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Burdette, Einhorn and Hopkins win Bel Air commissioners' seats

Incumbent Bel Air Town Commissioner Susan Burdette won a second four-year term in Tuesday's election, and Brendan Hopkins and Phil Einhorn were picked to succeed outgoing Commissioners Edward Hopkins and Robert Reier.

Incumbent Bel Air Town Commissioner Susan Burdette won a second four-year term in Tuesday's election, and Brendan Hopkins and Phil Einhorn were picked to succeed outgoing Commissioners Edward Hopkins and Robert Reier.

Burdette was the top vote-getter out of five candidates with 312 votes, Hopkins was second with 190 and Einhorn picked up 177. Hunter Smith came in fourth with 143 votes and Diane Simmons had 84 votes, according to the unofficial results announced Tuesday night.

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A total of 413 ballots were cast during Election Day Tuesday, including 376 at the polls, 20 absentee, two provisional and 15 write-in ballots, for a total turnout of 5.72 percent.

Bel Air had 7,222 registered voters as of Tuesday, according to Michael Krantz, Bel Air's director of administration and human resources.

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The unofficial results from Tuesday's election are:

Susan Burdette.............312 votes

Brendan Hopkins..........190

Phil Einhorn.................177

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Hunter Smith..................143

Diane Simmons..............84

The absentee and provisional ballots will be counted Thursday and the new commissioners will be sworn in Nov. 16.

Burdette, who is retired from the Harford County Public Library, was first elected in 2011. Her husband, Stephen, who stood with her outside the polls Tuesday and was with her when the results were announced that evening, was a town commissioner and mayor during the 1990s.

"I'm looking forward to serving four more years and fulfilling a lot of the projects and things that we've started for the Town of Bel Air," Susan Burdette said after the results were announced.

The polls in Bel Air Town Hall closed at 8 p.m., and Krantz announced the results about half an hour later as the candidates and their supporters gathered in the commissioners' meeting area.

Burdette said she did not know her opponents very well before Election Day, but she was able to get to know the group as they stood outside the polls and chatted with voters.

"I think we have a great selection, and I'm just looking forward to working with them," she said of her new colleagues.

Burdette said some of her goals for her next term include the continued implementation of Bel Air's five-year sustainability plan adopted in 2013, completing the town's 2016 comprehensive plan, completing the Armory Marketplace project to convert garages behind the Bel Air Reckord Armory into a farmer's market, business incubator and town office space, as well as connecting the Ma & Pa Trail in Bel Air.

"There's a lot of exciting things coming up, and I'm just looking forward to working on them and completing some of them," she said.

Einhorn, a Navy veteran who is retired from the insurance industry, said he "had a great time running in this election."

"I probably called on 600 homes and it's been really a fun thing to do, and I'm looking forward to filling some really big shoes," he said of the departing commissioners Hopkins and Reier.

Hopkins and Reier announced they will not seek re-election after a respective eight years and nine years on the town board.

"We're losing some great people, and I'm going to do my very best to make up for their loss," Einhorn said.

Einhorn said he wants to work with the Bel Air Police Department to ensure "our officers get the very best equipment we can," and he wants to "do whatever I can to keep our property values up and our taxes down."

Brendan Hopkins, who is not related to Edward Hopkins, is a retired Harford County Sheriff's Office corporal. He has also worked as a 911 dispatcher in Baltimore County, and he has completed emergency management training through the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

"I had a lot of fun," he said of the campaign. "I want to thank everybody that voted for me and thank everybody that came out and voted, period."

Hopkins added "there's a lot of things that go on in the town that the citizens need to be a part of, and today was their day to pick the best three that they felt were fit for the job."

"There's a lot of things coming up that are very important, that are going to require citizens' input, and I think my law enforcement experience will also be good with the departure of Eddie Hopkins," he said.

Edward Hopkins worked for the Sheriff's Office for nearly 30 years, and he is Harford County's director of emergency services.

"I have a lot to learn, and I'm going to do that as we're going along," Brendan Hopkins said.

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