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Incumbent Commissioner Nipps ousted

September 13, 2006|By TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

An incumbent Washington County Commissioner was defeated in Tuesday's primary election, coming in sixth among the 12 Republican candidates, according to complete but unofficial results.

Commissioner Doris J. Nipps, who was seeking a second term, needed to be among the top five vote-getters in her party to advance to November's general election.

"I'm disappointed," Nipps said by phone late Tuesday. "That's about all I can say. The people decided who they wanted to put on the Republican side. It appears I didn't make the cut for the top five."

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Republican newcomer John F. Barr received the most votes among his party and the 11 candidates listed on the Democratic ballot for County Commissioner.

Barr, of Clear Spring, owns Ellsworth Electric.

He received 5,931 votes.

The other three incumbent commissioners, Vice President William J. Wivell, James F. Kercheval and John C. Munson, all Republicans, advanced to the Nov. 7 general election.

Terry Baker, Clear Spring vice mayor, was also among the five Republicans to advance.

Longtime Commissioner Gregory I. Snook did not seek re-election.

The top five vote-getters among Democrats were Hagerstown City Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire, former Commissioner Paul L. Swartz, former City Councilman N. Linn Hendershot, former School Board member J. Herbert Hardin and newcomer Donna L. Brightman.

Aleshire received the most votes among Democrats with 4,560.

The top five candidates from each party, a total of 10, will challenge for five open seats in November.

Munson said he was happy with the outcome.

"If I'm lucky enough to make it through the general election, I will continue to fight for the people of this county to keep the cost of government down and keep the property tax down," Munson said.

He said he expected the commissioners race to be "tough" for all those running.

Brightman said just before complete but unofficial results were in that she was pleased.

"It looks like I may be one step closer to my goal," she said. "Tomorrow morning, it's back on the campaign trail."

"The county is thinking about change but not really sure," Brightman said about the election results.

Hendershot liked the opportunity to advance to the next level so he can focus on issues affecting the county, he said.

"I'm looking forward to the forums and various debates so we can express some of the real issues," Hendershot said.

This year is the first commissioners race since 1990 in which Snook wasn't running.

Snook, who has been president of the board since 1994, decided not to seek a fifth term.

He's been a commissioner for 16 years.

Snook said he felt it was time for change on the board.

When Snook's term expires at the end of the year, it will mark the first time since 1974 - except for a 21-month period in the late 1980s to early 1990s - that a Snook has not served as a commissioner.

His father, Martin L. Snook, was a commissioner from 1974 until his death in March 1989.

The commissioners make $30,000 a year. The president of the board make $33,000 a year.

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