Harford candidates rush to file for primary election, Perrone challenges Glassman in GOP county executive primary

A flurry of candidates entered races for Harford County offices and legislature seats prior to Tuesday night's primary election filing deadline. Among the biggest surprises was County Councilman Mike Perrone's, left, GOP primary challenge to County Exective Barry Glassman, right.
A flurry of candidates entered races for Harford County offices and legislature seats prior to Tuesday night's primary election filing deadline. Among the biggest surprises was County Councilman Mike Perrone's, left, GOP primary challenge to County Exective Barry Glassman, right. (Aegis files/Matt Button/BSMG)

This story is updated from the Maryland Board of Elections website as of 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The year-long candidate filing period for the 2018 state and county elections ended Tuesday night with some last-minute surprises in several Harford County races, including the entry of a County Council member — who planned to step away from politics — into the county executive’s race.


Filing in Maryland’s gubernatorial election started Feb. 28, 2017, and it ended at 9 p.m. Tuesday, nearly one year later to the day.

In addition to many incumbent officeholders, among the Harford County candidates filing were several who formerly held elected offices in county government or the legislature, or who served as appointed officials. Also filing were people who have run unsuccessfully for office in the past.


Although Republicans have dominated Harford County elections over the past 25 years, both parties have drawn candidates to their primaries, ensuring there will be a number of significant contested races on the June ballot and in the Nov. 6 general election. Unlike 2014, Democrats fielded at least one candidate for every local office except clerk of the circuit court and in every Harford legislative race except the District 35 State Senate seat.

Several candidates from both parties said they expected the local Democratic Party, which holds just one local office, would put on a greater push this year because of perceived dissatisfaction with U.S. President Donald Trump among some segments of the national electorate.

Whether that translates to giving Democrats a better shot in Harford’s county and state legislative races this year remains to be seen, as Trump did carry the county comfortably in 2016 and the statewide GOP ticket will be headed by popular Gov. Larry Hogan, who won by a very wide margin in Harford County in 2014.

Here is how local races stood after the filing deadline Tusday night, according to the Maryland Board of Elections website:


County Executive: Republican County Executive Barry Glassman, seeking a second four-year term, did not have a primary opponent until County Councilman Mike Perrone filed hours before the deadline.

Perrone, who represents Joppa and Edgewood in District A, announced last October he would not seek a second term in order to focus on his career and personal life.

Maryann Connaghan Forgan was the only Democrat candidate who filed.

County Council President: Four candidates are vying to succeed Republican Council President Richard Slutzky, who is retiring after 16 years on the council, the past four as president.

Republican Councilman Patrick Vincenti, who represents District E, faces primary opponent Shawn A. Kingston, who served as housing director in the administration of former Harford executive David Craig. Two Democrats have filed, too, Samuel T. Gibson III and Frank “Bud” Hines.

County Council District A: This seat is open as Republican Perrone is stepping down and now challenging Glassman in the executive’s race. Republicans Donna Blasdell, Peronne’s legislative aide, and Paula Mullis have filed, as have Democrats Dion Guthrie, a former three-term councilman whom Perrone defeated in 2014, and Andre Johnson.

County Council District B: Incumbent Republican Joe Woods, who has represented the Fallston and Abingdon areas since 2009, has filed, as has Democrat Suzanne Oshinsky.

County Council District C: Three Republicans have filed for the Bel Air area seat held for the past 12 years by James McMahan, who is running for the legislature: Bel Air Mayor Susan Burdette, Tony “G” Giangiordano and Patti Parker. Democrat Karen Kukurin also has filed.

County Council District D: Incumbent Republican Chad Shrodes, who has represented the northern Harford area since 2006, has filed for re-election as has Republican Jerry Scarborough. Democrat Jean Salvatore also has filed.

County Council District E: Republicans Diane Sengstacke and Robert S. Wagner, plus Democrat Bridgette Johnson have filed for the Aberdeen and Churchville area seat currently held by council president candidate Patrick Vincenti.

County Council District F: Incumbent Republican Curtis Beulah is seeking a second term representing the Havre de Grace and Riverside areas. Republicans John Michael Finlayson and Amy Altmann Jahnigen also have filed, as has Democrat Winifred “Wini” Roche, who formerly served as a tourism official in the David Craig administration.

State’s Attorney: Incumbent Republican Joseph Cassilly is retiring after 32 years as the county’s prosecutor. Republicans Lisa Marts, Albert Peisinger, David Ryden — a current Cassilly deputy – and Steven Trostle have filed, as has Democrat Carlos Taylor.

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Seeking a fifth term, incumbent Republican James Reilly did not have an opponent from either party as of Tuesday night.

