Wicomico County races: a closer look at finances

Earlier this month I took a look at the financial situation of the various state candidates in Districts 37 and 38, so now I’m going to narrow the focus down to Wicomico County, which has a number of interesting contested races going on – although only a few have much money involved to speak of. No six-figure war chests here.

I’ll begin at the top with the County Executive race, where Bob Culver has an interesting split going on:

  • 49 donations from individuals in county for $5,910
  • 9 donations from individuals outside of county for $1,175
  • 13 donations from businesses in area for $2,300
  • 4 donations from businesses outside of area for $6,700
  • 2 donations from PACs and other committees for $600
  • Average donation: $216.69
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $15,398.33

Because of the 2 large donations from Comcast (considered a business outside the area) totaling $4,000, Bob’s numbers are skewed: 49.2% of his money came from inside the area, with a hefty 47.2% coming from outside the area and just 3.6% from PACs and other committees. Out of the 96.4% coming from individuals and businesses, 42.5% was out of individual pockets and 53.9% was from businesses – again, the Comcast donations make up almost 1/4 of Bob’s total take.

Now let’s look at the “independent” challenger Jack Heath:

  • 68 donations from individuals in county for $14,825.05
  • 10 donations from individuals outside of county for $1,950
  • 8 donations from businesses in area for $1,771.76
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • No donations from PACs and other committees
  • Average donation: $215.66
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $8,897.41

For Jack, 89.5% of his money came from inside the area and 10.5% from outside. Similarly, the heavy preponderance of contributions are from individuals: 90.4% compared to 9.6% from businesses. Heath has raised more money than Culver but his burn rate is faster, too.

Democratic County Executive candidate John Hamilton has filed only ALCEs since opening his campaign, meaning he has raised and/or spent less than $1,000. He’s the first of many candidates who can claim that route, as you’ll see moving forward.

Regarding the quotes around “independent” for Heath: that lack of movement from the elected Democrat has prompted at least one recently-elected member of their Central Committee (who’s also the president of the Wicomico Democratic Club) to resign from the DCC so he and the club could back Heath, while others on the Wicomico DCC (who presumably are club members, too) are more tacit in their support for Jack.

It’s much simpler when it comes to other county-wide races. I’ll hold off on the County Council and school board for the moment to look at the two single-victor races for State’s Attorney and Clerk of the Circuit Court. The two other countywide positions (Register of Wills Karen Lemon and Sheriff Mike Lewis) feature unopposed candidates who have regularly filed ALCEs – Lemon’s streak goes back to 2010.

The State’s Attorney race has the current appointee, Republican Jamie Dykes, running for a full term. Her campaign so far:

  • 80 donations from individuals in county for $13,388.25
  • 6 donations from an individual outside of county for $1,000
  • 11 donations from businesses in area for $4,065.47
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • No donations from PACs and other committees
  • Average donation: $189.63
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $6,087.33

Jamie received 94.6% of her money from inside the county and 5.4% from outside. Individuals also chipped in the most by far: 77.9% compared to 22.1% from businesses.

Conversely. Democrat Seth Mitchell, who previously ran for the post in 2010, has ceded the financial field to Dykes thus far: Mitchell has filed nothing but ALCEs in his run to date.

The fight has been joined on both sides for the Clerk of Court race, an open seat thanks to the retirement of longtime Clerk Mark Bowen.

For Republican Chris Welch:

  • 47 donations from individuals in county for $4,255
  • 10 donations from individuals outside of county for $1,030
  • 7 donations from businesses in area for $1,566
  • 2 donations from businesses outside of area for $408
  • No donations from PACs and other committees
  • Average donation: $109.98
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $4,643.05 – with a $40 loan outstanding.

For Welch, 80.2% of his money came from within Wicomico County and 19.8% from outside; meanwhile, 72.8% of donations came from individuals and 27.2% from businesses – much of that business income was in-kind donations for a raffle Welch must have had.

Turning to Democrat James “Bo” McAllister, he has a very unusual setup:

  • 25 donations from individuals in county for $2,865
  • 48 donations from individuals outside of county for $7,367.11
  • 4 donations from businesses in area for $600
  • 1 donations from a business outside of area for $500
  • No donations from PACs and other committees
  • Average donation: $100.86
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $3,268.97, but with loans for $10,190.07 outstanding.

