Kent County Election Results — Updated

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Bryan DiGregory, left, candidate for State’s Attorney, and William Short, right, candidate for Kent County Commissioner, holding their signs outside the Fire House in Chestertown on Election Day. DiGregory is assured of a win.  Short,  currently in 4th place, is waiting for the absentee ballot count, which could move him into a winning position. – Photo by Jane Jewell

With all 10 Kent County precincts reporting, here are the unofficial results for Kent County in the 2018 General Election. As of the close of polls Election Day, 8,307 of the county’s 13,119 registered voters had cast votes — an impressive 63.3% turnout. However, with almost 500 absentee ballot applications requested from the county for this election plus an unknown but smaller number of provisional ballots, several local races may not be decided until those votes are returned and counted later this month.

If the Election Day totals hold up, the Kent County Commissioners will be Bob Jacob, Tom Mason, and Ron Fithian. Fifthian would be the only incumbent re-elected. However, with a spread of 655 votes between current leader Jacob and sixth-place finisher Tom Timberman, the final order of the six candidates could change, with some of the first three winning slots changing hands. For example, Short, currently in 4th place, is waiting for the absentee ballot count, which might move him into a winning position. He would need to win at least 109 more votes than Fithian with the others holding steady.

The School Board will apparently see the return of Trish McGee and Wendy Costa along with newly elected Nivek Johnson. Again, absentee ballots could result in a different final tally — although current board President McGee, with a lead of more than 2,000 votes over second-place Costa, is clearly safe.  Incumbent Costa is 74 votes ahead of third-place Johnson while Johnson leads the only remaining candidate, Francois Sullivan, by 123 votes.  As the first three places win seats on the board, the final makeup of the board would only be changed if Sullivan garnered 124 more votes of the roughly 500 outstanding than Johnson, while Costa maintains a lead over Johnson.

Democrat and current Deputy State’s Attorney Bryan DiGregory holds a strong lead of 1,417 votes over former State’s Attorney Robert Strong, the Republican candidate.  With that lead, DiGregory is also assured of a win.

For Judge of the Orphans’ Courts which handles probated wills, the apparent winners are Amy L. Nickerson (Rep), Elroy G. Boyer, Jr. (Dem), and  Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll (Rep).  However, as only 244 votes separate the first place Nickerson from the fourth and last place candidate, the roughly 500-plus absentee and provisional ballots could not only change vote totals but also the list of winners.   There were four candidates in this race with three open slots.   Carroll, in third place, is ahead of  Allan Schauber (Dem) in fourth place by 126 votes.

Clerk Circuit Court Mark Mumford and Sheriff John Price ran unopposed and thus easily won re-election.  “Kristi” Osborn also ran unopposed and was elected as the Register of Wills. Harris Murphy, also unopposed, won election as the Judge of the Circuit Court.

In the state-wide races, Kent County voters followed the statewide trend in strongly supporting incumbent Governor Hogan over Democratic opponent Ben Jealous and voting to re-elect Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat, over Republican challenger Tony Campbell. Comptroller Peter Franchot and Attorney General Brian Frosh, both Democrats, also won reelection, with wide leads in the county as well as statewide.

Kent County bucked the wider trend regarding the First Congressional District, voting 4,389 to 3,676 so far for Democratic challenger Jesse Colvin over incumbent Republican Congressman Andrew Harris. District-wide, Harris is the projected winner with around 60% of the total vote district-wide.  Neighboring Talbot County also went for Colvin.

Signs near the Fire House in Chestertown with Dollar General in background. – Photo by Jane Jewell

In the District 36 Maryland General Assembly races, Republican Senator Steven Hershey and Republican Delegates Jay Jacobs, Jeff Ghrist, and Steve Arentz were re-elected with comfortable margins. The choices of  Kent County voters mirrored those of the other counties in the district.  Jacobs led the pack with a total of 5,646 votes from Kent County.  Arentz was second with 3,508 votes.  Third was Ghrist with 3,224.     District 36 is comprised of four counties – Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s–all on the Eastern Shore. 

Two amendments to the state Constitution, one to restrict the use of funds raised by commercial gambling to educational purposes and the second to allow voter registration on Election Day, were both approved.

In some cases, such as the County Commissioner races, Early Voting figures favored Democratic candidates, but Election Day brought out Republican voters in enough numbers to reverse the trend.  In the Kent County Commission case, Early Voting ended with all three Democrats in the lead for the three available seats. Incumbent William Pickrum (Dem) was in first place and Democratic candidate Thomas Timberman in second place.  Incumbent Ron Fithian (Dem) was third.  But Election Day dropped Pickrum and Timberman to fifth and sixth places.  Fithian stayed at third.  Republican Bob Jacob surged to first place with a total of Early and Election Day Voting of 3,766.  With 655 votes separating first and sixth place and only roughly 500 absentee and provisional ballots left to count, it is unlikely that Jacob will lose a seat.  But incumbent William Short (Rep,) who is in 4th place, needs to pick up 109 more absentee/provisional votes than Fifthian to reach third place and a seat on the Kent County Commission. However, beyond that any change in the top three spots is unlikely.  The results of the Early Voting versus Election Day totals were not known until the Election Day totals were released.

