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Murphy re-elected to fourth term as Hancock mayor

January 28, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

HANCOCK - Hancock Mayor Daniel A. Murphy was re-elected to a fourth term Monday, defeating challenger Darwin Mills by 44 votes.

Town voters also re-elected incumbent Councilmen David Smith and Randy Pittman.

Residents Franklin Courtney and William Mills, son of Darwin Mills, ran against Smith and Pittman for council.

Murphy received 289 votes and Mills got 245 votes.

"It was close," Hancock Election Board Chairman Lowell Younker said Monday. "I wouldn't want to run closer than that if I was running."

Smith was the top votegetter of the council candidates with 304 votes, or 60 percent of the votes cast, Younker said. Pittman pulled in 296 votes.

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William Mills ended up with 225 votes and Courtney received 209 votes. The numbers include absentee ballots.

The mayoral term is two years while the council term is four years.

Murphy and Pittman did not return phone calls Monday night, and Smith did not return pages.

Mills, saying he was speaking on behalf of his son and Courtney, said all three plan to run again in 2005. He said their 2005 campaign began after the polls closed Monday.

"They're not going to get us down," said Darwin Mills, who has two years left on his council term.

Darwin Mills said he's considering resigning from the council while he runs for mayor.

"Maybe I can operate better from the outside," he said.

Younker described the voter turnout as "great," with 538, or about 50 percent, of the town's 1,018 registered voters casting ballots.

The normal voter turnout is usually 25 percent to 30 percent, he said.

Murphy, a veterinarian in Hancock, has served six years as mayor. He was a town councilman for four years before that.

Smith and Pittman were both re-elected to their second terms as councilmen.

Smith, who is self-employed, is an honors graduate of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, where he studied mechanical engineering and political science.

Pittman owns Pittman's Liquor and Weaver's Restaurant. He served a year in Vietnam.

Darwin Mills, former chief of the Hancock Police Department, has served six years on the town council. He is employed as a Maryland correctional officer.

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