HAGERSTOWN — The field of 12 candidates vying for five seats on the Hagerstown City Council was reduced by one Republican on Tuesday, according to unofficial primary election results.
With all 18 city precincts reporting and early votes counted, longtime state legislator Don Munson led all GOP candidates with 1,319 votes, followed by incumbent Councilman Forrest W. Easton with 1,071.
“I’m very excited about being the leader so far, and I hope it continues,” said Munson, who served for 36 years in the state Senate and House.
“I worked very hard to get there. I personally knocked on 4,600 doors,” he said. “I am looking forward, if elected, to work. I think that I can go to Annapolis and help lobby things that will be good for the city of Hagerstown.”
Munson mentioned a new or renovated stadium, taxes and jobs as key issues that he heard from visits with city residents.
“People are desperate for jobs in Hagerstown, and throughout Washington County,” Munson said. “I have a fairly good track record in that regard.”
Political newcomer Chris Kelly was third with 981 votes, followed by Larry Bayer and Jonathan R. Burrs with 961 and 927, respectively.
All five will advance to the general election to face five Democratic candidates, who advance automatically to the Nov. 6 face-off. The top five vote-getters in November will win seats on the council.
Incomplete preliminary numbers project GOP candidate Jeffrey Coney as the losing candidate with 881 votes, barring returned absentee ballots.
Although all five Democratic candidates will move on to the general election, former council member and Washington County commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire led candidates with 1,390 votes, ahead of incumbent Councilman Lewis C. Metzner who had 1,217.
Penny Nigh trailed with 1,124 votes followed by William Breichner with 1,114 and Martin Brubaker with 1,058.
Aleshire was at the Washington County Board of Elections Tuesday night, more to check on the results of the primary for 6th Congressional District Democrats, specifically where John Delaney ranked, rather than his own.
“The numbers during a primary, to me, aren’t as important as those numbers in the general election where everybody simply votes as a citizen of Hagerstown,” he said. “And when you go to sit in that seat on the first day in office, you’re representing every citizen in Hagerstown regardless of party affiliation.”
Unaffiliated candidate Ashley C. Haywood will also appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Absentee and provisional ballots will be counted in the coming weeks and will be finalized on about April 13.
Out of 114 issued, at least 103 GOP absentee ballots were returned as of Tuesday afternoon. At least 104 Democratic ballots came back from the 126 issued.