Election Judge Allen Christy points the way to a voter. Election judge Jenny Lee on right. – Photo by Jane Jewell

Preliminary numbers are from the Maryland State Board of Elections as of 11 a,m. Wednesday.  This link leads to the official Maryland government site which will have the most up-to-date figures for all races in Kent County.  Those 11:00 am numbers for all offices are listed below at the end of the article.  These Wednesday morning totals are not expected to change until after Absentee ballots are counted.

Absentee ballots are counted in two rounds, the first on Thursday, Nov. 8 and the second on Friday, Nov. 16. Absentee ballots sent by mail must be postmarked by Nov 6 and must arrive at the Board of Elections by 10 a.m. Nov. 16 to be counted. Provisional ballots will be counted on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Then after the last count on Friday, Nov. 16, the final totals will be announced and the winners of each race will be officially certified and declared. For any office where the difference between any two candidates is significantly more than 500, it is very unlikely, if not impossible, that the outcome will change much from today’s Wed, Nov 7 totals. 

Past election history shows that the absentee and provisional ballots tend to follow the trends seen in the early and election day voting, generally favoring the same candidates.  Although totals for most candidates will obviously rise, the winners may not change.  Nonetheless, there can still be surprises in individual races.  And several of the Kent County candidates in both the Commissioner and Board of Education races are close enough that absentee ballots could make the difference. 

So it’s still a horse race!  The Spy will give updates as they come in with the first coming tomorrow, Thursday, when 248 of the of the already-received absentee ballots, will be examined and– if certified as valid by the Board of Canvassers–will be added to the current totals for each office. A total of 475 absentee ballots were applied for.  Of these 350 were returned by Election Day, Nov. 6. It should be pointed out that the total of returned and valid absentee/provisional ballots could turn out to be rather more or less than the estimated 500.  Not all of the outstanding 125 absentee ballots may be returned and the number of provisional ballots cast is still unknown and how many will be validated is also undetermined.  The provisionals include some people who requested absentee ballots then turned out to be able to make it to the polls on Election Day. All these variables will increase or decrease the total of outstanding ballots.  For the first canvass or count of absentee ballots on Nov. 8, the Board of Canvassers holds back enough of the received but unopened ballots so that the final result is not obvious until the remaining Absentee Ballots and the Provisional Ballots have a chance to come in and be certified and counted on Nov. 16.  This way everyone’s ballot is counted and no one’s vote is left out.

Stay tuned for more updates as they become publically available.

*****

Totals below are for the key contested races for Kent County offices.  Totals include Early Voting plus Election Day ballots but not the roughly 500-plus absentee plus provisional ballots.

Kent County Commissioners (Top three will be elected)

1st – 3,766 – Bob Jacob (Rep)

2nd – 3,632 – “Tom” Mason (Rep)

3rd – 3,571 – Ron Fithian (Dem)

4th – 3,463  – William Short (Rep)

5th – 3,358 – William Pickrum (Dem)

6th – 3,111 – Thomas F. Timberman (Dem)

*****

Board of Education (Non-partisan; top three will be elected.)

1st – 5,416 –  “Trish” McGee

2nd – 3,366 – Wendy Costa

3rd – 3,292 – Nivek M. Johnson

4th – 3,169 – Francoise Sullivan

*****

State’s Attorney (One will be elected.)

1st – 4,759 – Bryan DiGregory (Dem)

2nd – 3,288 – Robert H. Strong (Rep)

*****

Judge of Orphan’s Court (Top three will be elected)

1st – 4,189 Amy L. Nickerson (Rep)
2nd- 4,125 Elroy G. Boyer, Jr. (Dem)
3rd – 4,071 Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll (Rep)
4th – 3,945 Allan Schauber (Dem)

*****

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All tallies below are from the  State Board of Elections website.

