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Losing candidates mull write-in campaign ahead of general election

Despite losing their races in the recent primary election, Carroll County candidates still have the option to run in the November general election as write-in candidates.

Gail Carter, director of the Carroll County Board of Elections, said candidates can file as a write-in up until Oct. 29 for the general election in November.

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While the option is available for candidates, Carter said the chances of winning a race as a write-in is slim-to-none. She could not remember any write-in candidates ever winning office in Carroll during her 27-year-career in the county.

"It's a very difficult process for a write-in candidate to get elected," Carter said. "The voter has to take the extra time to write in a candidate's name."

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Barbara Biller, a Republican small business owner, said she has not yet decided if she will run as a write-in candidate for commissioner in District 4 for the general election after losing to incumbent Richard Rothschild in the primary.

"A lot of people have suggested that I run as a write-in candidate, but I really haven't looked into it yet," Biller said. "I'm undecided."

During the Republican primary, Rothschild received 2,206 votes, Biller received 1,559 votes and Sean Shaffer received 131 votes. Unless someone files as a write-in candidate, Rothschild will serve District 4 for another four years, since there are no candidates from other parties running in the election.

Carroll County State's Attorney Jerry Barnes could also run as a write-in candidate following his primary election loss to Brian DeLeonardo. Barnes did not return multiple phone calls for comment by 6 p.m. Thursday.

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While Biller may consider write-in candidacy, incumbent Robin Bartlett Frazier said she will not run as a write-in candidate in the general election after she lost the Republican primary for commissioner District 1 to challenger Stephen Wantz.

Frazier said she just doesn't feel it's fair to lose in the primary and then get a second chance in the general election, even though her supporters are urging her to do so.

"The election is on election day. It already happened," Frazier said. "It's not in the spirit of fair elections."

Wantz received 2,539 votes, Frazier received 1,733 votes, Cynthia Foley received 144 votes and Tina Mawhinney received 112 votes. Unless someone files as a write-in candidate, Wantz will face Democrat Jackie Jones in the general election.

Frazier said she had no intention to seek political office until she received a call from God to run for county commissioner in 1998. Frazier was elected and served as commissioner for four years before she lost her re-election bid in 2002.

After a lot of support from the community and many hours of prayer, Frazier said she decided to run for county commissioner again in 2010. Since she was re-elected, Frazier has served as a lightning rod for numerous issues, including government prayer, property rights, environmental regulations and school funding and curriculum.

"My heart is to serve," Frazier said. "I don't see it as a career and I have no political aspirations."

When asked if she would consider running again for political office, whether it be county commissioner or a higher office, Frazier said, "If the Lord lays it out and makes it my path, I will follow."

Reach staff writer Christian Alexandersen at 410-857-7873 or email christian.alexandersen@carrollcountytimes.com.

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