Not only is McAllister heavily in debt, he really has one major benefactor: the Robins family in Ocean City. (Chris Robins is his treasurer.) Between standard donations and in-kind offering, the Robinses have contributed $6,333.91, or nearly 56% of everything taken in. It appears that most of Bo’s early campaigning came out of their pocket, but with a family member as treasurer that seems to be a little cozy.

Now that I have those countywide races out of the way, I’ll shift gears to County Council and begin with the two at-large seats.

As the lone incumbent Republican John Cannon is first up, but he hasn’t been very busy:

  • 2 donations from individuals in county for $350
  • No donations from individuals outside of county
  • 3 donations from businesses in area for $251.68 ($1.68 is interest on the bank account.)
  • No donations from a business outside of area
  • 1 donation from a PAC for $2,000
  • Average donation: $433.61
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $10,961.34

The huge Realtor PAC donation completely skewed Cannon’s take: 23.1% of his money came from within Wicomico County and 76.9% from the PAC; because of that bump just 13.5% of donations came from individuals and 9.7% from businesses. (The rounding doesn’t allow it to add up.)

Fellow Republican Julie Brewington is less well off:

  • 8 donations from individuals in county for $1,920.49
  • 1 donation from an individual outside of county for $300
  • No donations from businesses in area
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • No donation from PACs
  • Average donation: $246.72
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $809.30, with a $1,000 loan outstanding.

For Julie, 86.5% of her donations came from individuals inside the county and 13.5% from outside, with all of it from individuals.

On the Democrat side, former County Council member Bill McCain has the financial advantage to return:

  • 43 donations from individuals in county for $5,850
  • 1 donation from an individual outside of county for $100
  • No donations from businesses in area
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • 1 donation from a PAC for $2,000
  • Average donation: $176.67
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $4,828.89

McCain has had 73.6% of the 74.8% of his take from individuals come from within Wicomico County – the other 25.2% is the donation from the Realtor PAC (the same group that gave to Cannon.)

Lastly is the second Democrat for the at-large County Council position, Jamaad Gould:

  • 16 donations from individuals in county for $952
  • 2 donations from individuals outside of county for $110
  • 1 donation from a business in area for $10
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • No donation from a PAC
  • Average donation: $56.42
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $325.85

Jamaad is the first of two sub-$100 average donation candidates, but the only countywide one. Percentage-wise, 89.7% of Gould’s donations come from inside Wicomico County and 99.1% come from individuals. It’s a very local-source campaign.

District races are rather low-key as well. In District 1, Ernest Davis had to survive a primary so he raised money earlier in the cycle.

  • 27 donations from individuals in county for $1,085
  • 1 donation from an individual outside of county for $20
  • 1 donation from a business in area for $250
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • No donations from a PAC
  • Average donation: $46.72
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $828.00

District 2 is contested: incumbent Republican Marc Kilmer is running for a second term. His totals were very simple:

  • 2 donations from individuals in county for $450
  • No donations from individuals outside of county
  • No donations from a business in area
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • No donations from a PAC
  • Average donation: $225.00
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $2,198.39

That’s one of the healthier on-hand totals around; however, Marc does have a Democrat opponent who is also fundraising in Alexander Scott:

  • 3 donations from individuals in county for $550
  • No donations from individuals outside of county
  • 2 donations from businesses in area for $800
  • No donations from businesses outside of area
  • No donations from a PAC
  • Average donation: $270.00
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $550.00

Both donations from businesses were in-kind, which explains the even $550 balance on Scott’s first report – previously he had filed ALCEs and has reported no spending. (So where did the filing fee come from?) But it works out to 40.7% from individuals and 59.3% from businesses.

The District 3 race features incumbent Republican Larry Dodd, who reported just one donation of $1,000 (from the Realtors PAC) and has an outstanding loan of $100 against a balance of $1,784.91. Some of that will be eaten up by a pending fine to be paid to the state Board of Elections of $160 for late filing – the fourth time this cycle (and third this year) that his campaign has been late. After my experience with Kirkland Hall last time (see updated post here) this is a subject I’m going to get back to for a later post.

However, his Democratic opponent Michele Gregory has filed nothing but ALCEs.

Moving to District 4, which is one of the two open seats on County Council (one at-large is also open) we find Republican Suzanah Cain has these statistics:

  • 24 donations from individuals in county for $1,496.16
  • 11 donations from individuals outside of county for $625
  • No donations from businesses in area
  • 1 donation from a business outside of area for $0.28 (a setup fee for an account)
  • 2 donations from a PAC for $4,000
  • Average donation: $161.09
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $703.01

Like her fellow Republican John Cannon, the huge Realtor PAC donation completely skews Cain’s take: 24.4% of her money came from within Wicomico County, 10.2% from outside the county, and 65.3% from the PAC. All but less that 0.1% of that non-PAC cash is from individuals.

