The year's biggest primary election day brought redemption for Marion Barry, the former crack-smoking mayor of Washington, and rejection for Bruce Sundlun, the trouble-plagued governor of Rhode Island.
If there was a theme to Tuesday's primaries, it might have been nostalgia - not just for the tried and true, but for the tried and convicted.Barry, who served six months in prison after being videotaped smoking crack in a 1990 sting operation, won the Democratic nomination for mayor in the nation's capital, ousting incumbent Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly.
"Amazing grace, how sweet it sounds," Barry bellowed to jubilant supporters.
The Democratic nomination is usually tantamount to election in Washington, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 9-to-1.
Voters turned to a familiar face in Maryland - that of Bill Brock, a former Tennessee senator, national GOP chairman and labor secretary. Brock won Maryland's Republican Senate nomination and will challenge Democratic incumbent Paul Sarbanes in November.
And a familiar name - Patrick Kennedy - won a Democratic congressional primary in Rhode Island. If elected in November, he would join a passel of relatives in Washington, including his father, Sen. Edward Kennedy.
In all, there were primaries in nine states, involving eight governor's races, eight Senate races and 73 House seats.
Four incumbent governors triumphed easily in their party primaries: Republicans Fife Symington of Arizona, Arne Carlson of Minnesota and Steve Merrill of New Hampshire; and Democrat Mario Cuomo of New York.
Carlson defeated a pro-life conservative, Allen Quist, who had wrested the official state GOP endorsement away from the incumbent. Carlson now faces state Sen. John Marty, who narrowly won the Democratic primary.
Cuomo, who has alienated many voters after three terms in office, is expected to get a stiff challenge in the general election from Republican George Pataki, who handily won his primary.
Cuomo complained that his opponents are trying to blame him for everything - "If your lawn dies, it's Mario's fault," he said. Still, he said he thought he could win a fourth term.
In Arizona, Symington trounced Phoenix lawyer Barbara Barrett for the Republican nomination, then settled back to see who his opponent would be. His 1990 rival, former Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard, lost in a tight race to Eddie Basha, chairman of a statewide supermarket chain that bears his name.
Incumbency was no protection for Sundlun, whose troubles included a rotten economy and an out-of-wedlock child. He got the boot from Democratic voters who nominated Myrth York, a two-term state senator who could become Rhode Island's first woman governor.
"I think I'm a better governor now than when I was first elected," Sundlun told supporters in his concession speech. "Obviously my opinion is not shared by most of the voters."
York beat Sundlun by better than 2-to-1, and faces a November showdown with former U.S. Attorney Lincoln Almond, who won the GOP primary.
All the incumbent senators won. Besides Sarbanes in Maryland, the winners included Democrats Daniel Patrick Moynihan in New York and Herb Kohl in Wisconsin, and Republican John Chafee in Rhode Island.
Moynihan, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, defeated community activist Al Sharpton and will face Republican Bernadette Castro in the general election.