City Election Outcome – A Mixed Bag for the
The Sierra Club backed
candidates in three city council races in Annapolis
November 5. Two of them were challenging entrenched
incumbents and lost by narrow margins. The third
endorsed candidate, himself an incumbent, won big.
The club made no endorsement in the mayoral race,
which pitted incumbent Josh Cohen and challenger –
and eventual winner – Mike Pantelides. For more
details on that race, why we made no endorsement,
and how it was impacted by the controversy over the
Crystal Spring development, see page 2, November 12
Capital column by group chair David Prosten.
The group’s endorsed winner was Ward 7’s Ian
Pfeifer, who’d also won the club’s support when he
first ran in 2009. He handily beat challenger James
The group’s two disappointing losses were by
longtime environmentalist and activist Kurt Riegel,
who challenged incumbent Fred Paeone in Ward 2.
Riegel lost by only 43 votes out of 1,532 cast. The
group’s other endorsed candidate, Steven Conn in
Ward 6, also lost by a narrow margin, 61 votes out
of 606 cast. He was trying to unseat incumbent Kenny
Four candidates were unchallenged, so the club did
not consider them in the endorsement process.
The Pantelides campaign distributed a mailer to all
voters a few days before the election that some
readers took, mistakenly, as an endorsement by the
Club. It included a quote from a Maryland Chapter
email message to its members critical of incumbent
Cohen, printed with it a Sierra Club logo. The
campaign had not asked the club for permission to
use either the quote or, especially, the Trademarked
logo. The Group has referred the illegal use of the
logo to Sierra Club headquarters in San Francisco.
The Capital and WRNR radio reported on the incident.
The Pantelides campaign piece also contained a quote
and logo from the city-appointed Annapolis
Environmental Commission, and that group’s chair,
Ted Weber, complained of the tactic as well.