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Replacement for Trump must be a Republican

February 02, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

andrews@herald-mail.com

Former Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, who lost to Richard F. Trump in the 2005 primary and general elections, could be a choice to replace him.

Trump, a Republican, resigned as mayor Wednesday without saying why.

The city charter states that if a mayor or City Council member resigns, the council shall choose a replacement - who must be of the same political party as the official who resigned. The council met at the city attorney's office Wednesday afternoon to discuss the procedure.

After an executive session, City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the council hopes to appoint a replacement for Trump as soon as possible. He said people who want to be considered should contact the city clerk's office for an application and apply by Feb. 15.

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Bruchey, contacted Wednesday afternoon at Hagerstown Ford, where he works, hadn't heard that Trump resigned, but said he'd be willing to replace him.

"I'd be interested no matter what .... I'd be honored," said Bruchey, a Republican who was Hagerstown's mayor from 1997 to 2001.

Bruchey ran again for mayor in 2001 but lost to Democrat William M. Breichner.

In March 2005, Bruchey ran in the Republican primary against Trump and Anthony T. Campello.

Roger Dean Weber also ran in the primary, under the alias Charlie Baker. He was registered to vote under a Hagerstown address, but The Herald-Mail learned that he was living in West Virginia, making him ineligible to be mayor.

Trump won the primary.

Bruchey ran as a write-in candidate in the general election, finishing behind Trump and Breichner.

Section 515 of the city charter, titled "Vacancies," states: "In case of a vacancy on the council or in the office of mayor for any reason, the council shall elect some qualified person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. Any vacancies shall be filled by council duly recorded in the minutes of the council. The person so appointed to fill the vacancy of either the mayor or councilmember shall be one who for more than one year was affiliated with the same political party as the one vacating the office."

The charter requires the city's mayor to be at least 25 years old, a city resident for at least one year preceding an election and a qualified voter in the city.

Campello could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. He did not return a message left at his home Wednesday night.

Mildred "Mickey" Myers, the publicity chair for Washington County's Republican Central Committee, said Wednesday night that the committee hadn't discussed whether to nominate a Republican to be the next mayor.

"I don't know if we'll do anything or not," she said.

Staff writer Daniel J. Sernovitz contributed to this story.

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