Incumbent Martin, newcomers Glenn and Smith win city council seats in Havre de Grace

Voters in Havre de Grace turned out two of the three incumbents seeking seats on the six-member city council during the city's annual election Tuesday.

Incumbents Fred Cullum and Jim Miller lost their bids for new terms, while the third incumbent, Bill Martin was re-elected.

Winning council seats along with Martin were David Glenn and Joe Smith.

In all, seven candidates ran for the three seats.

The unofficial results were:

David Glenn 884

Bill Martin 822

Joe Smith 688

Fred Cullum 579

Jim Miller 410

Barry Scharbrough 372

Robert Sawyer 139

Glenn, a lifelong city resident, and Smith, Scharbrough and Sawyer, all of whom moved to Havre de Grace within the past six years, were all running for the first time.

Election officials said 1,515 people voted at St. Patrick Hall Tuesday, 18.4 percent of 8,230 who were registered. Last year, when the mayor's office was contested, the turnout was 21.8 percent.

Aside from last year, Tuesday's turnout was better than in recent years, particularly in an election with just council seats at stake.

There were 1,179 votes cast in 2010, 830 votes in 2009 – when Mayor Wayne Dougherty ran for re-election unopposed – and 1,054 votes in 2008.

There were 35 absentee ballots left to be counted Thursday; however, there weren't enough of them to alter the order of finish.

Winners laud campaign

The three winners congratulated each other after the results were announced at St. Patrick Hall, and all seemed eager to work together.

Because he had never run for office before, Glenn said he was not sure how many votes to expect.

"I knew my community service was well-recognized," he said about why he may have won. "I worked a hard, clean campaign."

Glenn added he was "overwhelmed" that the citizens showed so much confidence in him.

"I'm excited to join the team," he said.

Others agreed that the campaigning was both aggressive and peaceful.

"I think we all ran pretty strong, solid campaigns," Smith said. "I worked hard and, hopefully, I can say I earned it."

Smith said he felt "relief and a little shock" about winning.

He pointed out the winners are a good mix of newcomers and one veteran, Martin.

The higher than normal turnout may have been a sign of voters' desire for change, Smith said.

"I was one of the recipients of that change," he said. "We will see what that means in the balance of the council."

He also believes Bulle Rock, where he, Scharbrough and Sawyer live, got out the vote this time.

"I had such a huge amount of support, not just from Bulle Rock, from all the parts of the city," Smith said.

"I did what I knew how to do," he said of his campaign. "It obviously paid off."

Martin, the council president, was likewise happy with everyone's campaign and said he looks forward to serving the city yet again.

"I felt I did a pretty good job," Martin said. "The voters had a really good field to choose from. I think this is the most validated election to date."

"All the candidates ran a really clean campaign," he said. "You had a big field of people running and a huge turnout."

Martin said everyone worked hard and the city of Havre de Grace is the real winner.

"It could have been anybody's election," he said. "I am very honored and proud to have another opportunity to serve my city."

Miller, on the outskirts of the post-election crowd, said he was not too surprised by the outcome and felt he had a good run for six years in office.

"I'll get my Monday nights back," Miller joked. "They came after me pretty bad last time."

Miller said he expects "business as usual" at city hall, adding: "It's a rubber stamp council now."

Cullum, the other incumbent who lost, was the council's longest serving member.

Tuesday's winners will be sworn in for their two-year terms during the May 21 city council meeting.

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