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Washington County GOP group nominates Jeffrey Coney for city council

August 27, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
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Jeffrey Coney has been nominated to run as a Republican candidate for Hagerstown City Council in November’s general election, a Washington County Board of Elections official confirmed Thursday.

Coney, 51, of 201 Jackson Ave., was nominated by the Washington County Republican Central Committee on Wednesday to fill the spot vacated by Councilman Forrest W. Easton, who withdrew from the race.

Easton, who was elected to the five-member council in 2009, said earlier this month that he was dropping out of the race due to increased work obligations and a lessened desire to live in the city. He has filed paperwork to relinquish his bid for re-election for a second term.

Coney said he met with Ray Givens, chairman of the county’s Republican Central Committee, on Tuesday about rejoining the field of 11 council hopefuls.

“I don’t mind getting back in there and giving it another shot,” he said. “I’m happy to step in and support the party.”

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In the April Republican primary, the top five vote-getters advanced to the Nov. 6 general election. Coney came in sixth, 43 votes short of the 969-vote total of Jonathan Burrs, the final GOP candidate to advance.

Coney said he plans to attend as many city events as possible in an attempt to get his name out to voters before November.

“Hopefully, I’ll have a better shot this time,” he said, adding that he will “do as much handshaking” as he can until then.

The political newcomer will join four other GOP candidates, as well as five Democrats and one unaffiliated candidate, all vying for one of the five open seats on the city council.

The top five overall vote-getters will win seats.

Joining Coney on the GOP ticket will be fellow newcomers Burrs, Larry Bayer and Chris Kelly, along with longtime state legislator Don Munson, who amassed the most votes in the primary with 1,394.

Democrats running include incumbents William Breichner, Lewis Metzner and Martin Brubaker, as well as former council members Penny Nigh and Kristin Aleshire, the top vote-getter in April with 1,478.

Unaffiliated incumbent Ashley Haywood also is running for re-election.

In the mayoral race, incumbent GOP Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II will face Democratic challenger David S. Gysberts, who lost to Bruchey in the 2009 election.

Bruchey topped challenger Brian Caron by almost 300 votes, 1,102-803, in the GOP primary. Gysberts ran unopposed and collected 1,416 votes.

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