Mount Airy residents will choose either former town council member Larry Hushour or current council member Pamela Reed as their new mayor in a special election next month.
The winner of the election will take the place of former mayor, Patrick Rockinberg, who passed 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, the fourth time he’d been elected mayor since 2010.
Council President Jason Poirier has been serving as acting mayor since.
A Mount Airy resident for 20 years now, 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 council president from 2019 to 2021. Earlier this year he lost against Rockinberg in the town’s mayoral election.
With a degree in economics from the U.S. Naval Academy, two decades of naval service and experience working with the town, Hushour said he believes he is “the right person to step in as mayor.”
He said one of his priorities in office would be to “protect the small town feel and small town charm” of Mount Airy so people can continue to enjoy the “history and heritage of the town.”
“Protecting Main Street is extremely important,” he said, expressing his concern with county development and its impact on town roads, parks and open space.
Reed was elected to the town council in 2019 and elected by her peers as council secretary in 2021. Prior to serving on the town council, she served the community for over a decade in various volunteer and leadership roles, including former president of the Mount Airy Main Street Association and a member of the economic development commission.
If she becomes mayor, she said she will “advocate on behalf of the community to protect our town and our borders, from over development and continue to foster relationships with state and county leaders.”
In addition, she has a concern the town will age if they do not add amenities to attract younger professional generations, such as more shopping, dining and walking and biking trails.
“Mayor Pat referred to me as a ‘shaker and a mover,” she said. “I am a doer with a reputation for getting things done … I hold myself to the highest moral standards, show compassion, work hard, exude integrity, maintain courage, and remain humble.”
The special election will be held in-person on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Department Reception Hall located at 1008 Twin Arch Road. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Absentee ballots will be available beginning Wednesday through the town hall.
According to Holly McCleary, town clerk, the results of the election will be announced at the end of the night during a news conference at the reception hall.
The Community Media Center is hosting a public forum for the two candidates at the Mount Airy Town Hall building located at 110 S. Main Street, on Thursday, starting at 7 p.m. Bob Blubaugh, managing editor-digital content for the Community Media Center, will serve as the moderator for the event.
The forum will be open to the public, but seating will be limited. The event will also be streamed live on cable channels HD-1086 and channel 19, on the Community Media Center website at carrollmediacenter.org and on Facebook and YouTube. Residents are encouraged to submit their questions prior to the event by emailing them to email@example.com.
The forum will rebroadcast on cable channel 19 on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. and on channel HD-1086 at 9:30 p.m.