Mayor, council seats at stake today

May 19, 1997


Staff Writer

Hagerstown voters will cast ballots today for mayor and City Council in an election that could change the thrust of downtown redevelopment.

In the mayoral race, voters can choose between incumbent Democrat Steven T. Sager, who is seeking an unprecedented fourth consecutive term, and Republican Robert E. Bruchey II.

In casting ballots in the mayor's race, city voters could be choosing the course of downtown revitalization.

Sager has been a staunch supporter of redevelopment of the downtown by supporting both private revitalization and that funded with taxpayer money.


Bruchey has said he wants the city to stop using taxpayer money to renovate downtown buildings.

Fewer than 4,548 voters, or 27 percent of Hagerstown's registered voters, are expected to go to the polls in today's general election, said Dorothy Kaetzel, election director for the Supervisors of Elections for Washington County.

Kaetzel said she expects a strong turnout in the West End, where candidates have focused their door-to-door campaign efforts.

Of the 16,846 registered voters eligible to cast ballots in the election, 8,427 are Democrats, 6,405 are Republicans, 235 belong to other political parties and 1,779 declined to select a party affiliation, according to the election office.

The city's 17 polling precincts open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Mayoral candidates are:

  • Sager, 43, of 809 Dewey Ave. He has been mayor since 1985.
  • Bruchey, 38, of 905 Woodland Way. Bruchey retired in 1994 because of a disability, after 13 years as a correctional officer for the State of Maryland.

City Council candidates are:

  • Incumbent Democrat William M. Breichner, 65, of 1117 Oak Hill Ave. Breichner is seeking his third term on the council. He was city administrator from 1983 to 1986 and is a consultant for Mainlining Services in Alma, N.Y., a company that rehabilitates water distribution systems.
  • Democrat Larry W. Craig, 57, of 304 E. Wilson Blvd., who works at Antietam Automotive in the South End Shopping Center. He is the husband of former Washington County Commissioner Linda Irvin-Craig.
  • Incumbent Democrat Lewis C. Metzner, 44, of 322 E. Irvin Ave. Metzner, who has a law practice at 103 W. Franklin St., was appointed to the council in October 1994.
  • Democrat Eugene E. "Buddie" Morris, 74, of 1001 Salem Ave. He has run at least twice before for council seats and mayor.
  • Democrat Larry A. Vaughn, 55, of 734 W. Franklin St. Vaughn served on the council from 1973 to 1981. His made three unsuccessful comeback attempts in 1981, 1985 and 1989. He is retired from Mack Trucks and is a volunteer firefighter with Western Enterprise Fire Company.
  • Republican Alfred W. Boyer, 61, of 1142 The Terrace. Boyer, who is retired from Bell Atlantic, serves on the Hagerstown Planning Commission.
  • Republican J. Wallace "Wally" McClure, 46, of 1105 Woodland Way. He owns McClure's Piano Shop and 'Round Town Movers. This is McClure's second run for a council seat.
  • Incumbent Republican Susan K. Saum-Wicklein, 45, of 278 S. Prospect St. Saum-Wicklein is seeking her third term. She is president of Saum's Jewelers and is chairwoman of the Washington County Republican Central Committee.
  • Republican Paul H. Toothman, 42, of 502 Lynnehaven Drive, Apartment J. He sells crystal for Princess House, a national direct sales company.
  • Write-in candidate Don Allensworth, 62, of 1732 Edgewood Hill Circle, is a Democrat. He is a former University of Pennsylvania professor of political science. He also is the author of several books on American government.

The successful mayoral candidate will be paid $28,000 annually and each of the five council members will get $8,000 a year.

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