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Havre de Grace voters to choose new mayor, three council members Tuesday

Signs for Bill Martin and Charlie Hiner sit in a yard in Havre de Grace. Martin and Hiner are vying for the mayor's office in Tuesday's city election.
Signs for Bill Martin and Charlie Hiner sit in a yard in Havre de Grace. Martin and Hiner are vying for the mayor's office in Tuesday's city election. (TED HENDRICKS | AEGIS STAFF, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Havre de Grace voters have just a few days to think about whom to vote for to be their next mayor, as well as their three council members.

With Mayor Wayne Dougherty retiring from the post he has held since 2007, Council President Bill Martin and real estate business leader Charles Hiner are vying for the title of Havre de Grace mayor.

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Seven candidates, including incumbents John Correri, Fred Cullum and Randy Craig and newcomers, Johnny Boker, Harry Jackson, David Martin and Monica Worrell, are seeking three city council seats.

The city's annual election will again take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at St. Patrick Hall in the 600 block of Pennington Avenue.

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Havre de Grace had 10,026 registered voters as of Wednesday, Harford County Board of Elections deputy director Dale Livingston said.

That number, more than the 9,834 people registered last year, includes active and inactive voters, she said.

Livingston noted about 75 percent of Havre de Grace's population is signed up to vote, consistent with the 80 percent registration rates in Harford County overall.

"That is really high," she said of voter registration in Harford.

The deadline to sign up to vote in this election was April 14.

The candidates those voters will ultimately pick is anybody's guess.

Charlie Hiner has been a real estate agent for 15 years and bought BCH Real Estate in 2004. President of the city's Economic Development Advisory Board, he moved to Havre de Grace in 1990, served as president of the Lock House Museum in the 1990s and led Havre de Grace Main Street. Hiner said the city needs "better vision" and he wants to fight blight and plans to work on the water and sewer fund.

Bill Martin, an Aberdeen Middle School history teacher known for his role in the city's War of 1812 commemoration, has been on the council since 2008. He has touted a conservative fiscal approach and has pushed to promote the city through initiatives like Orioles baseball commercials and hiring a new economic development director.

Seven people are on the ballot for three open council seats.

Newcomer Johnny Boker moved to the city three years ago from New Jersey as part of BRAC and works at Aberdeen Proving Ground. His wife, Wanda, runs Les Petits Bisous bakery on North Washington Street. He said he wants to focus on preserving public safety and push for a new Havre de Grace Middle/High School building.

Correri hopes to hold on to a council seat he has held mostly since he was first elected in the 1970s. Correri also served twice as an interim mayor from 1979 to 1981 and from 2005 to 2007.

Craig works for the Maryland Environmental Service and is the son of former Harford County Executive David Craig, who secured county funding for a future waterfront park and hoped to push through a new school for the city. Craig has been on the council since he was first elected in 2009.

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Cullum has served on the city council since 1995, minus one year. He lost a re-election bid in 2012, but won again the next year. He has spearheaded the committee to analyze the city's water and sewer fund, which has been sinking into debt.

Harry Jackson moved to the city in 2001 and has spent 21 years as a Baltimore firefighter. He has been active volunteering with Susquehanna Hose Company and said he hopes to further serve the city he now calls home.

David Martin, another newcomer to both politics and the city, moved to Havre de Grace 2 1/2 years ago, although he has lived in Harford County since 1987. Martin retired from Maryland State Police in 1994 and has run a benefits company since 2008. A rec football coach, he said he is likewise focused on public safety, including the heroin epidemic.

Monica Worrell is making another bid at political life after running unsuccessfully for the Harford County Council last year. A county tourism leader and former Harford County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, Worrell works for Advanced Eye Care.

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