Cecil voters pick first county executive, county council nominees
By RECORD STAFF REPORT
Apr 04, 2012 | 10:36 AM
Cecil County voters Tuesday picked their first nominees for the office of county executive and for the first two seats on their new county council.
They also voted to retain two of their sitting circuit court judges, rejecting the challenge to the judges posed by one of the county's state delegates.
Voting was light, with more Republicans showing up to the polls than Democrats.
The Democratic and Republican county executive nominees chosen Tuesday, who will square off in the November general election, are both women, which means the first person to hold the office of Cecil County Executive will be a female.
Among Democratic candidates for county executive, unofficial returns with all precincts reporting gave Pamela Howard the nomination with 55 percent of the vote. Robert McKnight was second with 37 percent followed by Winston Robinson with 8 percent.
Current county commissioner Tari Moore was the convincing Republican winner in a field of seven, getting 46 percent of the vote. Diana Brommell, another county commissioner, was second with 14 percent and Perryville town commissioner Michael Dawson was in third place with 12.5 percent of the vote.
Also on the ballot were Richard T. Boyle (9 percent), former county commissioner Harry Hepbron (12 percent), Pete Pritchard (3 percent) and Paul Trapani (3 percent).
With 66 percent of the vote, Democrat Pamela Bailey beat Garrett Billmire for the party's nomination in the first councilmanic district race to represent the eastern edge of Cecil County.
Alan McCarthy won the Republican nomination for the first district by 62 percent to 38 percent over Jim Mullin.
In the fifth councilmanic district, covering the Charlestown and North East areas, Republicans were the only ones with a choice, and they picked former county commissioner Robert Hodge, who had 62 percent of the vote compared to Keith Moore's 38 percent.
James Crouse was not opposed for the Democratic nomination in the fifth district.
This year is the first voting for offices created when Cecil voters, after many previous failed attempts, approved a home rule charter for the county in the 2010 general election.
In the three-way judicial race, in which voters could pick two of the three candidates, Circuit Court judges Keith Baines and Jane Murray easily won both parties' nominations, ensuring their names on the November general election ballot without opposition.
Baynes and Murray were both appointed to the bench in 2011 by Gov. Martin O'Malley. Opposing was Michael D. Smigiel, an outspoken Republican state delegate, who represents the legislative district that covers most of the northern and eastern part of the county.
On the Republican side, Baynes and Murray each had 65 percent of the vote, compared to Smigiel's 36 percent. On the Democratic side, Murray had 81 percent of the vote, Baines had 77 percent and Smigiel had 17 percent.
President Barack Obama did not have challengers for the Democratic nomination and got 65 percent of the vote in Cecil County.
On the Republican ballot Mitt Romney was the clear choice, collecting 45 percent of the vote, with Rick Santorum not too far behind with 33 percent. Newt Gingrich garnered 10 percent in Cecil.
The only Republican choice for U.S. Representative in Congressional District 1, which all of Cecil is in, was incumbent Congressman Andy Harris, of Baltimore County, who was unopposed.
In the Democratic First Congressional district race, Wendy Rosen was winning, only slightly, with 43.31 percent of the vote, over John LaFerla, who had 42.78 percent — a margin of 150 votes. Kim Letke was trailing with nearly 14 percent.
With so many counties in the district, the outcome between Rosen and LaFerla was expected to be determined by the absentee and provisional counts statewide scheduled for Thursday, April 9 and April 13.
As a possible ominous sign for whoever gets the Democratic nomination, Harris received more than43,000 votes across the district on Tuesday and in last week's early voting, almost 20,000 votes more than all the Democratic candidates combined.
Republicans voting for U.S. Senator overwhelming chose Daniel John Bongino, 40 percent of the vote. His closest challenger, Richard Douglas, had 17 percent.
Sen. Ben Cardin swept the county with 75 percent of the Democratic vote. No other candidate reached double digits.
Cecil had 59,265 registered voters as of last week, according to the county's board of elections. Of the total, 23,544 are Democrat, 22,967 are Republican and 11,602 are unaffiliated. The unaffiliated voters can't participate in the primary.