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Super primary day for women candidates. From Connecticut to Arizona, they scored significant wins

By the Associated Press / September 11, 1986



Female politicians had a good day at the polls Tuesday. Maryland voters, in addition to nominating Democrat Barbara Mikulski and Republican Linda Chavez for the United States Senate, launched the career of a Kennedy daughter. And Democrats in New York's Westchester County endorsed a comeback bid by former Congresswoman Bella Abzug.

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Other results from Tuesday's primaries in nine states and the District of Columbia showed Connecticut Republicans bucking party leaders to nominate lawmaker Julie Belaga for governor, while Arizona superintendent of public instruction Carolyn Warner won the Democratic nomination to succeed Gov. Bruce Babbitt.

Also among the women candidates, Vermont's Democratic Gov. Madeleine Kunin was unopposed for nomination to a second term.

``We think Sept. 9 is a real breakthrough,'' Celinda Lake of the Women's Campaign Fund said in Washington. ``It's going to put us in very good shape for November. It's part of the coming of age of our women candidates.''

In Maryland's 2nd Congressional District, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, won the Democratic nomination to oppose first-term GOP Rep. Helen Delich Bentley.

Mrs. Townsend, the first female member of the Kennedy family to seek office and the first of her generation to win, defeated Linda B. Robinson, a follower of political extremist Lyndon LaRouche Jr., and Morris C. Durham, an engineer with the State Aviation Administration.

Next Tuesday, Mrs. Townsend's brother, Joseph P. Kennedy II, seeks the Democratic nomination in the Massachusetts congressional district once represented by their late uncle, John F. Kennedy.

Mrs. Abzug, an outspoken feminist who served three terms in Congress from Manhattan in the 1970s, edged the closest of three rivals to win a congressional nomination in suburban Westchester County's 20th District.

In other primaries:

-- Minnesota Gov. Rudy Perpich fended off a Democratic challenge by St. Paul Mayor George Latimer.

-- In Arizona, Evan Mecham, a Glendale auto dealer, won a surprising victory over House Majority Leader Burton Barr for the GOP nomination for governor, and veteran Democratic Rep. Morris Udall easily overcame a primary challenge and won renomination for the seat he has held since 1961.

-- Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer defeated Attorney General Stephen Sachs in a four-way race for the Democratic nomination to succeed Hughes. State lawmaker Thomas J. Mooney was unopposed in the Republican primary.

-- Former state Rep. Cal Ludeman won the GOP nomination for governor of Minnesota.