19 candidates rush to beat filing deadline

July 02, 2002|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Board of Elections kept busy Monday, as nearly two dozen candidates rushed to file for county seats before the 9 p.m. deadline.

When the election board closed its doors, 19 people had filed at the last minute to run in the Sept. 10 primary election. The general election will be Nov. 5.

Election Board Director Dorothy Kaetzel said it's not uncommon for candidates to file right before the deadline.

"There's a lot of filing on the last day," Kaetzel said. "Some people procrastinate, and some of them wait, I think, to see who else is going to file."


J. Herbert Hardin filed his candidacy for county commissioner about mid-afternoon Tuesday. He said he intended to file about two weeks ago, but he got tied up doing other business and then went on vacation.

Hardin, a Democrat, currently serves on the School Board, and his term expires at the end of this year.

Constance S. Cramer, a Democrat, said she thought about running for county commissioner for a while before making up her mind Friday. She filed the paperwork at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

"I was pondering it, and I guess I'm kind of like the draw card," Cramer said. "I hope I turn out to be the ace."

Former Smithsburg Mayor Tommy Bowers said Monday night he waited until the last day to file for Washington County Sheriff because he wanted to think long and hard about running.

"It took me that long to make up my mind whether I wanted to make such a serious commitment," said Bowers, a Republican. "I know I have an uphill battle, so I had to think long and serious about this."

Bowers will face Washington County Sheriff Charles Mades in the general election. Mades, a Democrat, has held the position since 1986.

Mades said Monday night this will be the first year since 1986 that he'll face opposition for the position.

A total of 51 candidates will seek election to the following boards and positions:

-- Washington County Commissioners

-- Washington County Sheriff, State's Attorney

-- Clerk of Circuit Court

-- Register of Wills

-- Judge of the Orphans' Court

-- Democratic Central Committee

-- Republican Central Committee

-- Washington County Treasurer

-- Washington County Board of Education

The county commissioners race attracted the most candidates with 22. Eight of the candidates are Democrats and 14 are Republicans.

Kaetzel said a primary election will not be held for the School Board race because it did not attract enough candidates.

Three people filed for three open seats on the School Board. Those three candidates will automatically be placed on the general election ballot, she said.

Kaetzel said seven people would have been needed to run for the School Board in order for a primary to be held this year.

Sixteen people filed for the School Board in the 1998 election, Kaetzel said.

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