Ocean City Today
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Elections coming in OC, state, Worcester County

By Brian Gilliland | Feb 01, 2018

(Feb. 2, 2018) According to the Worcester County Board of Elections, registered Republican voters have only a slight edge on registered Democrats, but looking at the lists of candidates registered to pursue elective office in 2018, one would be forgiven for thinking the divide was much greater.

According to figures collected this week, there are 16,406 registered Republicans in Worcester and 14,060 Democrats. Though it’s only 4 percentage points worth of difference in a county with a population of about 52,000, Republican candidates outnumber Democrats by a considerable margin.

The Board of Elections also counts about 2,300 additional voters, 909 registered Republicans and 824 registered Democrats, who are marked as “inactive voters.” These voters will still be able to cast a ballot in November, but need to update contact information with the board. This process can be completed on Election Day.

Statewide races to be decided in November include governor and lieutenant governor, comptroller and attorney general.

The statewide primary is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, while the general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6. Maryland is a closed-primary state, so a voter must be affiliated with either Democrat or Republican political parties to participate in the primary election.

At the State Senate level, only Del. Mary Beth Carozza has filed official paperwork to seek the seat, though incumbent Jim Mathias has repeatedly stated he fully intends to seek another term.

On the House of Delegates side, four Republicans vie for the seat vacated by Carozza in district 38C as she seeks the senate seat. Incumbent Ocean City councilman Wayne Hartman is joined by Joe Schanno, Jim Shaffer, and Ed Tinus. No Democrats have filed to run.

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

In Ocean City, Mayor Rick Meehan’s chair along with the council seats currently occupied by Hartman, Matt James and Lloyd Martin, will be contested in November. According to the Ocean City Clerk’s office, the deadline to file for that race isn’t until Oct. 9, and no candidates have filed yet.

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, and Allen said no one has filed yet.

Snow Hill has an election scheduled for May 1, with a filing deadline of March 30. Though no one has filed for office yet, the eastern district council seat as well as the mayor’s office are up for grabs. Allison Cook is the current eastern representative on the city council, and Charlie Dorman is the mayor.

In Pocomoke City, the filing deadline is tomorrow, Friday, with the district five seat, currently occupied by Esther Troast and the district four seat, currently occupied by Brian Hirshman, being decided. Troast has filed for another term, while Hirshman has said he would not. Todd Nock has filed to replace Hirshman. The election is scheduled for April 9.

All seven county commissioner seats are up for election this year, but only two seats are contested at this time. Currently, in county districts one and two, Democrats Josh Nordstrom and Diana Purnell have filed. In districts five, six and seven only the incumbent Republicans, Chip Bertino, Jim Bunting and Joe Mitrecic, have filed papers seeking another term.

District three has three candidates. Republican Gary Millhoff and Democrat Zack Tyndall will face off against incumbent Republican Bud Church.

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.

For State’s Attorney, only Republican Kris Heiser has filed to run, although interim State’s Attorney Bill McDermott said he would seek a full term. Incumbent Beau Oglesby was appointed to the Circuit Court bench and will not seek another term.

Circuit Court Clerk incumbent Susan Braniecki, a Republican, has filed for another term and is currently running unopposed, as is Register of Wills candidate Terri Westcott. Westcott is the handpicked successor to longtime register Charlotte Cathell, who has decided to retire at the end of this term.

Three Republican candidates have filed for Orphan’s Court judgeships: Mike Diffendal, Linda Hess and Jacobs. No Democrats have filed.

The contest for Worcester County Sheriff now has four Republicans seeking office, with newcomer Scott Bernal joining Matt Crisafulli, Mike McDermott and George Truitt all seeking to replace the retiring Reggie Mason.

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