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Three City Council incumbents defeated

March 10, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

Three Hagerstown City Council incumbents were tossed from office Tuesday during the city's Democratic primary election, according to unofficial results.

With all 14 precincts reporting, Councilwomen Kelly S. Cromer, Penny M. Nigh and Alesia D. Parson-McBean failed to place among the top five vote-getters to advance to the general election on May 19. The winners of the general election will take office June 1.

The primary results won't become official until Thursday, when the absentee ballots are to be counted, said Eve McGrory of the Hagerstown Elections Board. Of the 61 Democratic absentee ballots that were issued, 53 have been returned.

The top five vote-getters were William M. Breichner, 589; incumbent Lewis C. Metzner, 555; incumbent Martin E. Brubaker, 510; R. Noel Brady, 505; and David A. Lidz, 490, according to unofficial results available Tuesday night. The candidates who received the least votes were Joseph A. Marschner, 449; Nigh, 415; Parson-McBean, 269; and Cromer, 241.

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Metzner said he was thankful the electorate gave him a chance Tuesday to advance to the general election. If he wins, he would be serving his fifth term.

"It's very gratifying -- that's an understatement," Metzner said. "It's very humbling when you look at the voters' response."

Breichner also said he was thankful.

"There was a dissatisfaction with the way the council was going," Breichner said. "That was centered around the three people who lost."

Lidz said he plans to "turn up" his campaign and will continue to go door to door to disseminate his message.

Of the incumbents who lost the election, only Nigh and Parson-McBean could be reached for comment.

Nigh said she had no regrets and that she worked hard as a council member over the last eight years.

"It is what it is," Nigh said. "It's done. We'll see how it all shakes out."

Parson-McBean said she plans to remain positive.

"For whatever reason the end result was, I'm going to move on," Parson-McBean said. "The biggest loss was my father. Everything else pales in comparison."

Parson-McBean was referring to the death of her father, Bishop Tom Parson, who died Sept. 28, 2007.

Marschner said he might run again during the next city election.

"I'm very encouraged by the results," he said. "We'll look at it again in 3 1/2 or four years."

Marschner said he thinks the election in May could bring about positive results.

Brady, Breichner, Brubaker, Lidz and Metzner will face Republicans Patrick N. Crist, Forrest W. Easton, Jeremy L. Manford and Don Mohar in the general election.

Unaffiliated council candidate Ashley C. Haywood also will be on the general election ballot.

The Republican candidates automatically will advance to the general election because fewer than five GOP candidates filed to run.

Haywood also did not have to file to run in the primary.

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