Only two of the five seats on the Board of County Commissioners were contested in Carroll County’s general election, and the Republican candidates won both Tuesday.
Republican incumbent Commissioner Dennis Frazier won District 3, which encompasses the Westminster area, and Republican candidate Christopher “Eric” Bouchat won District 4, where Republican Richard Rothschild has held the seat since 2010 when the commissioners moved from three members at-large to five elected by district.
Frazier won the District 3 seat, with 7,876 votes to his Democratic opponent Maria Warburton’s 4,727, for a total of 62.3 percent of the votes on Tuesday.
“I'm very happy I won,” he said when reached by the Times on Tuesday night. “I thank all my supporters for coming out and voting. I'm glad people came out to the polls and I'm happy I won a second term.”
He said he is excited to work with a board that will have two new commissioners, with Bouchat in District 4 and Republican Ed Rothstein, who ran uncontested in Tuesday’s general election, in District 5. Rothstein replaces two-term Commissioner Doug Howard, who ran for a seat on the school board.
“I’m looking forward to the new board coming together,” Frazier said. “I think it’s going to be a very productive board. With my conversations with both Rothstein and Bouchat, I think we are going to work very well together.”
The incumbent District 3 commissioner ran his campaign with an emphasis on his experience and accomplishments during his last term. Frazier beat Warburton in the 2014 race as well, with 72 percent of the votes.
Bouchat won the District 4 seat against Democrat Paul Johnson Tuesday, with 9,653 votes — or 66.2 percent — to Johnson’s 4,904.
The opioid epidemic and a focus on running the county like a business have been the cornerstone of Bouchat’s campaign, and his win comes despite his past coming up on Facebook and in the news recently.
“First, I am sincerely and humbly grateful for the strong outpouring of love and support, which led to this amazing victory,” Bouchat said in an emailed statement to the Times Tuesday night. “Second, Mr. Johnson has been a truly honorable gentleman and now my friend. Third, I wish to forgive the Carroll County Times for exploiting both the tragic death of my daughter to the opioid epidemic… in a sad attempt to subvert the will of the people.”
Pat McCarty, 73, of Mount Airy, said the District 4 county commissioner race was important to him, and he voted for Bouchat.
“I think we need somebody that knows what’s going on in the world and in business,” McCarty said.
He added that he sees Bouchat as business savvy, and appreciates that “he’s after the opioid people.”
Republican Ed Rothstein ran uncontested for the District 5 seat.
“I’m both humbled and honored to be elected,” he told the Times Tuesday evening. “I do believe it was a team effort that drove me to these results — from my family and friends and team that we put together. I am really looking forward to working with my fellow commissioners and those in the county government by serving our community.”
He also said he excited to take his approach to leadership to the BOCC in December.
“I focused a lot of my approach on a listen, learn, and then lead effort,” said Rothstein. “And so now with this position, I’m going to have a great opportunity to listen to our community, learn from them, and then lead with them.”
Incumbent Carroll County Commissioners Stephen Wantz and Richard Weaver, in Districts 1 and 2, respectively, were unopposed.
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The new board will be sworn in next month.