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Trump's lead holds

March 10, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A vote verification procedure Wednesday all but sealed Richard F. Trump's Republican nomination to run for mayor of Hagerstown in the May general election, but the outcome of the council races remained uncertain.

A Wednesday recount of votes cast in Tuesday's City of Hagerstown primary election did not change the vote count, said Dorothy Kaetzel, director of the Washington County Board of Elections.

After the recount, Trump, a political newcomer, retained a 70-vote lead over former Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II.

Kaetzel said Trump's nomination will be official after the results are certified today, which is expected to be done after the absentee ballots are counted. The absentee ballots remained sealed until today.

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Kaetzel said it would be impossible for Bruchey, Trump's closest opponent, to win the nomination because only 69 Republican absentee ballots were distributed. Even if all were returned and all absentee voters had selected Bruchey, he would fall one short of Trump's vote total.

Bruchey on Tuesday raised the possibility of running a write-in campaign but did not commit to the possibility.

The absentee ballots could have an effect on the outcome of the Democrats' contest for the City Council nominations.

Ten candidates vied for five spots on the general election ballot. On Tuesday, the top five vote earners were Penny M. Nigh, Kristin B. Aleshire, Lewis C. Metzner, Kelly S. Cromer and Alesia D. Parson.

Incumbents Penny M. Nigh, with 647 votes, and Kristin B. Aleshire, with 617 votes, had enough votes to secure their nominations to run in the general election.

Metzner, an incumbent, and Kelly S. Cromer and Alesia D. Parson will not know if they will be on the general election ballot until the absentee ballots are counted today. Depending on that count, Walter "Nick" E. Carter, who was in sixth place after the votes were tallied Tuesday night, could move up to replace one of those three.

Kaetzel said 53 absentee ballots were sent to registered Democrats for the primary.

In Tuesday's balloting, Metzner received 542 votes, Cromer received 522 votes and Parson 511 votes. Carter had 503 votes.

If Carter were to gain nine votes over Parson, and if Metzner and Cromer do not lose ground, Carter would take Parson's place on the May ballot.

If both Parson and Carter gain ground - for instance if Carter gained at least 20 votes and Parson gained at least 12 - and Cromer gained none, Cromer could be off the ballot.

Should Cromer, Carter and Parson all gain ground, it is possible Metzner would not advance to the general election.

Incumbent Councilman N. Linn Hendershot had 433 votes after Tuesday's count, losing his bid to run for a second council term.

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