The mayor of Indiana's second-largest city won a tight race for the state's GOP Senate nomination Tuesday, setting up another tough fight with former Gov. Evan Bayh for the state's open Senate seat.
Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke traded the lead with two rivals before pulling ahead in late returns. Helmke had 129,309 votes, or 35 percent, while attorney John Price had 124,005 votes, or 34 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. Peter Rusthoven, an attorney and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, conceded earlier in the evening.The seat is open because Republican Dan Coats - who took it over when Dan Quayle became vice president in 1989 - is retiring to return to the private sector.
Ohio's John Glenn is also leaving the Senate, after four terms. The 76-year-old Democrat is returning to space aboard the shuttle Dis-cov-ery.
Gov. George Voinovich, barred from running for a third term, decided to run for Glenn's seat and easily won the GOP Senate primary. Voinovich is heavily favored to beat Democrat Mary O. Boyle.
In North Carolina, Democrats nominated millionaire lawyer John Edwards to challenge Sen. Lauch Faircloth. The Republican incumbent, seeking a second term, was easily re-nominated over two political unknowns, grabbing four of every five votes cast.
Edwards, 44, making his first bid for public office, won the Democratic primary with 50 percent, more than enough to avoid a runoff. He dedicated his victory to former governor and senator Terry Sanford, who died two weeks ago at age 80. Sanford lost the Senate seat to Faircloth in 1992.
In other election results Tuesday:
- Ohio voters turned down a proposal to increase their statewide sales tax by a penny to raise $1.1 billion each year that would be split evenly between school improvements and property tax relief.
- Voters in Lucas County, Ohio, rejected a proposal to increase the sales tax a quarter-cent for three years to help pay for a $37 million stadium for the Toledo Mud Hens. County leaders fear the minor league baseball team that was a favorite of Cpl. Max Klinger on TV's "MASH" might move if the proposal were rejected.
- In two North Carolina counties, voters rejected a restaurant tax increase to help pay for a new $210 million stadium that developers hoped would lure a major league baseball team to the Winston-Salem area.
- Voters in Ypsilanti, Mich., decided to retain an anti-discrimination law that includes protection for homosexuals. Green Bay Packers star Reggie White was among those who campaigned against the ordinance.