For Democrat Josh Hastings, the story is a lot different:

  • 68 donations from individuals in county for $4,940
  • 27 donations from individuals outside of county for $2,425
  • 1 donations from a business in area for $50
  • No donations from a business outside of area
  • 1 donations from a PAC or other committee for $100
  • Average donation: $77.47
  • Cash on hand (bank account balance) – $1,512.38

Hastings had 66.4% of his donations come from within the county, 32.3% from outside, and 1.3% from the other committee. 98% was offered from individuals, with 1.3% from the one business.

Finally for County Council, you have the unopposed District 5 Republican Joe Holloway. He loaned his campaign $5,000 and still has $4,975 left after the $25 filing fee.

The other partisan office on the ballot is the Orphan’s Court. Not one of the four candidates have filed anything but an ALCE – as expected in a bottom-ballot race for which the Republicans have seldom filled the slots. (All three incumbents are Democrats; however, one lost in the primary.)

Now for the Board of Education. These non-partisan slots are being filled as follows:

  • At-large candidates: 2 from a group including Tyrone Cooper, Don Fitzgerald, Michael Murray, and Talana Watson
  • District 1: Michelle Bradley or Allen Brown
  • District 2: Gene Malone
  • District 3: David Goslee, Sr. or William Turner
  • District 4: David Plotts or Ann Suthowski
  • District 5: John Palmer

Out of that group Cooper, Murray, Malone, Turner, and Palmer reported no contributions. Malone loaned himself $100 so that’s his balance.

Fitzgerald reported $1,400 in contributions (all from the candidate and his treasurer) and has $212.12 on hand.

Watson reported $1,000 in contributions from 2 local businesses and loaned her campaign $1,000 with $909.51 available.

Bradley reported $150 in contributions, one $100 from an individual in the county and $50 from one outside. She still has the $150 left.

Brown reported $860 in contributions, all but 2 of the 13 from individuals within the county and accounting for $660 of the take. He has a balance of $25.

Goslee had the biggest stake among the district aspirants, receiving $1,650 from 4 local individuals – however, $1,100 was from his own personal funds. $586.80 is the largest war chest among the remaining district candidates.

Twelve people have given $706.96 to the Plotts campaign, which includes in-kind donations. (One who donated $25 was from outside the county.) His balance is $187.45.

Suthowski was the second-biggest beneficiary with $1,500 from 13 local individuals (including $400 of her own.) She has $376.46 to play with.

I sort of suspect the real money in the school board race is going to be revealed on the post-election report since the Wicomico County Education Association has yet to be heard from and they’ll certainly have a preferred slate.

That brings this look at finance to a close. But I have a little more research to do after seeing the Kirkland Hall and Larry Dodd debacles. Is it really that hard to do campaign finance reports on a timely basis?

The Good Beer Festival in pictures and text

Maybe it wasn’t the pinnacle political event of the year, but there was a nice presence over the weekend at Pemberton Historical Park. There were a few elected officials about to kick it off, including County Executive Rick Pollitt and County Council members John Cannon and David MacLeod.

In the end, though, it was about the beer!

It was nice of 16 Mile Brewery to take the lead on that one, as one of our (more or less) local brewers. Impressively, only 5 of the 27 brewers represented came from the Delmarva area. Here is some of 16 Mile’s best work, I believe this is their Old Court Ale.

Who knows, it could be the Amber Sun too. I tried all of their stuff and liked it. So did a lot of other people, as the next three pictures show.

Respectively, the pictures were taken at 3 p.m. Saturday, 1:45 p.m. Sunday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. I was told there were 1800 tickets sold on Saturday so I’d estimate they got around 800 to 1000 Sunday. Not bad for an event where vendors were told to expect 2000 for the weekend.

One intriguing aspect of the event was a sports theme, sort of like an outdoor mancave. You had your tent with two large-screen televisions, a row for various games and contests, and this simulator.

Strangely enough, this car was absent Sunday, which left the field open for frisbee and football tossing. No big loss.

And yes, we did our political thing.

Business was pretty good on Saturday, perhaps a little slow on Sunday. Most of the interest was naturally in the Ehrlich-O’Malley race, but other politicians showed up to garner votes.

