Residents of two western Carroll County towns made their way through the windy, rainy, unseasonably cool weather to the polls Tuesday to fill key seats in their town governments.
Union Bridge voters cast their ballots for mayor — picking between a former mayor and the current mayor — and to fill two town council seats.
Perry Jones reclaimed his position as mayor with 76 votes, ahead of challenger Bret Grossnickle, who finished with 44 votes.
“It’s been a long day for everybody waiting for the results and wondering how many people came out to vote, but I’m very humbled that the good people chose to elect me again for another four years,” Jones said. “I think myself and the rest of the council are both interested in trying to move on to get business in town and try to get some developments started so we can get some tax base increases in the town.”
Jones was mayor from 1991 to 2002, before becoming a county commissioner. He won the mayor’s race again in the 2011 and 2015 elections.
He was hopeful about his chances early in the day and said there is plenty still to be done.
“I think one of the most important things is that we have to continue to work on our economic development plan, try to get some business back in town,” Jones said. “We need to get business back in town so we can get some economic growth here and then hopefully, between that, and some residential development, it’s going to be a mix of the two. In order to have business come to the town, you need more people.”
Union Bridge voter Jessica Crawford was one of those who wanted to keep things running the way they have been.
“For mayor, I voted for Perry Jones,” Crawford said. “He is the current mayor and he also does my cars and any time my daughters have a fundraising, he’s always willing to donate or order from my girls.”
The Town Council seats went to familiar candidates, longtime incumbent councilmen Donald Wilson and Edgar Wentz.
Wilson finished with 79 votes, and Wentz had 78 votes. Their challengers were Bridgette Dowery, who finished with 47 votes, and Antoinette Farver, who finished with 26.
By 2:30 p.m., 52 out of 545 registered voters had already participated in the election, according to Sean Daley, election judge. The final count of 124 voters submitting ballots was far ahead of the previous municipal election in 2017, in which 85 out of 566 registered voters cast ballots.
In New Windsor, incumbents David Hoffman and Kimberlee Schultz retained their Town Council seats, while newcomer Terry Green also earned a seat.
Hoffman was the top vote-getter with 135, followed closely by Green’s 132, and Schultz had 105. Finishing fourth with 92 votes was Michael Zepp, and Tom Gubernatis had 50.
At 8 p.m., when polls closed, 183 New Windsor residents had cast ballots, out of 1,006 registered voters. The turnout more than doubled in the late afternoon, as only 85 had turned out by 3:15 p.m., more than eight hours after the polls opened.