HAGERSTOWN — With all of Hagerstown’s voting precincts and early voting tallied, incumbent Robert E. Bruchey II defeated his Republican mayoral challenger in Tuesday’s primary election by 218 votes, according to incomplete and unofficial election results.
“I appreciate everybody’s vote, but until they’re all tallied, every vote counts,” Bruchey said after eight precincts had reported.
With all 18 Hagerstown precincts and early voting results, Bruchey had 1,047 votes compared with 765 votes for political newcomer Brian D. Caron, according to figures.
“I’m pretty hopeful. I was optimistic going into it. The results so far are better than expected,” Caron said in a telephone interview after eight precincts had reported.
Caron, 40, of 609 Sunset Ave., is a press operator for Tri-State Printing in Hagerstown.
Bruchey, 53, of 905 Woodland Way, is general manager at Valley Auto Center in Middletown, Md.
For Hagerstown precincts, 114 absentee ballots were issued to Republican registered voters. Those ballots were not to be counted Tuesday night.
Bruchey’s win sets up a rematch of the 2009 mayoral general election in which he would again face Democrat David S. Gysberts. The general election is Nov. 6.
Gysberts had 1,317 votes with all precincts reporting and early voting figures, according to election results. He was the only Democratic mayoral candidate in Tuesday’s primary.
Bruchey was first elected mayor in 1997 and served as mayor until he lost a re-election bid in 2001.
He ran for mayor again in 2005, but lost to Richard F. Trump. After Trump resigned in 2006, Bruchey was appointed mayor and was re-elected in 2009.
The mayor of Hagerstown serves a four-year term, receives an annual salary of $28,000 and is eligible for city health benefits.
The election dates for the mayor and Hagerstown City Council were changed, effective with this election year, to align with the election dates for the presidential election.
Under the old election date system, the next city election would have been in 2013, said Kaye Robucci, director of the Washington County Board of Elections.