Carroll County Times
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Year in Review: Election represents changing of the guard at state and county levels

November's general election and June's primary represented a changing of the guard statewide and locally, as Maryland elected Republican Larry Hogan to the governor's office and Carroll County choose three new members of the Board of Commissioners, two new members to the Board of Education, a new sheriff and, for the first time in two decades, a new state's attorney.

Hogan became just the second Republican governor elected since the 1960s in deep-blue Maryland, defeating Democrat Anthony G. Brown, who had been lieutenant governor under Martin O'Malley during his two terms in office.


"It's not a realignment. It's not turning a blue state red. It's people who are tired of the last eight years, " Hogan spokesman Adam Dubitsky said on election night.

Hogan takes office Jan. 21. He's already named a few people with Carroll County ties to his cabinet, including Republican Joseph Getty, who won re-election to the state senate in District 5


Getty, of Manchester, was named Hogan's chief legislative officer; he held a similar position as policy and legislative director under former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

Getty will have to vacate his Senate seat when he takes his spot on the cabinet. The Carroll County Republican Central Committee is responsible for recommending his replacement, who would be officially appointed by the governor.

Hogan also appointed state Del. Kelly Schulz, a Frederick County Republican who also represents a portion of Carroll in District 4, to be his secretary of labor. The vacancy created by her appointment will be primarily handled by the Frederick County Republican Central Committee, with Carroll's RCC having some input.

Joining Getty and Schulz's replacements in the all-Republican Carroll County delegation will be Dels. Susan Krebs, Justin Ready and Haven Shoemaker in District 5, Dels. Kathy Afzali and David Vogt in District 4, Dels. Trent Kittleman and Warren Miller in District 9A, and Sens. Michael Hough and Gail Bates in Districts 4 and 9, respectively.

In Carroll, a Republican stronghold, local races were largely decided in the June primary, with incumbents being ousted from three county commissioner seats and the state's attorney's office.

Retirements also allowed for new blood to be injected into the Board of Education and sheriff's office. Two school board members, Gary Bauer and Barbara Shreeve, and 16-year Sheriff Ken Tregoning, retired or decided not to seek re-election in 2014.

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Contentious races at the county commissioner and school board level saw two factions of Republican candidates squaring off in the primary — those citing their desire to "Keep Carroll Conservative" and others with the backing of the Carroll County Education Association with more moderate stances.

Meanwhile, nearly 1,300 registered voters in the county changed from Democrat or unaffiliated, Libertarian or another party affiliation to Republican from the start of 2014 until the June 3 deadline to switch parties — some influenced by the teacher's association based on concerns about public education funding, but primarily to have a voice in a close primary that saw few Democrat contenders in local races.


Ultimately it was mostly the teachers-union-backed candidates who won primary elections and went on to claim victory in the November general election as well.

Steve Wantz, Richard Weaver and Dennis Frazier joined incumbents Richard Rothschild and Doug Howard on the Board of Commissioners, officially sworn in on Dec. 2.

Virginia Harrison won re-election to the school board, and Bob Lord and Devon Rothschild were elected for the first time, holding off a challenge from a conservative bloc of candidates in the nonpartisan Board of Education race. Harrison, Lord and Rothschild were sworn in on Dec. 3, joining Jennifer Seidel and James Doolan on the five-member board.

Maryland State Police Capt. Jim DeWees became Carroll's newly elected sheriff, defeating Phil Kasten and Chris Fiora in the primary and Vince Pacelli in the general election ; and Brian DeLeonardo unseated five-term incumbent Jerry Barnes for state's attorney in the primary and was uncontested in the general election, giving the faces of law and order in the county a new look for the first time more than a decade.

DeWees was sworn in Dec. 2, while DeLeonardo was sworn in as interim state's attorney Dec. 1 after Barnes' untimely death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound days earlier. DeLeonardo will officially be sworn into office Monday.