrocki lost to Bevins, who defeated him in 2010 by about 500 votes.

Five other incumbents secured re-elected on the council: Republicans Todd Crandell of Dundalk, David Marks of Perry Hall and Wade Kach of Cockeysville and Democrats Tom Quirk of Oella and Julian Jones of Woodstock.

Quirk, a two-term veteran, fended off Republican Al Nalley in the 1st District, which includes Catonsville, Arbutus and Lansdowne. That race was a rematch as well: Nalley ran unsuccessfully against Quirk in 2014.

The sole newcomer to the council will be Democrat Izzy Patoka of Pikesville, who will represent the 2nd District encompassing Reisterstown, Pikesville and other northwest communities. Patoka bested Republican Michael Lee for the seat left open by Almond. She finished third in the Democratic primary for county executive.

Kach faced Democrat Colleen Ebacher in the 3rd District. That district includes Timonium, Hunt Valley and north county.

In the 4th District, which includes Woodlawn and Randallstown, Jones, council chairman, was unopposed.

Marks fended off Democrat Alex Foley to represent Towson and Perry Hall in the 5th District.

Crandell took down several challengers to retain his 7th District seat representing Dundalk, Sparrows Point and Essex. He faced Democrat Brian Weir, Libertarian Doug Stanley and write-in Republicans Tim Fazenbaker and Dave Rader.

pwood@baltsun.com

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