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Shank will challenge Poole

September 16, 1998|By TERRY TALBERT

Christopher B. Shank, former aide to Washington County's legislative delegation to the General Assembly, easily won the Republican nomination for the Maryland House of Delegates District 2B seat in Tuesday's primary election, according to complete but unofficial results.

Shank will face three-term incumbent Democrat D. Bruce Poole in the Nov. 3 general election. Poole was unopposed in the primary.

Shank, with 1,385 votes, was the top vote-getter of three GOP candidates. David M. Russo, 46, came in second with 483 votes, while Seth Edward Wilson, 27, was third with 263 votes.

Poole got 1,702 votes.

Shank talked about his victory from the Corner Pub in Hagerstown, where he stopped in to visit with other Republican candidates.

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"I'm very pleased with the results and grateful to voters in my legislative district," he said.

Shank said hard work got him the victory. "I knocked on 5,000 doors and did some direct mail ... that hard work paid off. Now I'm ready for the next challenge."

Poole did not return a telephone call Tuesday night.

District 2B covers the southern and eastern parts of Washington County, including the towns of Sharpsburg, Boonsboro and Keedysville and the communities of Dargan, Rohrersville and Beaver Creek.

Wilson, vice president of the county Republican Club, campaigned on strong conservative values, especially fewer taxes and less government.

Russo, a Hagerstown pharmacist and business owner, was making his first bid for elected office. During his campaign, he said he respected Poole, but disagreed with him on some issues last year, such as Poole's votes against a property tax cut.

During the campaign, Shank accused Poole of being more concerned with climbing the political ladder than with representing his constituents.

At that time, Poole said he thought it premature to talk about campaign issues until he knew who his opponent would be.

When the legislature began its session in January, Shank was the center of a dispute when Poole said that if he was running for office, he should resign as legislative assistant. Poole said Shank's job working with the delegation would give him an advantage during election campaigns.

Shank had the support of the majority of the delegation, and stayed on the job until the session ended in April.

Shank announced his resignation from the aide post before filing his candidacy.

Shank, a native of Washington County, lives in Hagerstown. He ran his primary campaign on core conservative values, including less government and fewer taxes.

Members of the House of Delegates make $29,700 a year. They are due to get a raise of $1,809 over the next four years.

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