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Red letter night: Ready, Krebs and Shoemaker win District 5

Tuesday was a red letter night in the District 5 race for Maryland House of Delegates, with all three seats going to Republicans.

Incumbent delegates Susan Krebs and Justin Ready each won re-election with 28.6 percent (34,656) and 27.9 percent (33,770) of the vote, respectively, while newcomer and sitting Carroll County Commissioner Haven Shoemaker took 27.3 percent (33,009) of the vote. Democrats Dorothy Scanlan and Zachary Hand received 9.3 (11,285) and 6.5 (7,885) percent of the vote, respectively, with 35 of 35 precincts reporting.

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Shoemaker learned of his victory Tuesday evening while sitting in the main hall of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Westminster along with newly-elected Sheriff Jim DeWees and their supporters.

"I'm appreciative to the people of Carroll County; Since 1997, they have steadily promoted me, for some reason, from Hampstead town councilman, to mayor of Hampstead to county commissioner and now ... to Annapolis to represent their interests," he said. "I am certainly grateful for that and I am looking forward to the challenge that this new position represents."

One challenge Shoemaker particularly looks forward to is getting a gaming bill for nonprofits passed in the next legislative session, something he said has been a political non-starter for several years.

"That would be a major source of revenue for our nonprofits," Shoemaker said. "A lot of our fire companies have to rely on their carnivals to raise money and, of course, then you are subject to the whims of mother nature. They need another revenue source."

A gaming bill is also on Krebs' agenda. She spoke of her plans for the next legislative session from a party at her home. At the state level, she said she would like to work on legislation ensuring pensions for retirees "are created equally."

Krebs' main concern on Tuesday evening, however, was the still uncertain governor's race.

"We just hope we can get [Republican Larry] Hogan to be our leader in the state. We believe that is essential to our success," she said. "We really believe our state is on the wrong track. That's why my house is full of people that were out from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. [Tuesday] to get Larry Hogan elected. We're going to head to Annapolis to celebrate if that's in order."

As of 11 p.m., with 63 percent of Maryland's precincts reporting, Hogan had a 53-48 percent lead over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the Democratic nominee.

Shoemaker said a Hogan governorship could mean a great deal for legislative initiatives important to Carroll County, not the least of which would be a local gaming bill that would allow certain Carroll nonprofits to host casino night fundraisers. The measure has failed multiple times.

"Not only would it be easier for that particular piece of legislation, I think it would be easier for us to get sufficient education funding, which we've been losing at the state level," he said. "I think with a friendly governor in the governor's mansion, we'll have the opportunity to ameliorate that situation."

No matter who moves into the governor's mansion next, the newly elected delegates from District 5 will be working with a majority Democratic legislature. Regardless of that, Shoemaker said he is confident they can accomplish their goals.

"We're going to have to reach across the aisle and we're going to have to get folks from the majority party to come along with us and pass these things that are important for Carroll County," he said. "I think it can be done. I've reached across the aisle as a county commissioner to people that are pretty difficult to deal with and we've gotten things done, so I think we can get it done in Annapolis as well."

Reach staff writer Jon Kelvey at 410-857-3317 or jon.kelvey@carrollcountytimes.com.

And in districts 4 and 9A

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In District 4, composed primarily of Frederick County but including a sliver of southwestern Carroll, Republicans Kelly Schulz, Kathy Afzali and David Vogt won seats in the House of Delegates. Democrat Gene Staton was unable to win a seat in the traditionally conservative district.

District 9A, which is made up mostly of Howard County but includes portions of southeastern Carroll County, saw Republicans Trent Kittleman and Warren Miller turn back challenges from Democrats Walter Carson and James Ward Morrow.

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