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Donna Kahoe, left, Kevin Bianca, center, and Erin Hughes were the top three vote-getters Tuesday to earn seats on the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners.
Donna Kahoe, left, Kevin Bianca, center, and Erin Hughes were the top three vote-getters Tuesday to earn seats on the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners. (Erika Butler)

The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners will have three new members after Donna Kahoe, Kevin Bianca and Erin Hughes emerged from a crowded field of nine candidates in Tuesday’s election.

“Oh my gosh, I’m floored,” Kahoe said after the results were announced. “I am floored, I can’t believe I got the most votes.”

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Voter turnout was 10.5 percent this year, “a really good turnout,” Director of Administration Michael Krantz said as he announced the results. Turnout more than doubled that of the past two Bel Air elections.

Of the 7,669 eligible to vote, 809 cast ballots on election day; 27 absentee ballots and one provisional ballot were received.

The official election results, after the ballots were counted again Thursday morning, were:

Donna Kahoe, 396 votes

Kevin Bianca, 291 votes

Erin Hughes, 268 votes

William Kelly, 240 votes

James McMahan, 227 votes

Daniel Gray, 217 votes

Michael Kutcher, 198 votes

Phillip Einhorn, 196 votes

James Lockard, 131 votes

For the first time, women will make up the majority on the board of commissioners, with Kahoe and Hughes joining Amy Chmielewski. Bianca and Patrick Richards will be the men on the board.

Kahoe said she is looking forward to working with Bianca and Hughes, whom she has met at meetings over the last couple months.

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“I think they’ll be great to work with, they’re energetic,” Kahoe said. “The whole slate was a great bunch of people.”

Hughes said she is thrilled to be able to serve the town.

“I’ve lived her almost my entire life. I’m really involved in volunteer activities, the [Bel Air] Downtown Alliance,” Hughes said. “I’m looking for ways to contribute further.”

One of the things she would like to work on is bicycle and pedestrian safety.

A walker in town, Hughes said a lot of things have been done, but she’d like to see more.

She also would like to get more people to attend town meetings and have more people participate in town government.

“The more people who participate, the better the government runs,” Hughes said.

Bianca was surprised and excited about his victory, considering he didn’t think he would win, he said.

“I worked hard, I guess it paid off,” Bianca said. “I was the rookie in the race.”

He and his wife, Kelsey, have lived in town for four years and he’s been a volunteer.

“This is where we’ll be living the next 30 years, I want to make sure it stays a great place to live," he said.

Kutcher, who finished third in last year’s election for two seats, said he didn’t knock on doors this year, which he thinks made a difference.

He doesn’t rule out another run.

“I’ve lived in the town for 30 years, raising my family, my kids. I’ve taken advantage of so much of the town, it’s time to give back,” Kutcher said.

Gray won’t rule out another run, either, if it’s right for him and his family at the time.

He learned a few things this time around.

“I don’t know if I’d do a whole lot differently, but there’s always room to improve,” Gray said.

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