Among them was County Executive candidate Joe Ollinger, who came both days. Here he’s pictured with Greg Belcher, who was kind enough to help me staff the tent both days.

On Sunday, District 38B contender Marty Pusey stopped by with a friend.

In reality, she was only getting even for Norm Conway, who had wandered around the festival the day before. I had a picture of Seth Mitchell out garnering votes, but decided not to use it. (He looked a little angry, even though I don’t think he was completely distressed by the fact there was a Republican tent.)

There was even a political overtone to some of the vendors. Not only was the Parsonsburg Fire Department selling raffle tickets, but their members who were present were clear on where they stood.

Since the weekend was also filled with music, I have a lot more pictures for a future post. But that will come in time.

The passion of the PACE (FOP debate part 2)

As I explained in Part 1, it works out much better for writing this (and I would think for reading) to split the accounting into two parts. And while most would have believed the main event would be the County Executive race – particularly because one candidate believes strongly in a countywide police force to supplant the four separate law enforcement jurisdictions we have now – it only served as an undercard to a verbal bout between State’s Attorney candidates.

To once again set the stage, the event was moderated by PACE Director Dr. Adam Hoffman and where I use the terms ‘law enforcement’ and ‘law enforcement officers’ they will be shortened to LE and LEOs, respectively.

Let’s begin with the County Executive race, giving first dibs to the challenger.

With decades of business experience to draw on, Joe Ollinger obviously looks at government from an “outside looking in” standpoint and eventually contrasted himself with his opponent, who to Joe has a different perspective in seeing things through the lense of years of being a bureaucrat.

Since this was a FOP function, Ollinger concentrated heavily on the first question and his proposal for a single, countywide police force. It would be “a lot more efficient,” argued Ollinger, who asked the crowd whether, if they were design things from scratch, they would have such a situation. It’s a situation which prevents communication and cooperation, added Joe. Later, in his closing statement, Ollinger observed that the only resistance to change seems to be coming from inside of government.

Ollinger also revealed that he was only interested in the office for a single, four-year term and believed that, “we shouldn’t have career politicians” doing the task. He also advocated a “pay-for-performance” plan and accountability for the 48% of our county budget devoted to the Board of Education.

Conversely, Rick Pollitt was “moved by President Kennedy’s call to citizenship” and had devoted his career to public service as a commitment to his community. Having said that, though, he pointed out that this was his first elected post.

Regarding the topic of crime, Pollitt was blunt: “I don’t have all the answers.” But he stressed that he’d worked for stronger partnerships and the best equipment and tools, including a push for the LEOPS pension. He also was firmly against combining the agencies because he believed the 30,000 Wicomico citizens who lived in the involved municipalities had no interest in doing so.

In contrast to Ollinger’s businesslike approach, Pollitt stated, “I understand providing services is not like running a business.” Rather than things always being about the bottom line, companies are attracted to the quality of life as the “greatest single economic development tool.” It was a theme he repeated in his closing statement, which occurred after his lone stumble – retreating briefly from the podium Pollitt and Hoffman collided, sending Rick to the floor.

As I noted in Part 1 there was the opportunity for the audience to ask questions, and one member asked Joe Ollinger how a new police agency would be paid for. Ollinger recalled that this subject has been around for at least 15 years, since he served on a countywide consolidated functions committee. The consolidation could have “funding as it is right now,” with the expected savings returned to the municipalities on a proportional basis to their original contributions.

This was the point where Rick Pollitt again responded that “no one wants to consolidate…it’s not gonna happen.” But he agreed there were other areas pointed out by the committee which still could be.

At last, we are left with the State’s Attorney race. This one I’m going to handle on more of a blow-by-blow basis because, of the five audience questions allowed, four were regarding issues in this race.

It didn’t take long for Matt Maciarello to start the verbal jousting – after going through his background and history of leadership, he then claimed, “I believe I’m the most qualified to be State’s Attorney.” Moving into crime-related specifics, he vowed to bring communication and collaboration to the office and to specifically target the criminals who affect us – he was “passionate” about keeping us safe.

This passion was a general theme of Matt’s, but he also took part of his opening remarks to accuse his opponent of being conflicted in the Thomas Leggs/Sarah Foxwell case.

