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Dick Trump leads Bob Bruchey in mayoral primary

March 09, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Political newcomer Richard F. Trump was running ahead of former Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II for the GOP nomination for mayor in Hagerstown's primary election Tuesday.

According to complete but unofficial results, Trump received 538 votes in Tuesday's balloting, 70 more than Bruchey's 468 votes.

Dorothy Kaetzel, Washington County Board of Elections director, said the election board had issued 69 Republican absentee ballots and 67 of them had been returned by Tuesday night.

Election officials today will verify Tuesday's poll results to check vote-count accuracy.

Absentee ballots that were mailed had to be postmarked by Monday, and must be received by today. Absentee ballots not being sent through the mail had to be received by Tuesday.

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If the unofficial results stand after absentee ballots are counted, Trump will face incumbent William M. Breichner, a Democrat, in the city's May 17 general election.

GOP mayoral candidates Anthony "Tony" T. Campello received 32 votes and Charlie Baker, whose legal name is Roger Dean Weber, received 12.

Trump, 59, of 1415 Lindsay Lane, called his apparent victory "humbling."

"We worked so hard and we were underdogged," Trump said, referring to Bruchey's experience and name recognition.

Bruchey was not ready to concede Tuesday night.

"We're gonna sit back and wait for the absentee ballots to come in," Bruchey said. "We've already had phone calls from people talking about a write-in campaign."

Bruchey, 46, of 905 Woodland Way, was elected mayor of Hagerstown in 1997, but lost his re-election bid in the 2001 election. He lost a race for the General Assembly in 2002 against Del. John Donoghue, R-Washington.

Breichner, 73, of 1117 Oak Hill Ave., was not listed on the primary ballot because there were no other Democratic mayoral candidates running in the primary.

Trump and five Republican City Council hopefuls - the Rev. Haru Carter Jr., Ruth Anne Callaham, Scott D. Hesse, Dan G. Kennedy and Torrence M. VanReenen - are running as a slate in the city election.

The Republican city council candidates on the slate are the only five Republican candidates vying for council seats and were not listed on the primary ballot.

Trump is owner of MMGI Publications, which prints and distributes several real estate advertising publications, including the Valley Revue. He also is co-owner of Hagerstown Magazine, which focuses on promoting the city. He is on the executive board of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the executive board of the Greater Hagerstown Committee and is a member of the city Board of Zoning Appeals.

He said during the campaign that he would work to build relationships with the county government, the Washington County Delegation to the General Assembly, the business community and residents. He also said he opposed increases in taxes or fees and wanted to hold down government costs.

Breichner said he would work to improve city housing, devise long-term plans for upgrading the city's fire and rescue services, look into holding more citizen comment sessions and continue to hold Washington County Hospital responsible for its proposed move.

Bruchey is a city native who sells autos at Hagerstown Ford. He worked with the Maryland Division of Correction for 14 years before retiring.

Campello, 35, of 111 E. North Ave., is a city native who works part time as a computer technician. He plans to finish his associate's degree at Hagerstown Community College this spring.

Baker, 60, said he is retired. He lives in Marlowe, W.Va., and listed a Kensington Drive address on his candidacy application.

Hagerstown's mayor is paid $28,000 a year and is eligible for city health benefits.

With all 13 Hagerstown precincts reported, voter turnout was 14.5 percent, said Kaye Robucci, election deputy director for the Washington County Board of Elections.

Voter turnout "still isn't that high, but it's better than four years ago," she said.

Kaetzel said 15,538 registered voters were eligible to cast ballots in the primary.

She said the polls ran smoothly Tuesday with the exception of a few minor glitches. A couple of voter cards brought up the wrong ballot, she said.

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