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Tomlinson: A conservative estimate about the best choices in the 2020 primary

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. We cannot dine at our favorite restaurants, our local volunteer fire departments are canceling summer carnivals, and the school year was cut short, forcing high school seniors to miss graduation and prom. Coronavirus has also impacted the 2020 primary election.

Maryland’s 2020 primary election had been scheduled to take place on April 28 but due to health concerns, it was pushed back to June 2. Early voting was canceled, and voting will primarily take place through mail-in ballots. By now, every Carroll County registered voter should have received a ballot in his or her mailbox. Completed ballots must be mailed to the Carroll County Board of Elections Office by June 2nd or they can be dropped off at one of three drop boxes between May 21 and June 2. If you are unable to vote by mail, you can vote in-person on June 2 at the Westminster Senior Activities Center or the South Carroll Swim Club from 7 a.m. -8 p.m. The election winners will be announced shortly after 8 p.m. on June 2.

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So, follow the advice of The Marvelettes and ask your letter carrier, “Please Mister Postman look and see; Is there a letter oh yeah in your bag for me?” And when you do receive your ballot, please consider casting your vote for several solid conservative candidates running in the Republican primary.

In Maryland’s Congressional District 1, encompassing Hampstead, Manchester and Taneytown in Carroll, I recommend voting for Maryland’s only Republican congressman, Rep. Andy Harris, a major ally of President Trump in Congress, who helped pass recent groundbreaking legislation, including the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 and the “Tax Reform 2.0” bills. Harris serves on one Congress’ most important committees, the House Appropriations Committee, and has been instrumental in protecting the Chesapeake Bay and securing funding to fight the opioid crisis. We should be proud to have Harris representing us Washington, D.C., and he deserves your vote.

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The race for Circuit Court judge is slightly different — the candidates, regardless of party affiliation, appear on both the Republican and Democratic primary ballots without identifying party affiliation. Judge Richard Titus, appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan to the bench, is the incumbent judge, and is the sole candidate worthy of your vote. Judge Titus has been a Carroll County resident since 1992, and practiced law in Westminster for over two decades starting in 1994. Titus is the only candidate to have been deemed highly qualified by the Trial Court Nominating Commission twice and has received the endorsement of State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo, Sheriff Jim DeWees, Carroll County’s District 5 Delegation, Carroll’s Fraternal Order of Police, the Carroll County Bar Association and the Maryland Bar Association. Unlike his challengers, we need not speculate how Judge Titus would perform in the job if elected, because he already has a proven track record after serving on the bench for three years.

For Carroll County’s Board of Education (BOE) race, voters select up to two candidates on their ballot. The two candidates who have earned your vote are the School Board’s current President Donna Sivigny and Vice President Marsha Herbert. Before Sivigny and Herbert were elected to the BOE in 2016, the previous Board shut down North Carroll High, New Windsor Middle, and Charles Carroll Elementary under the leadership of Superintendent Stephen Guthrie. After joining the Board, Sivigny and Herbert both actively participated in the search for a new superintendent, and voted to appoint Dr. Steven Lockard to the position in July 2018, which has helped make Carroll County Public Schools the top-rated school system in the state.

Under the leadership of Sivigny and Herbert, the BOE has secured more funding from the state, voted to start the school year after Labor Day, worked with Sheriff DeWees to put in place the new School Resource Officer program, and made the construction of a new Career and Technology Center a reality. With Sivigny’s experience in finance as an actuary and Herbert’s experience as a local business owner and teacher for over 40 years, there are no two better choices in the school board race.

“While the five of us do not always agree unanimously on every decision, the Board has a great mix of knowledge and works well together,” said BOE Member Kenny Kiler. “I would value the opportunity to continue to work with Marsha and Donna.”

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I urge you to ask your carrier to “wait a minute” and “please check and see” if there’s a ballot in the mail for thee. Because even if you cannot vote at your local precinct on election day, you, as a Republican, still have the ability to vote for candidates who will keep Carroll County conservative for years to come.

Christopher Tomlinson, a member of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee, writes from Melrose. Email him at CCTtomlinson@gmail.com.

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