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Shank survives final tally

September 18, 1998

Munson waits for totalBy GUY FLETCHER / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




The order of finish in Tuesday's tight Republican primary in the race for Washington County Commissioners was unchanged after election officials counted absentee ballots Thursday.

Incumbent County Commissioner John S. Shank finished fourth in the GOP primary with a total of 3,215 votes, including 122 votes from the absentee ballots.

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He will join the three Republicans who finished ahead of him and Mary L. Kline, who finished fifth, on the Nov. 3 general election.

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Shank, who predicted he would do well in the absentee ballots, said he will have to kick his campaign into high gear for the general election.

"We're going to do a little bit of everything," he said. "We're going to be more visible, do more advertising. We've got to do more."

Kline, a retired county employee running for political office for the first time, received a total of 3,154 votes, with 73 votes from absentee ballots.

"I wouldn't say I'm shocked, but I am surprised," she said.

Finishing in sixth place, and not qualifying to run in the general election, was retired postmaster John S. Munson, whose total of 3,143 votes - 87 from absentee ballots - placed him close enough to Kline to jokingly request a recount.

Munson was the only commissioners candidate to watch election officials process the absentee ballots at the Washington County Courthouse. After the results were announced, he said his immediate plans were to take down his campaign signs.

"The people have spoken. If they can live with it, fine, but I'm going to try again in four years," Munson said.

Finishing in seventh place was Clinton H. Wiley, owner of a local Internet business, who received 100 absentee votes. He finished just behind Munson with a total of 3,139 votes.

"Boy, that's awfully close," Wiley said.

All four of the candidates were in the same positions after Tuesday's primary. But because they were so close, within 54 votes of each other, the race could not be decided until the 312 GOP absentee ballots were counted.

The three other Republicans joining Shank and Kline in the election are County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, former Washington County Circuit Judge John P. Corderman, and certified public accountant William J. Wivell.

The five Democrats in the general election race are Susan T. Tuckwell, retired school administrator Paul L. Swartz, former County Commissioner Linda C. Irvin-Craig, former Hagerstown City Councilman John L. Schnebly and incumbent County Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers.

Independent candidate Bert. L. Iseminger Jr. also will be on the ballot.

The five top vote-getters in general election balloting will win County Commissioners seats. The job pays $20,000 per year.

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