Candidates not waiting for the call on BaltCo. exec
Shortly before 1 a.m. at the Pikesville Hilton, Baltimore County Councilman Vincent Gardina took the stage in the banquet room to announce to the 60 Kevin Kamenetz supporters who remained that that party was over -- for now.
"Unfortunately, tonight, I don't think we're going to be able to come to a conclusion. It's impossible to project a winner at this time," said Gardina, who has been advising the Kamenetz campaign for months and is not seeking re-election.
Kamenetz had been leading all night over his fellow four-term councilman, Joseph Bartenfelder, but Gardina said problems with the vote count at the county Board of Elections until Wednesday. At last count, 158 of 231 precincts had reported, with Kamenetz holding a 53 to 44 percent lead.
Volunteers had been trickling out of Bartenfelder's Parkville election party since around midnight, and the candidate himself left a little before 1 a.m.
By 12:30 a.m. , the crowd had thinned considerably and faces were growing strained as minutes ticked by with still no results. About fifty supporters remained, many incredulous that final tallies had not yet been made, and Bartenfelder staff quickly took down the few signs left in the hall.
Peter Clerkin, Kamenetz's campaign manager, said "we remain optimistic," but he said the Board of Elections had not released information on where the vote was coming from, which made it impossible to call the election.
Geography played a key role in this election, as Kamenetz was expected to do well in his home turf on the west side, and Bartenfelder to run strong on his territory in the east.
"We're waiting for the 6th," said Clerkin, meaning Bartenfelder's District 6, which includes Fullerton and Middle River.
-Arthur Hirsch and Yeganeh June Torbati