Former Rep. Bella Abzug won the Democratic nomination to the House from a suburban New York district by a narrow margin, while leaders of the women’s political movement she helped pioneer celebrated a string of primary successes from Connecticut to Arizona.
The other women winners ranged from Democratic Rep. Barbara A. Mikulski and Republican Linda Chavez in Maryland’s senatorial primaries to Julie Belaga in Connecticut’s GOP governor’s race and Carolyn Warner in Arizona’s Democratic governor’s race.
In other races Tuesday, the busiest day of the primary year, former National Football League Players Assn. official Edward Garvey won a four-way primary in Wisconsin for the Democratic senatorial nomination and called for party unity in the bid to unseat Sen. Bob Kasten.
Upset in Arizona
In Arizona, Warner won the Democratic nomination for governor. Auto dealer Evan Mecham won the Republican nomination in an upset over veteran state lawmaker Burton Barr.
In Arizona congressional races, Morris K. Udall easily weathered a challenge in the 2nd District, beating state Sen. Luis Gonzales. Udall, a Democrat, will face Phoenix engineer-cabbie Sheldon Clark in the general election.
Republican Rep. John McCain, was unopposed as the nominee for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barry Goldwater. Democrat Richard Kimball, a former state Corporation Commission member who also was unopposed in the primary, will face McCain in November.
Perpich Defeats Mayor
Minnesota Democratic Gov. Rudy Perpich won renomination, defeating St. Paul Mayor George Latimer and three lesser-known candidates. He will face former Republican state Rep. Cal Ludeman in the fall.
Abzug claimed victory Tuesday night in her four-way fight for the nomination to face GOP Rep. Joseph J. DioGuardi, but it was not until Wednesday that nearly complete returns confirmed her victory.
Abzug received 9,411, or 36%, of the votes with 99% of the precincts reporting--a margin of 422 votes over her closest opponent, former congressional aide Oren Teicher, who conceded Wednesday.
Still to be counted were an estimated 500 absentee ballots, Board of Elections officials said.
The 68-year-old Abzug first went to Congress from a Manhattan district in 1970--as a feisty liberal whose noisy style and trademark hats marked her as an irritant to the political Establishment.
Since giving up her seat in 1976 to run for the Senate, Abzug has fallen on hard times politically. But she has remained a symbol of women’s politics.
“She’s a founding mother” of the women’s political movement, said Ann Lewis, national director of Americans for Democratic Action.
Women won both party nominations in the race to select candidates to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr. in Maryland.
Mikulski, a veteran of Baltimore city politics and five terms in the House, won the Democratic primary over Rep. Michael D. Barnes, Gov. Harry Hughes and several other rivals. Chavez, a former White House aide, overwhelmed the crowded field of Republicans seeking the nomination.
In Connecticut, Belaga defeated former state Sen. Richard Bozzuto to win a three-way Republican gubernatorial contest. Belaga, who is making her first bid for statewide public office, will face Democratic Gov. William A. O’Neill in the fall.