Former Mount Airy Town Council member Larry Hushour will become mayor after he defeated challenger Pamela Reed in a special election Tuesday.
Election officials announced Tuesday night that Hushour received 1,160 in-person votes compared with 548 votes for Reed. With only 116 absentee ballots left to count, officials called the election for Hushour around 9:30 p.m.
Hushour will take the place of former Mayor Patrick Rockinberg, who died after a battle with cancer in August. Rockinberg served as the mayor of the town shared by Carroll and Frederick counties for more than a decade, and had just recently narrowly won his reelection bid in May, defeating Hushour to become the mayor for his fourth term since 2010.
Council President Jason Poirier has been serving as acting mayor since Rockinberg’s death.
“Mayor Rockinberg’s shoes are large to fill,” Hushour said Wednesday. “But I hope to pick up where he left off and keep the budget intact for the reminder of the fiscal year,” in addition to maintaining normalcy through the holiday season in terms of events and the upcoming winter weather challenges.
A Mount Airy resident for 20 years, Hushour has worked with several town boards, including the recycling and sanitation commission and the board of parks and recreation. He was on the Town Council from 2017 to 2021, serving as president from 2019 to 2021.
Hushour has a degree in economics from the U.S. Naval Academy, two decades of naval service and experience working with the town.
“My supporters were incredible,” he said. “It is so humbling to have so many people willing to come together in the trenches with door knocking, sign and banner posting, writing letters, folding flyers and spreading the word throughout the town … I cannot thank them enough.”
The new mayor mentioned growth issues in the county regarding the Harrison Leishear property are an immediate concern, and he is preparing for a meeting with county commissioners to discuss the matter.
On Wednesday, Hushour commended his opponent.
“Councilwoman Reed ran a solid campaign and she kept me on my toes right through yesterday Election Day evening! I congratulate her and her solid base for their efforts and look forward to working with her and the entire Council as Mayor,” he added.
Reed was elected to the council in 2019 and elected by her peers as secretary in 2021. Before serving on the council, she served the community for over a decade in various volunteer and leadership roles, including as former president of the Mount Airy Main Street Association and a member of the economic development commission.
“First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr. Hushour on his win,” she said Wednesday. “While I lost the mayoral election, I feel honored to have been given the opportunity and to have received so much support from the community ... I will continue to work hard as council secretary, and move the town towards a healthy sustainable local economy.”
Hushour will be sworn in as mayor on Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Mount Airy Town Hall, located at 110 S. Main Street.