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Carroll County Times Opinion

Why not participate in Carroll County commissioner race debate? And political alliances matter | READER COMMENTARY

Why not participate in public debate?

Traditionally, during each election cycle candidate forums are held and hosted. This is to offer the voters of Carroll County the opportunity to not only learn about candidates running for office, but also to allow the public to ask questions and get more information on who they are voting for.

It had been my sincere hope that we would be holding a forum in District 3 for the public to have such an opportunity. I was contacted by the Community Media Center on May 24 to set up a forum for you, the voters. Both candidates were offered multiple dates with numerous opportunities to do so. I was recently contacted again by the Community Media Center to inform me that Ms. Herbert was not inclined to participate in a forum.

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Regardless, of me personally being a candidate for commissioner in District 3 or a voter in this upcoming important election, I find this to be very concerning and unfortunate. My opponent has decided to not allow the voting public the opportunity to hear both of us in a forum discussion. It’s unfortunate that Ms. Herbert, an elected Board of Education member who has opted to leave her position without completing it, would take such a stance and decide not to participate in a forum for the people. My opponent has no issue with meeting with various organizations looking for endorsements, but won’t allow you the public her time.

Do you as a voter feel comfortable voting for a candidate who isn’t willing to attend a public forum? Would my opponent as an educator have given a student a passing grading for being absent?

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If my opponent won’t participate in a forum for you the voters, why should you expect my opponent to participate once elected? If Ms. Herbert was serious about the voters she would change her mind. I recently asked her to once again to have a forum with me hosted by the Community Media Center after she previously declined their offer.

I have stated numerous times during this campaign that I am here to serve the people and not be a politician. I care and will listen to the concerns of all my constituents as this is the responsibility of any good servant leader. When duly elected by the voters, I will fulfill my elected term to completion and I will complete what I start.

Through leadership, commitment, and public service I am fully dedicated to the people of District 3 and all of Carroll County. I am asking for your vote in the July 19 primary election.

Tom Gordon, Westminster

Gordon is a candidate for Carroll County Board of Commissioner for District 3

Political alliances matter

During the last three and half years, I have witnessed Clerk Heather DeWees meet every campaign promise she made in 2018. She achieved these goals through her fair and honest leadership practices, her genuine care for her staff and the positive relationships that she has built with other elected officials in Carroll County.

Clerk DeWees has worked with the commissioners to increase security not only in the Clerk’s Office, but throughout the Circuit Courthouse. She worked with state Dels. Susan Krebs, April Rose, Haven Shoemaker and Sen. Justin Ready to pass bills that improve the Maryland Judiciary and Clerk’s Office efficiency.

It is evident that Heather DeWees cares about this county. She came into the office during the 2020 pandemic shutdown and the 2021 Juneteenth Holiday to marry couples. The first clerk in the state to have every employee teleworking, she issued marriage licenses and swore in special police officers in parking lots during the initial stages of the pandemic. Clerk DeWees opened the office with appointments when many clerk’s offices across the state were closed to the public because she wanted to make sure our community’s needs were met.

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Heather DeWees has also garnered the respect of the Maryland Judiciary and her fellow Clerks of Court across Maryland. She has been selected by the State Court Administrator to teach courses to Maryland Judiciary leaders in the nationally recognized Institute of Court Management Certificate Program. In addition, Clerk DeWees was voted by her peers to serve as the President of the Maryland Clerk’s Association in 2025.

Morale in the clerk’s office is high. This is because Clerk DeWees cares about her employees. Due to her background in education, she has increased opportunities for professional development and implemented policies to create a positive work environment allowing her staff to be more productive. Clerk DeWees also spends time in the community educating citizens about what the clerk’s office can do for them. She has created literature for the public and received accolades from the Maryland Judiciary for her work on the clerk’s office website.

Heather DeWees not only is qualified to be our Clerk of the Circuit Court, but she proves daily that she should be in this position. Her “alliances” or as I call them positive relationships with other elected officials has brought safety, efficiency, professionalism, and high morale to the Carroll County Clerk’s Office.

Missi Green, Union Bridge

Seeking a professional prosecutor

What would you think of a politician who switched from Democrat to Republican to serve on the Town Council? Who stole the neighbors well through eminent domain when serving as Mayor? Who gave a very strong statement and speech about how the county should not spend millions to expand the airport, (a campaign promise), and then cashed in his principles to make a deal with a fellow commissioner resulting in a majority vote to expand the airport? Who failed to uphold his oath of office to protect the God given rights of the people as Gov. Larry Hogan implemented his unconstitutional mandates? These mandates closed businesses and ruined families financially — making them bankrupt, kept folks from getting timely health care, and isolated so many citizens as churches were closed.

That politician is Haven Shoemaker. Haven’s fibs and half-truths, wheeling and dealing, using his power to infringe on the people’s rights and compromising his principles may have served him well dealing with the Democrats in Annapolis, but this behavior is neither conservative nor ethical, and certainly not a qualifier for being the chief prosecutor in Carroll County.

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Frankly, I can’t think of a single good reason anyone in law enforcement would back a career politician, bankruptcy attorney, that has never prosecuted a case.

To ensure equal justice under the law, we need a principled, professional, experienced prosecutor in the states attorney’s office. And that’s why I am voting for David Ellin for States Attorney.

Robin Bartlett Frazier, Taneytown

Carroll County FOP endorsements

The Carroll County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 20 represents current and retired police officers and deputies. We’re not a union, but a fraternal organization that works to support those that risk their lives to protect and serve Carroll County. Our goal is to make sure those in leadership positions support the efforts of first responders to keep Carroll County the safest place in Maryland to live and work.

As an organization, we’ve watched candidates for office use unsubstantiated allegations against a deputy to further their political agenda. This is a shameful approach to harvest votes at the expense of a good man that we believe is being wrongly accused. In fact, the agency that is supposed to have investigated these allegations has unequivocally denied conducting an investigation.

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Our organization agrees that experience matters, and so do facts! This is why Sheriff Jim DeWees got a 98% approval and endorsement rating from our membership. Not because he’s fought alongside our leadership to enhance pay, benefits, and workplace conditions, which he has, but for how he supports his deputies and civilian employees when they need him most.

Sheriff DeWees is an anomaly in law enforcement. There has been an attack on law enforcement by those running for political office in an attempt to garner name recognition. They state buzz words like corruption hoping for attention and votes. They don’t seem to care that they are unable to provide evidence for their claims which are at the expense of the fine men and women of Carroll’s Law Enforcement.

Leaders like Sheriff DeWees pull his people together and stand in front of the attack. We believe the candidates we support will take the same approach to leading during difficult times.

The approach you take to sensitive issues give us a window into the type of office you’ll run should you be elected, which is why we went through an interview process and polled every member of our organization so we could come up with a list we truly feel supports public safety in Carroll County.

There were many quality candidates, but at the end of our polling, the Carroll County FOP Lodge 20 is proud to endorse:

  • Sheriff: Jim DeWees
  • State’s Attorney: Haven Shoemaker
  • Senator: Justin Ready
  • Delegates: April Rose, Steve Wantz, Dennis Frazier, Joshua Stonko
  • Clerk of the Court: Heather DeWees
  • Commissioners: Dave Reese, Joe Vigliotti, Marsha Herbert, Mike Guerin, Ed Rothstein

Brandon Holland, Westminster


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