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Board of Elections says DiMaggio hangs onto fourth slot in school board race

ElectionsMitt RomneyDemocratic PartyBarack ObamaRick SantorumRepublican Party

In the wake of the April 3 primary election, the closest race in Carroll County proved to be the Board of Election, but elections officials said Thursday that it appeared to be settled.

Seven candidates were vying for two open seats on the board, and Tuesday's primary was set to narrow that field to four who will square off in November's general election.

Incumbents Jennifer Seidel and Cynthia Foley, and challenger Jim Doolan, each easily secured a spot in the general election face-off.

Seidel led the pack with 6,717 votes, Doolan had 4,444, and Foley had 4,317, according to results from the Carroll County Board of Elections.

But in a race considered too close to call until absentee ballots were counted, the fourth spot was up for grabs between Ginger DiMaggio, who had 3,368 votes on Tuesday, and Don Hoffman, who had 3,146 — a 222-vote difference.

On Thursday afternoon, Gail Carter, director of the Carroll County Board of Elections, said counting of absentee ballots to date had still left DiMaggio with a lead — 219 votes — for that last spot in the general election.

She said she didn't expect it to change with only about 74 provisional ballots and a similar number of additional absentees ballots to count.

"That's very hard to overcome," said Carter, "especially with a low voter turnout and low (number of) absentee ballots."

Congressional races

In other results, Republican incumbent Andy Harris was unopposed in the primary in the newly redrawn 1st Congressional District. The 1st Congressional District now includes Manchester, Hampstead and Taneytown, and stretches all the way to Ocean City.

On the Democrat side to determine who will face Harris, Cockeysville resident Wendy Rosen led Chestertown physician John LaFerla by 126 votes as of Thursday morning in a race that was also considered too close to call until the absentee votes are counted.

In Carroll, Rosen had more than 46 percent of the votes to LaFerla's 39.75 percent, but other parts of the district narrowed that margin.

In the other Congressional race affecting Carroll County, the 8th District, incumbent Democrat Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County easily outpaced challenger George English to win his party's nomination.

The new 8th Congressional District includes Sykesville, Mount Airy and Westminster, and also parts of Frederick County and sections of Montgomery County stretching to the Washington line.

On the Republican side to determine who will face Van Hollen in the fall, Kenneth Timmerman of Montgomery won the primary across the district, even though David Wallace, a Finksburg-area resident, carried Carroll County.

In Carroll precincts, Wallace received 44.7 percent of the vote (3,317 votes), while Timmerman received 40 percent (2,973 votes).

But across the entire district, the result was opposite. Timmerman netted 46.3 percent of the vote (12,813 votes, according to the Maryland Board of Elections), while Wallace came in second with 32.4 percent (8,955 votes).

Carroll GOP goes for Romney

And, in the presidential primary, Mitt Romney carried both the state and Carroll County. Republican voters in Carroll gave Romney 39.7 percent of the vote, with Rick Santorum receiving 36.3 percent.

Ron Paul was third in Carroll County with 12.9 percent and Newt Gingrich fourth with 10.23 percent.

On the Democrat side, President Barack Obama received 70 percent of the vote in Carroll County — while 30 percent of county Democrats voted for "Uncommitted to Any" candidate.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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