Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Turnout light, incumbents strong in Carroll's primary

Turnout was light as Carroll County went to the polls on Tuesday, June 26 for Maryland’s gubernatorial primary election with 23,862 ballots cast. That’s about 20 percent of Carroll’s registered voters, with absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted.

Four years ago, the last time a Maryland gubernatorial primary was held, 28,955 votes were cast, meaning 25.32 percent of registered voters cast ballots.


Several candidates expressed disappointment with the turnout. Still, there were a few close races and incumbents generally did quite well.

The next Board of County Commissioners took shape.


Incumbent Stephen Wantz and Ed Rothstein won in the District 1 and 5 Republican races for county commissioner. Republican incumbent Richard Weaver ran unopposed in District 2.

Without a Democratic challenger in Districts 1, 2 and 5, Wantz and Weaver will return to the board, joined by Rothstein.

Christopher “Eric” Bouchat defeated his Republican opponents in District 4 and Democrat Paul Johnson in District 4 ran unopposed. Bouchat and Johnson will face each other in the general to determine the District 4 commissioner.

Incumbent Dennis Frazier appears to have narrowly edged opponent Tom Gordon in the Republican District 3 commissioner race. With 7 of 7 precincts in District 3 reporting, Frazier topped Gordon by 59 votes. On the Democratic side, Maria Warburton will move on to the general election in District 3.

For Judge of the Circuit Court, sitting judge Richard Titus handidly won the Republican primary while Maria Oesterreicher was the top vote-getter on the Democratic side, and they will now face off in the general election.

In the District 5 House of Delegates race, the Gov. Larry Hogan-backed slate of incumbent Republicans Susan Krebs, Haven Shoemaker and April Rose will move on to the general where they will face a challenge from lone Democrat Emily Shank, who was unopposed in the primary.

Patricia Ann Dorsey was far and away the top vote-getter for the Board of Education, followed by incumbent Bob Lord and Tara Battaglia. The top six vote getters move on. Rounding out the top six are Mary Kowalski, Ken Kiler and Doug Howard.

Carroll County Times staff reported from polling places throughout the day. Use the #CarrollPrimary18.


The polling place in Johnzie’s Lounge at Fairhaven, in Sykesville, is one of the smallest polling places according to its chief election judges, Brian Flickinger and Sue Podobnik, and it serves a special population — the residents of the Fairhaven assisted living facility and people living within a couple of blocks of it. At one point in the afternoon, an older Fairhaven resident in a wheelchair required the assistance of both Flickinger, the Democratic judge, and Podobnik, the Republican Judge, in getting his ballet filled out.

“Some voters here don’t have the motor skills to make a perfect circle, on those scantron tests,” Flickinger said, or they may have vision problems that necessitate another human being get involved — bipartisan assistance ensures those voters’ votes get counted as intended.

“I had a guy earlier today make the most beautiful check marks, but they don’t work in the scanner,” Flickinger said. “It’s completely clear to any human what he intends, but the machine just spits it out.”

Incumbent Judge Titus' former clerk, Katy McNally, came up to Pleasant Valley fire company Tuesday morning from Washington, D.C. to represent him at the June 26 primary election.

"I can't say too many great things about the man," she said sitting under an umbrella in the parking lot around 2 p.m. "I learned a lot, he is very fair. I wanted to make sure I supported him."

McNally was posted right next to Union Mills resident and Team Hogan electioneer Jason Sidock.


"The Adelaide folks, Ellin folks, everyone agreed that Judge Titus' would be the best choice," Sidock said.

The electioneers might disagree on other choices, he said, but the support for Titus was clear.

He also said, "I think Team Hogan is going to do very well," pointing to pamphlets in his hand and the names on his T-shirt under the hot sun.

By that time about eight percent of voters came to the fire station -- election staff expect 10 to 20 percent participation total by the end of the night.

Although it was about 80 degrees already around 2:30 p.m., an incident between electioneers turned up the heat for District 1 Commissioner Candidate Katherine Adelaide.

She said Incumbent Commissioner Stephen Wantz' electioneers reported her staff member Daniel Heisey for backstepping over the yellow line that keeps electioneers from getting too close to the polls. The mishap, she said, was an accident.


Heisey walked backwards while talking to someone when he allegedly stepped a few feet past the yellow line.

"It got politicized and it really shows a sense of entitlement by the incumbent," she said. "They don't want you to run, and if you do run there can be a real sense of entitlement.

"You have to appreciate what we have in America," said Adelaide. "We live in a free country still and this process is so important."

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