Tuesday’s primary election is in the books — here’s what we learned:
Anne Arundel Sheriff loses following controversies
Incumbent Sheriff Ron Bateman was unable to fight off the controversies as he lost the Republican party’s nomination for the position to challenger Jim Fredericks.
Six days before the election, one of Bateman’s employees was charged with aiding 10 gang members and prominent county Republicans largely lined up behind Beth Smith, a retired lieutenant from the Sheriff’s Office who touted support from County Executive Steve Schuh, State’s Attorney Wes Adams and former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich.
Fredericks, a commander at the Anne Arundel County Police Department, won by nearly 1,300 votes.
State’s Attorney overcomes criticism
Despite criticism about his handling of the county’s State’s Attorney’s Office and its employees, incumbent Republican Wes Adams easily staved off a challenge from a former assistant state’s attorney.
Adams defeated Kathy Rogers by more than 2,000 votes despite Rogers joining a number of former employees in criticizing him as a bully and unwilling to listen to employees’ input. Adams also faced criticism over the hiring of Lawrence Scott, a prominent GOP political operative.
The state’s attorney campaigned heavily on his record, saying his office was more effective at prosecuting homicide, drug and domestic violence cases and won the opportunity to face off against Democratic candidate Anne Colt Leitess again in November.
Circuit Court’s racial make-up unchanged
Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Mark Crooks is declaring himself the outright winner of the county’s judicial race after he won the most votes on the Democratic and Republican ballots. Crooks, a Hogan appointee, faced his only challenge on the Democratic ballot, where former 2016 candidate Claudia Barber pulled out to an early lead before losing by a little less than 900 votes.
Barber and Rickey Nelson Jones, the two black candidates in the race, had criticized the state for not appointing more black judges to a currently all-white bench and looked to take the issue to the voting booth.
While Barber made it to the general election in 2016 — the first black woman to do so in a county Circuit Court election — it looks as though 2018 will not be a repeat.
No second act for Leopold
Former County Executive John Leopold took his redemption campaign public — but the public wasn’t listening. Leopold garnered about 10 percent of the vote. It didn’t help his own party sent out attack mailers against Leopold. Del. Nic Kipke, R-Pasadena, said it was his “moral obligation” to inform voters of Leopold’s past mistakes.
Leopold tried to argue for a second chance and gave out his medical records to media outlets as proof to exonerate him for his previous conviction. It didn’t work.
A remodeled County Council
It didn’t go well for incumbents as Michael Peroutka, R-Millersville, and Pete Smith, D-Severn, were defeated. Peroutka, a controversial candidate due to ties to The League of the South, didn’t get broad Republican support until the 2018 election. Smith – who has served since his appointment in 2012 – may have fallen victim to Democrats wanting a more progressive candidate.
Both candidates were defeated by women. Sarah Lacey and Amanda Fiedler will face Kimberly McCoy Burns and Dawn Gough Myers in the general election. This guarantees at least two women on a council that was previously all men.
A close race for John Grasso
For all the talk that County Councilman John Grasso, R-Glen Burnie, has about exercising his community’s will, Tuesday’s race was closer than anticipated. His opponent Maureen Bryant is only 71 votes behind Grasso with absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.
Grasso doesn’t have a problem getting loud — he called the County Executive “two-faced” and he exiled the county’s liquor board to hold its meetings in a local hotel. Grasso also has been effective at passing both with Schuh and against him and the Republican party. It’s possible Grasso performs better in the general election especially as Democrats take aim at established candidates. The winner will face Del. Pam Beidle, D-Linthicum.