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Mades beats Bowers for fifth sheriff term

November 06, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Facing a challenger for the first time, Washington County Sheriff Charles F. Mades won his fifth term in office Tuesday.

Mades, a Democrat, defeated Republican Tommy Bowers, 21,065 to 12,415, according to complete but unofficial results.

"I got my clock cleaned," Bowers said shortly after calling Mades to congratulate him.

Mades said the campaign was a clean one.

"There's never been any issues - just, 'He's been in office long enough,'" Mades said.

Mades, 62, has worked in law enforcement for 41 years. Upon retiring from the Maryland State Police after 25 years, he ran unopposed for sheriff in 1986.

He was also unopposed when he ran for re-election in 1990, 1994 and 1998.

Bowers - a former Washington County Sheriff's Department deputy, Smithsburg police chief and Williamsport police officer - said after declaring his candidacy for sheriff that he was pursuing a lifelong dream.

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Tuesday night, Bowers said, "I expected to get beat 2-1," referring to the vote ratio.

Bowers, 52, served one four-year term as Smithsburg's mayor. He chose not to run for re-election in May.

Mades, the only Democrat to win a contested Washington County race, will probably be working with an all-Republican County Commission.

"The whole political atmosphere has changed," Mades said.

Still, that didn't faze him.

"I'm just so elated," Mades said.

The sheriff serves a four-year term.

According to Washington County Human Resources Director Alan Davis, the salary will increase from $55,000 this year to $67,500 next year.

Clerk of the Circuit Court Dennis J. Weaver said the sheriff is usually sworn in on the first business day of December, but not necessarily.

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