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Voters pick newcomers as commissioners

Munson loses re-election bid

Munson loses re-election bid

November 08, 2006|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Incumbent Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson lost his bid Tuesday for another four years on the board.

Munson, a Republican who has served one term, was soundly defeated in Tuesday's general election, according to complete but unofficial results.

The two other Republican incumbents, William J. Wivell and James F. Kercheval, were re-elected.

John F. Barr and Terry Baker, both Republicans, and Democrat Kristin B. Aleshire, a current Hagerstown City Councilman, also won election.

With all precincts reporting, Barr was the top vote-getter with 20,760 votes. Barr received the most votes in September's primary election.

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Baker, vice mayor of Clear Spring, was second with 18,861 votes.

Wivell came in third with 18,018 votes, followed by Kercheval (17,466) and Aleshire (16,741).

There were 4,037 absentee ballots issued; as of Tuesday, 3,550 had been returned. Those ballots will be counted Thursday.

Munson, who was lagging behind with more than half of precincts reporting, said he was fine with whatever the voters decided.

"Either way is fine, because I'll be in Florida while they're shoveling snow," Munson said.

Munson said he worked hard to make sure the commissioners didn't raise taxes over the last four years. He believes that if it had not been for Wivell and himself, the commissioners would have raised taxes.

Munson warned taxpayers to "watch their pocketbooks" with a new board of commissioners.

Wivell said he was pleased with the results but a little cautious because absentee ballots had not been counted.

"I have always been grateful to the voters for their vote of confidence," Wivell said. "I guess you basically have to be cautious until all the votes are counted."

Barr said he was feeling "absolutely wonderful" about the outcome.

"It's past my bedtime, and I think I'm celebrating," Barr said.

He said he was never really nervous about the election.

"I've had over 100 people here at the house," Barr said. "I was just walking around just talking to everybody."

Barr said he knows many county staff members and that he's looking forward to working with them.

Although he lost, N. Linn Hendershot, a former Hagerstown City Councilman, said he was optimistic about the new board of commissioners.

He said he hopes the board will work together for the best interests of the county.

"I think the county's going to be in good hands," Hendershot said.

Five Republicans and five Democrats challenged for five open seats on the board of commissioners.

The election guaranteed at least two new commissioners. Longtime Commissioner Gregory I. Snook decided not to run for re-election after 16 years on the board, and Commissioner Doris J. Nipps was ousted in September's primary election.

The new board will be sworn in Dec. 5. The position pays $30,000 a year, and the board president receives an additional $3,000 a year.

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