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Washington Co. residents have a lot to decide

Board of education, home rule on ballot Tuesday

Board of education, home rule on ballot Tuesday

February 10, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM and JOSHUA BOWMAN

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County residents will decide Tuesday whether to approve charter home rule. They also will cast their votes in the presidential primary election, eliminate one candidate from the Board of Education race and help select Democratic and Republican candidates to advance to the general election for the 6th District congressional race.

Home rule

The outcome of Tuesday's ballot question on charter home rule could change the way Washington County is governed.

If the charter is approved, the county's governing body would change from a five-member board of commissioners to a seven-member county council.

That council would be able to pass local legislation without approval by the Maryland General Assembly, which now must vote on all Washington County bills.

The charter also would give voters the right to challenge some legislation passed by the council through referendum, or public vote.

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Proponents of the charter say it will make local government more accountable to county residents.

Opponents argue that it will destroy a system of checks and balances that exists between the General Assembly and county government.

School board

The field of nine candidates running in Tuesday's primary election for the Washington County Board of Education includes two incumbents and three former board members.

Voters will select the eight candidates who will move forward to the Nov. 4 general election. The candidates in the nonpartisan race will compete in the general election for four open seats on the board. Board members serve four-year terms.

The candidates, as their names appear on the ballot, are incumbent Donna L. Brightman, Jacqueline Fischer, W. Edward Forrest, Meredith Fouche, Justin M. Hartings, Tom Janus, Margie Lowery, incumbent Wayne David Ridenour and Russell French Williams II.

6th Congressional District

Democrats and Republicans each will select nominees to run for the congressional seat in the 6th District. There are five candidates on each side of the ballot.

Republican candidates are incumbent Roscoe Bartlett, Tom Croft, John B. Kimble, Joseph T. Krysztoforski and Frank K. Nethken.

Democratic candidates are Robin L. Deibert, Jennifer P. Dougherty, Andrew Duck, Rick Lank and Larry John Smith.

Presidential primary

Maryland's ballot for the presidential primary lists the top candidates from each party, as well as a number of candidates who have withdrawn.

On the GOP ballot are Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Alan Keyes, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo and Fred Thompson.

Huckabee, McCain and Paul remain in the race while other GOP candidates have suspended their campaigns or withdrawn.

The Democratic ballot lists Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher J. Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis J. Kucinich, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson.

Clinton and Obama remain in the race for the Democratic nomination while the others have suspended their campaigns or withdrawn.

The Democratic ballot also includes an "Uncommitted" selection.

Delegates

Voters also can cast ballots for Democratic and Republican delegates to the national conventions.

Polling places

Polling station 26-1 in District 2A has changed from Hickory Elementary School on Hickory School Drive in Halfway to St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Center at 17630 Virginia Ave. in Hagerstown, Washington County Elections Board Director Dorothy Kaetzel said.

For a complete list of polling stations, go to www.herald-mail.com and click on "Hometown Guide," then click on "Government."

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