Bruchey wins another term as mayor

May 19, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Incumbent Republican Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II won easily against two challengers during the Hagerstown general election Tuesday.

Bruchey defeated Democrat David S. Gysberts by 1,647 to 1,166 votes, according to unofficial election results. Write-in candidates received 124 votes.

Jonathan R. Burrs, whom Bruchey routed in the Republican primary on March 10, was the only candidate to file to run as a write-in before Tuesday's election.

It will take election officials until Thursday to determine whether additional candidates were written in on the ballot, said Dorothy Kaetzel, director of the Washington County Board of Elections.


Bruchey said he was proud that the race was clean.

"I don't think there was much (mud) slinging," Bruchey said. "I'm just relieved that it's over. I'd like to thank the citizens for entrusting me to run the city for the next four years."

Gysberts congratulated Bruchey after the final tally was read.

He said he might run again in four more years.

"I'm very proud of the campaign that we ran," Gysberts said. "It's not bad for a first attempt at (running for a public) office."

Gysberts said he plans to continue serving the city as a member of the Hagerstown Planning Commission.

Kaetzel said the election won't be certified until the absentee ballots are counted Thursday. Of the 210 that were issued, 189 have been returned, she said.

Bruchey campaigned primarily on an initiative that he created called Hagerstown Advance to market the city.

He also proposed charging residents a marginal fee, such as $5 to $12, that would be added quarterly to water bills to help pay for sidewalk repairs.

The fees would help lessen the financial burden on property owners, who currently have to foot the bill for sidewalk repairs, he said.

Bruchey served as mayor from 1997 to 2001, but was defeated in a bid for re-election. Another attempt fell short in 2005, when he lost to Richard F. Trump.

The City Council appointed Bruchey mayor in 2006 after Trump resigned from office less than a year after being elected.

Bruchey will begin his four-year term on June 1.

The mayor earns $28,000 per year.

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