Obviously, W. Seth Mitchell wasn’t going to let that stand too long. He briefly went over his “history of community service” and time in the State’s Attorney office before answering the question about why he should be elected over his opponent quite simply – “it’s called experience.” (He also pointed out the 17 year age difference between him and Maciarello.) To him, the best way to fight crime is through “thorough prosecution.”

So we had the battle lines drawn – Maciarello touting his passion and new ideas while Mitchell countered with the experience card.

After the other table had taken its turn speaking (as detailed in Part 1), wouldn’t you know the first question had to have come from a Mitchell supporter – “how many cases have you tried?”

Maciarello admitted he had tried but two jury trials and “several” bench trials, but countered that he knew his way around civil and crimimal litigation through his career and added that the State’s Attorney doesn’t try every single case himself. After bringing up the fact that longtime local attorney Arch McFadden had endorsed him, Matt countered the Mitchell contention by saying, “experience counts, but the right kind of experience counts too.” He again brought up his leadership roles and rapid career advancement. “If you want a leader, you’ll vote for me,” said Matt, but “if you want someone who’s stood in court” you could vote for Mitchell. Vowed Matt, “I’m the guy who’s going to reduce crime in Wicomico County.”

After Mitchell guessed his count of cases was in the thousands, he snidely remarked that, “Maybe I should vote for him…I guess Matt will do it all.” Seth continued, “if you want someone who’s tried cases, he concedes it’s me.” Mitchell also believe he was the one who the staff would look up to, and reiterated, “if you want experience in the courtroom, it is me.”

I then asked a question I’d raised before, regarding the fact that outgoing SA Davis Ruark also took over the job at a young age, his early 30’s.

Maciarello replied, “I’ve grown just as a candidate,” and that he was “taking the role and responsibility seriously.” He further believed, “a young mind is a flexible mind” and promised to embed prosecutors into LE and the community at large. Citing his energy and drive, he repeated that “I can do this job” and vowed again that, “I’m not going to sleep until crime is addressed.”

In reply, Mitchell said that “I think you can (grow in the office)” but stressed the relationships he’d built up and that “I will be a tough prosecutor.” He also said he’d learned a lot from Sam Vincent as his opponent over the years.

Mitchell also claimed that Davis Ruark had “4 to 6 years” of experience in the State Attorney’s office before he took over. While I can’t verify his claim, I can verify that Ruark passed the bar in 1981, about 6 years prior to his appointment as State’s Attorney. According to Matt’s website, he passed the bar in December 2003, so he’s working on seven years in the field.

Needless to say, someone asked how each would handle the Thomas Leggs/Sarah Foxwell case. This time Mitchell had the first shot.

And Mitchell made sure to say that, “I’ve made several calls to Davis Ruark” regarding the situation and, should he choose to keep Ruark on as an assistant in the case, “there’s nothing to stop me.” But Seth promised “I’ll take care of that case,” and stated the irony of one of Leggs’ defense attorneys (Arch McFadden) endorsing a man who would be in charge of putting his onetime client away.

Maciarello countered by calling this contrast a classic difference in leadership styles and said of Mitchell, “he does not understand attorney ethics.” It was “reckless” to put Mitchell on the Leggs case when he also defended the accused murderer in a case several years ago. Continuing his passionate appeal, Matt told the crowd, “I’m not letting my community go down the tubes.”

The final question addressed to the pair made reference to Davis Ruark’s support of 30 new police officers in Salisbury.

Maciarello expounded on his “proactivity” and wanted to look for grant money to help out. “I’m itching to get in there” and start solving problems like these.

Mitchell was more cautious in his approach. “We always need more police officers on the street,” he said, but getting to that point would require a “balancing act.” Playing off Matt’s analogy of being a football coach in his response, Mitchell chided him by saying you can’t be a football coach but you need to be one of the players.

As for the allegations leveled by Matt on attorney ethics, Seth was “very angry…he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

In the courtroom, it often comes down to the final argument; the point where the cases are summarized.

Maciarello told the FOP, “I want to make you the most effective crime fighter you can be.” He pointed out that he’d ran a positive campaign, but when it came to the top 6 gang members in Salisbury he warned, “I’m coming for you.”

“I’m going to exceed your expectations,” he continued, and “communication will be the culture of my office.” Summing up, Maciarello opined, “a State’s Attorney is a leader…my opponent has a myopic vision” of the office.

Mitchell based his close on the question, “if you were a criminal, who would you most fear? You have to demand the skills to do this job.” Recounting the experience and resume gap, he said that “you don’t start at the top.”

