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CAMPAIGN 2000

Senators in Ohio, Md. Win Easily in Primaries

States: GOP's DeWine to face real estate broker in effort to win rare second term for party in Ohio. Former police chief will oppose Democrat Sarbanes.

March 08, 2000|From Times Wire Services

Republican Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio and Democratic Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland easily won nominations for new terms Tuesday in the year's first round of state primaries.

DeWine easily fought off two challengers from the right, pulling in 79% of the vote. Real estate broker Ted Celeste, the brother of former Gov. Richard Celeste, won the Democratic primary to oppose DeWine, who hopes to become the state's first Republican senator reelected since the 1950s.

Sarbanes, running for a fifth term, was polling 84% of the Democratic vote. Former Howard County police chief Paul Rappaport finished ahead of seven other Republican candidates to decide who will face Sarbanes in the general election in November.

In the 12th Congressional district of Ohio, Republican State Rep. Pat Tiberi easily beat rival State Sen. Eugene Watts by 73% to 20% of the vote.

Tiberi would fill the seat of retiring Republican Rep. John R. Kasich, for whom he had been an aide. Tiberi had Kasich's backing as well as that of the state party, while Watts had high name recognition in the Columbus-area district.

In the state's 17th Congressional district, Democratic incumbent James A. Traficant Jr. had more than 50% of the vote against 34% for his leading opponent, state Sen. Robert Hogan, to win nomination to a ninth term in his Rust Belt district.

Traficant's office records are being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's office and he faces indictment.

Columbus City Council member Maryellen O'Shaughnessy easily won the Democratic nomination for Kasich's seat. Also in Ohio, Mary Rose Oakar, who spent seven terms in Congress before the House bank scandal ended her career in 1992, made a political comeback. She won the Democratic nomination to a state House seat from a working-class district in Cleveland--tantamount to election since there is no Republican candidate.

Nationally, both parties are looking to position themselves for November battles that will determine control of the new Congress. Currently, Republicans hold a slim majority in the House, 222 to 212, and a 55 to 45 majority in the Senate.

While Californians were handily approving Proposition 22, the measure that recognizes as valid only marriages between men and women, the state of Vermont was also weighing in on the issue Tuesday.

There was no measure on the ballot in the Green Mountain State, but in about 40 towns, people acted to have their say on possibly legalizing same-sex marriage.

While their decisions won't be binding, they could serve as guidance for state lawmakers trying to craft legislation following a state Supreme Court ruling that gays are unconstitutionally being denied the benefits of marriage.

At Stockbridge's town meeting, residents rejected two articles on gay rights--gay marriage and a domestic partnership arrangement for gays and lesbians, with benefits comparable to full marriage.

Those results reflected the votes in communities across the state. None voted in favor of marriage, although it was close in a few. Montpelier, for example, voted 1,300 for marriage and 1,501 against. Several communities supported domestic partnerships, though, including Brattleboro, Montpelier, Lincoln, Stamford and Dorset.

The Republican and Democratic parties can be reached on the Internet. Here is how:

Republican Congressional Campaign Committee: http://www.nrcc.org.

Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee: http://www.nrsc.org.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: http://www.dccc.org.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: http://www.dscc.org.

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