Register of Wills: Seeking a third term, incumbent Republican Derek Hopkins does not have a primary opponent, but he will face Democrat JoWanda Strickland Lucas in the general election. Hopkins did not have an opponent from either party in 2014.

Sheriff: Incumbent Republican Jeffrey Gahler is seeking a second term as Harford’s top law enforcement official. Democrat Christopher C. Boardman filed to run against him Tuesday.

Circuit Court Judge: Sitting judges Paul Ishak, appointed in 2016, and Lawrence Kreis, appointed in 2017, are seeking full 15-year terms. Opposing them in the primary is Diane Adkins Tobin, a long-time deputy state’s attorney. Judicial candidates are listed on both party primary ballots with the top two finishers in each moving on to the general election. Thomas Ashwell, a public defender, will also be listed on the general election ballot.

Ashwell would be, in essence, a “third-party candidate” since he would need to obtain signatures and get the nomination of a political party — in a nonpartisan race — to be on the general election ballot, according to Harford County Election Director Kevin Keene.

Board of Education-District A: Incumbent member Jansen Robinson has filed, but no one had filed to challenge him. Robinson was elected to his first term in 2014 and was seated in 2015 as part of a hybrid board of six elected and three appointed members. Candidates for school board are nonpartisan.

Board of Education-District B: Challenger David Bauer, of Abingdon, is the only candidate who had filed. Incumbent member Robert Frisch, who was elected to his first of two terms in 2010 is term-limited under the legislation that created Harford’s hybrid elected and appointed school board.

Board of Education-District C: Joseph Voskuhl, elected in 2014 and the board president, had not filed as of Tuesday. Two challengers, Jim Antal and Kathryn Carmello, have filed.


Board of Education-District D: Tamera Rush and Alfred “Al” Williamson, an incumbent, have filed. Williamson was appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan in 2015. Nancy Reynolds, a former board president and vice president who holds the district seat, did not file. Reynolds was appointed by then-Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2011 and elected in 2014.


Board of Education-District E: Incumbent Rachel Gauthier, who was elected in 2014, has filed for re-election. Art Kaff, a former board member whom Gauthier defeated four years ago, is challenging her.

Board of Education-District F: Incumbent Thomas Fitzpatrick, who was appointed by O’Malley in 2012 and elected in 2014, has filed for re-election. He is challenged by Sonja Karwacki.

Legislative District 7: Incumbent state Sen. J.B. Jennings, a Republican, has filed for re-election. He will face Democratic challenger Donna Hines in the general election.

The race for three District 7 seats in the House of Delegates has multiple candidates. Republican incumbents Rick Impallaria and Kathy Szeliga are seeking re-election, while their colleague Patrick McDonough is running for Baltimore County executive. They face party challengers Lauren Arikan, Joshua Barlow, Russ English Jr., Michael A. Geppi, Norm Gifford, Tammy Larkin, Trevor Leach, Bill Paulshock, Aaron Penman, David Seman and Angela Sudano-Marcellino.

Democratic contenders include Allison Berkowitz and Gordon Koerner. Ryan Sullivan, the lone Green Party candidate, is seeking his party’s nomination to be on the general election ballot only, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections website.

Legislative District 34: Incumbent Sen. Robert Cassilly has no challenger in the Republican primary. Former state Del. Mary-Dulany James and Barbara Osborn Kreamer are running in the Democratic primary.

Incumbent Republican Del. Glen Glass has several primary challengers in the race for House District 34A, including R. Douglas Anstine, J.D. Russell and Monica Worrell — the latter is a Havre de Grace City Council member. Incumbent Democratic Del. Mary Ann Lisanti has two primary challengers in Sarahia Benn and Steve Johnson. The winners of each party primary will move to the general election for the two seats in the subdistrict.

Del. Susan McComas, the incumbent Republican in House District 34B, which covers the greater Bel Air area, has three primary challengers — Jan Marine Christensen, current county Councilman James V. “Capt’n Jim” McMahan and Walter “Butch” Tilley, who serves on the county Liquor Control Board. The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Jeff Dinger in the general election.

Legislative District 35: Incumbent Sen. Wayne Norman, a Republican, has no challengers in either party for his seat representing northern Harford and western Cecil counties.

Incumbent Republican Dels. Andrew Cassilly and Teresa Reilly did not have primary challengers for their District 35B seats representing northern Harford. Ronnie Teitler Davis is the only Democratic candidate.

Incumbent Del. Kevin Bailey Hornberger has no challengers in the Republican primary for House District 35A covering western Cecil County. Jobeth Rocky Bowers is the lone Democratic candidate.

This story has been corrected from an earlier version with the correct party affiliation for Ryan Sullivan, Green Party candidate for House District 7.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun