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Absentee ballots put Easton on council

May 21, 2009|By By DAN DEARTH and BOB FLEENOR

HAGERSTOWN -- A count of 190 absentee ballots Thursday changed the outcome of Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council election.

Republican Forrest W. Easton had trailed Democrat David A. Lidz by six votes for the fifth and final spot on the council after ballots cast at the polls Tuesday were counted. Easton finished six votes ahead of Lidz after the absentee ballots were tallied Thursday at the Washington County Board of Elections office.

Easton received 1,449 votes to 1,443 for Lidz, officials announced. Easton picked up 84 absentee votes compared to 72 by Lidz.

Easton could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Lidz said he would not ask for a recount.

"Hagerstown has spoken, and Hagerstown has said they want to know me a little better before they put me in a position of public trust," Lidz said. "Forrest is an excellent candidate. He will make an excellent councilman."

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Lidz said he plans to run again for a seat on the council in four years.

"I have all of these (campaign) signs," Lidz said. "What else am I going to do?"

Democrat William M. Breichner finished first in the council race with 1,651 votes, according to official election results. Democrat Lewis C. Metzner, an incumbent, was second with 1,611 votes; Ashley C. Haywood, who ran as an Unaffiliated candidate, was third with 1,477 votes; and Democratic incumbent Martin E. Brubaker was fourth with 1,472 votes.

Following Lidz in the voting were Republican Patrick N. Crist, Democrat R. Noel Brady and Republicans Don Mohar and Jeremy L. Manford.

The write-in candidacy of incumbent Penny M. Nigh, who was defeated in the March 10 Democratic primary, garnered 527 votes.

Two other incumbents, Democrats Kelly S. Cromer and Alesia D. Parson-McBean, also were defeated in the primary.

Election officials spent Thursday counting absentee ballots for the mayoral election as well.

Incumbent Republican Robert E. Bruchey II picked up 102 absentee votes to bring his total to 1,749, according to election results. Democratic challenger David S. Gysberts increased his total to 1,240 votes after receiving 74 absentee votes.

Write-in mayoral candidate Jonathan R. Burrs received 112 votes.

A ballot question that asked residents whether they wanted to change the dates on which municipal elections are held passed by 2,592 to 496 votes, according to results. The question received 141 absentee ballots for and 34 absentee ballots against.

Election officials reported that 3,173 cards were cast for voter turnout of 15.1 percent.

There were no overseas absentee ballots, election officials said.

The newly elected mayor and council will take office June 1.

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