Washington County residents will help choose next president, several federal and local races

November 04, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |

Tuesday, Nov. 6, when the United States picks its next president, residents of Washington County will help decide several federal and local races and ballot questions.

They will vote for a U.S. senator for Maryland, a member of Congress for the 6th District and Washington County Board of Education members.

They also will vote on seven statewide ballot questions.

Residents of the city of Hagerstown will choose the mayor, the city council and whether to hold nonpartisan elections.

Maryland’s 6th District in Congress was changed in last year’s redistricting process from majority Republican to majority Democrat.

Republican Roscoe G. Bartlett is trying to win an 11th two-year term. His challengers are Democrat John Delaney and Libertarian Nickolaus Mueller.

In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Benjamin L. Cardin is seeking a second six-year term.

He has three opponents on the ballots — Republican Dan Bongino, Libertarian Dean Ahmad and Rob Sobhani, who is unaffiliated.

Another four people have registered to be eligible for votes as write-in candidates.

Of the seven statewide ballot questions, two are about the qualifications of orphans’ court judges in Prince George’s and Baltimore counties. Because they are proposed amendments to the state constitution, they are put before all Maryland voters.

The other five statewide ballot questions propose:

  • Changing when elected officials must leave office because of criminal charges.
  • Allowing illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition rates for two- and four-year colleges in Maryland after meeting certain conditions.
  • Affirming Maryland’s new congressional boundaries
  • Allowing same-sex couples to marry
  • Expanding gambling in Maryland to include table games and a casino site in Prince George’s County, which would be the state’s sixth approved site.
There is an eighth ballot question only for voters in the city of Hagerstown. It proposes eliminating political party affiliations for future mayor and city council candidates, making the primary and general election nonpartisan.

For mayor, Hagerstown residents will choose between Republican Robert E. Bruchey II, the incumbent, and Democrat David S. Gysberts.

There are 11 candidates vying for five city council seats.

Incumbents William M. Breichner, Lewis C. Metzner and Martin E. Brubaker, who are Democrats, and Ashley C. Haywood, who is unaffiliated, are seeking re-election.

The fifth current council member, Republican Forrest Easton, is not running again.

The six other candidates in the general election are: former council members Kristin B. Aleshire and Penny M. Nigh, who are Democrats, and Republican challengers Larry Bayer, Jonathan R. Burrs, Jeffrey M. Coney, Chris Kelly and Donald F. Munson.

In a nonpartisan race, five candidates are running for four Washington County school board seats.

Three incumbents are on the ballot — Wayne D. Ridenour, Justin M. Hartings and Donna L. Brightman. The two challengers are Travis W. Poole and Melissa Williams.

Finally, all Maryland voters will be asked whether two judges should continue in office — Lynne A. Battaglia on the Court of Appeals and Stuart R. Berger on the Court of Special Appeals.

Polls will be open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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