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Sager, Bruchey on top in mayoral primary

March 12, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Former correctional officer Robert E. Bruchey II will face incumbent Steven T. Sager in the race for mayor of Hagerstown in the May general election, according to unofficial results of Tuesday's primary election.

Bruchey, 38, of 905 Woodland Way, received 230 more votes than former city police officer Leon C. Fearnow to win the Republican nomination in Tuesday's GOP primary election.

"I'm really happy that I've won," said Bruchey, who was at the election board office with his wife, Susan, when the results were announced Tuesday night. "I want to thank the people that voted for me."

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Sager captured 65 percent of the Democratic vote, handily defeating lone Democratic challenger Don Allensworth. Sager received 573 votes compared to Allensworth's 298.

Sager, 43, of 809 Dewey Ave., is seeking an unprecedented fourth four-year term as mayor.

"I think it will be a good, solid two-way race - certainly one to be taken seriously," Sager said of the May 20 general election.

Only about 10 percent, or 1,474, of the city's 14,726 registered voters went to the polls for the primary election.

Competing against Sager, a three-term incumbent, will be hard, but it's time for a change, Bruchey said. Economic development has been good for the city, but it's time to get back to the people, he said.

Bruchey has promised to forgo a $4,000 increase in the mayor's annual salary to take effect when the newly elected mayor takes office after the general election.

Bruchey, who works for Hoffman Chevrolet-Geo and Primerica Financial Services, has said he would donate that money to a city department or charity in need.

The newly elected mayor will make $28,000 a year.

Bruchey attributed his success to his campaigning. He said he was up until 2 a.m. Tuesday posting more campaign signs.

The election office received 43 Democratic absentee ballots and 25 Republican absentee ballots, which will be checked and counted on Wednesday afternoon.

One Democratic and two Republican absentee ballots have not been received, and must be postmarked before March 11 to be considered, said Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel.

Primary elections for City Council were not needed because fewer than six candidates were running on either ticket for the five seats up for grabs in the general election.

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