Ocean City Today

After deadline, elections set for fed, state, local contests

Several uncontested races this year, although primary ballot looks busy enough
By Brian Gilliland | Mar 01, 2018

(March 2, 2018) The deadline to file for state and federal office ahead of the Nov. 6 election passed on Monday, which sets the stage for the June 26 primary in races with more than one candidate from the same political party.

Maryland is a closed-primary state, which requires primary voters to be members of either the Democrat or Republican parties before they can cast a vote for their preferred candidate.

However, some local elections have different filing deadlines. For example, Ocean City has three seats on city council that will be decided in November, but the deadline to register isn’t until Oct. 6.

First-term OC councilman Wayne Hartman is seeking a state delegate post and is facing a primary against three other Republicans: Joe Schanno, Jim Shaffer and Ed Tinus. If Hartman is defeated in the primary, he could file to retain his seat on the Ocean City council. Hartman, Matt James and Lloyd Martin’s council seats, as well as Mayor Rick Meehan’s chair, will be decided in November.

No Democrats have filed to challenge the contenders for the District 38C seat being vacated by Mary Beth Carozza, who is challenging Jim Mathias for the state senate seat in November.

In district 38A, which covers portions of the southern county, incumbent Republican Charles Otto will face Democrat Kirkland Hall in November.

Also statewide, incumbent Larry Hogan is the sole Republican candidate for governor, while seven democrats will vie for the chance to face Hogan in November. There is also one Libertarian candidate, Shawn Quinn, and a Green Party candidate, Ian Schlakman, who will both be on the November ballot.

At the federal level, Andy Harris will face Martin Elborn and Lamont Taylor in the primary, while six Democrats will compete to face the Republican candidate in November. Of those six, only Michael Brown is from the lower shore and lives in Salisbury. There is also a Libertarian candidate, Jenica Martin, who will appear in the general election.

On the U.S. Senate side, 10 Republicans have filed to challenge sitting Senator Ben Cardin, none of which are local to the area. Cardin faces seven challengers in the Democratic primary, where none of those candidates are local to the shore, including Chelsea Manning, who disclosed nearly 750,000 documents to WikiLeaks in 2010.

There is also a Libertarian candidate in this race, Arvin Vohra.

All seven county commissioner seats are up for election this year, but only four seats are contested. In District 1, Democrat Josh Nordstrom will face incumbent Merrill Lockfaw. District 3 has three candidates, where Gary Millhoff will face Bud Church in the primary, and the winner set against Democrat Zach Tyndall in November.

District four currently features another faceoff between Republican Ted Elder and Democrat Virgil Shockley. This is the fourth consecutive election where the two have faced each other, with Shockley winning three contests to Elder’s one.

In District 5, Judy Butler filed to run against Chip Bertino.

Incumbents Diana Purnell, Joe Mitrecic and Jim Bunting are running unopposed.

Two Republicans, Kris Heiser and Bill McDermott, will compete in the primary for the State’s Attorney’s Office, while four Republicans, Mike McDermott, Matt Crisafulli, George Truitt and Scott Bernal, are seeking to become Sheriff.

Three additional candidates filed for the Register of Wills post, Aaron Redden, Steven Sisk and Terri Westcott for the Republicans and Nicole Caudell as a Democrat.

Clerk of Court Susan Braniecki is running unopposed.

Four candidates for three Orphan’s Court judgeships filed, including Mike Diffendal, Linda Hess, Cheryl Jacobs and John Quinn, all Republicans.

Four spots uncontested spots on the nonpartisan school board are available, with Bill Buchanan, Bill Gordy, Eric Cropper and Todd Ferrante registered.

The Ocean Pines Association will elect three this year, during its annual board elections. The seats occupied by Ted Moroney, Cheryl Jacobs and Tom Herrick will be contested during the election, which is conducted by mail-in ballot. Ballots are sent out in July, and due back on Aug. 8.

Berlin is scheduled to hold its municipal election in October, with an August filing deadline, according to Laura Allen, town administrator. The seats currently occupied by Troy Purnell, Thom Gulyas and Dean Burrell are up for grabs.

Snow Hill has an election scheduled for May 1, with a filing deadline of March 30. The eastern district council seat, currently held by Allison Cook, as well as the mayor’s office, currently occupied by Charlie Dorman, are up for grabs.

In Pocomoke City, Esther Troast will retain her district five seat, and the district four seat will be decided between Todd Nock and Ryan Hurley. The election is scheduled for April 9.

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