“Don’t go with a novice,” he concluded, “go with a professional.”

On the whole, it was obvious that Matt was passionate – almost to a fault. Yet he also seemed to have a better vision of the administrative side of the job – where the office could go and how to be a leader in it. Moreover, you always wonder how someone who was a defense attorney would fare on the other side, and could he be effective putting away those he may have defended in the past (including, but not limited to, Thomas Leggs.)

In any case, this donnybrook for State’s Attorney may have become the most contentious race in the area, one which seems to be a small-scale model of larger races like the Ehrlich-O’Malley or Harris-Kratovil contests. Potted plants need not apply.

Maciarello: I’ll keep Ruark for Foxwell case

Editor’s note 5/14/2022: This piece was brought home from Examiner.com.

According to a Greg Latshaw piece in today’s Daily Times, Republican State’s Attorney candidate Matt Maciarello has promised to keep current State’s Attorney Davis Ruark employed as a special prosecutor for the case against Thomas Leggs, who stands accused of murdering 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell last December. That case, which came to its sad conclusion on Christmas Day last year, attracted regional and national attention to the Salisbury area. Matt opined that Ruark “brings the most knowledge to the case,” according to Latshaw’s article.

The move is fraught with some peril in a political sense, though. Those who voted Ruark out based on his personal problems and treatment of the late Sam Vincent – who was on the verge of announcing a challenge to Ruark before his untimely death – might desire a clean break in the office and decide Democrat W. Seth Mitchell, who defeated Ruark in last week’s primary, could adequately prosecute what seems to most a slam-dunk case. But would Mitchell, a former public defender who’s “dedicated to criminal defense” (shown in the attached YouTube ad) seek the death penalty as many in Wicomico County wish?

The question may be the deciding factor in an election which has no clear favorite.

This is attached at the end of my Examiner piece, but I thought it was interesting enough to add here as well. How many of the people currently being prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s Office were enticed by this ad? (Hint: when I found it the ad had 15 views.) But I lifted the quote directly from it.

Thank you for your support!

Update 9/16: I picked up another 46 votes today in the absentee count and increased my margin to 27.

It looks like I may have made it…just barely, but I may have made it.

With a few hundred absentee ballots out, I’m holding on to ninth place for the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee by a 25 vote margin. It’s a damn good thing my suggestion of a couple years ago (to expand the WCRCC from 7 to 9 members) was finally adopted by the committee or I’d be out in the cold!

Obviously I’m bummed that both of my statewide candidates I supported lost. It’s not a surprise that Brian Murphy lost, but I am heartened that he picked up 29% of the vote here – it means that Bob Ehrlich can’t take us conservatives for granted over the next seven weeks. (Murphy got over 30% of the vote in a handful of counties, peaking so far at 33 percent.)

But I guess Eric Wargotz may have bought himself a nomination, since he doesn’t seem to anywhere near the grassroots support that Jim Rutledge did. My friends who are Rutledge backers should be proud that the top two counties in the state to back Jim were (in order) Wicomico (#1) and Worcester (#2.) Shows we have some common sense, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Wargotz skedaddle to the center now.

I did better on the homefront – wasn’t sure Marty Pusey would pull it off but she did! Congrats and way to go Marty!

More shocking was the ease in which Charles Otto won his primary. And people will be talking for awhile about the upset of Davis Ruark by Seth Mitchell.

Looks like later today I can condense my righthand column and prepare for November. But again, thanks to the 2,036 people who had faith in me and my efforts on the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee!

Just don’t tell me I’m a shoo-in next time!

Returning to the fold

Backed by friends and family in a press conference yesterday, Matt Maciarello announced he was back in the race for State’s Attorney to stay, according to published reports. He told those assembled that, “I acknowledge that I stumbled and that for some of you, I’ll lose your votes. But this is Matt Maciarello getting back up. I stand here today reorganized and with a re-energized campaign, ready to win the election.”

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

Republicans put up State’s Attorney candidate

After the tragic death of Sam Vincent in a June auto accident, it appeared the Wicomico County GOP wouldn’t be able to field a candidate to run for State’s Attorney against longtime incumbent Davis Ruark. While W. Seth Mitchell has filed to run against Ruark in the Democratic primary, the filing deadline came and went without the GOP fielding a candidate.

However, through diligent effort and some persuasion by the Republican Central Committee, a young attorney from Salisbury received the nomination from the committee right on the July 21 deadline for filling vacant ballot positions.

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)