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

County-Wide Races

Kent County Commissioner – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Bob Jacob
Republican 1,103 2,663 0 3,766 18.0%
“Tom” Mason
Republican 1,102 2,530 0 3,632 17.3%
William Short
Republican 1,149 2,314 0 3,463 16.5%
Ron Fithian
Democratic 1,434 2,137 0 3,571 17.1%
William Pickrum
Democratic 1,497 1,861 0 3,358 16.0%
Thomas F. Timberman
Democratic 1,473 1,638 0 3,111 14.9%
Other Write-Ins
11 27 0 38 0.2%

Board of Education – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Wendy Costa
1,313 2,053 0 3,366 22.0%
Nivek M. Johnson
1,271 2,021 0 3,292 21.5%
“Trish” McGee
1,997 3,419 0 5,416 35.3%
Francoise Sullivan
1,266 1,903 0 3,169 20.7%
Other Write-Ins
26 57 0 83 0.5%

State’s Attorney – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Robert H. Strong
Republican 879 2,409 0 3,288 40.8%
Bryan DiGregory
Democratic 2,036 2,723 0 4,759 59.1%
Other Write-Ins
2 9 0 11 0.1%

Judge of the Orphans’ Court – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll
Republican 1,316 2,755 0 4,071 24.9%
Amy L. Nickerson
Republican 1,307 2,882 0 4,189 25.6%
Elroy G. Boyer, Jr.
Democratic 1,765 2,360 0 4,125 25.2%
Allan Schauber
Democratic 1,679 2,266 0 3,945 24.1%
Other Write-Ins
10 27 0 37 0.2%

Judge of the Circuit Court – Judicial Circuit 2 – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Harris Murphy
2,250 4,105 0 6,355 99.3%
Other Write-Ins
12 32 0 44 0.7%

Judge, Court of Special Appeals At Large – Donald E. Beachley – Vote Yes or No For continuance in office

(10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Donald E. Beachley Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Yes 2,003 3,628 0 5,631 87.1%
No 286 545 0 831 12.9%

Matthew J. Fader – Vote Yes or No  For continuance in office – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Matthew J. Fader Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Yes 1,942 3,536 0 5,478 86.8%
No 295 541 0 836 13.2%

Clerk of the Circuit Court – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Mark L. Mumford
Democratic 2,604 4,474 0 7,078 99.1%
Other Write-Ins
21 44 0 65 0.9%

Register of Wills –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
“Kristi” Osborn
Democratic 2,413 4,114 0 6,527 99.3%
Other Write-Ins
15 32 0 47 0.7%

Judge of the Orphans’ Court – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll
Republican 1,316 2,755 0 4,071 24.9%
Amy L. Nickerson
Republican 1,307 2,882 0 4,189 25.6%
Elroy G. Boyer, Jr.
Democratic 1,765 2,360 0 4,125 25.2%
Allan Schauber
Democratic 1,679 2,266 0 3,945 24.1%
Other Write-Ins
10 27 0 37 0.2%

Sheriff –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
John F. Price
Republican 2,056 3,978 0 6,034 97.3%
Other Write-Ins
47 123 0 170 2.7%

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

District-Wide Races

[District 36 is comprised of 4 Counties, all on the Eastern Shore – Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties]

State Senator –  District 36 – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Stephen S. Hershey, Jr.
Republican 1,345 3,178 0 4,523 56.7%
Heather Lynette Sinclair
Democratic 1,561 1,887 0 3,448 43.2%
Other Write-Ins
3 4 0 7 0.1%

 

Maryland House of Delegates – District 36 – Vote for up to 3 – No more than 1 per county – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Steven James Arentz (Queen Anne’s County)
Republican 1,021 2,487 0 3,508 17.6%
Jeff Ghrist (Caroline County)
Republican 947 2,277 0 3,224 16.2%
Jay A. Jacobs (Kent County)
Republican 1,818 3,828 0 5,646 28.4%
Keirien Taylor (Caroline County)
Democratic 1,100 1,195 0 2,295 11.5%
Michael Ian Welker (Cecil County)
Democratic 1,097 1,230 0 2,327 11.7%
Crystal Woodward (Queen Anne’s County)
Democratic 1,327 1,559 0 2,886 14.5%
Other Write-Ins
1 3 0 4 0.0%

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

First Maryland  District for the US Congress

Representative in US Congress –  District 1 – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Andy Harris
Republican 1,003 2,673 0 3,676 44.9%
Jesse Colvin
Democratic 1,945 2,444 0 4,389 53.6%
Jenica Martin
Libertarian 24 91 0 115 1.4%
Other Write-Ins
0 4 0 4 0.0%

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

State-Wide Races

Governor / Lt. Governor – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Larry Hogan and Boyd K. Rutherford
Republican 1,998 4,066 0 6,064 73.8%
Ben Jealous and Susan Turnbull
Democratic 941 1,118 0 2,059 25.0%
Shawn Quinn and Christina Smith
Libertarian 12 28 0 40 0.5%
Ian Schlakman and Annie Chambers
Green 21 34 0 55 0.7%
Other Write-Ins
0 2 0 2 0.0%

 

Comptroller – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Anjali Reed Phukan
Republican 636 1,798 0 2,434 30.5%
Peter Franchot
Democratic 2,264 3,268 0 5,532 69.4%
Other Write-Ins
0 4 0 4 0.1%

 

Attorney General –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Craig Wolf
Republican 1,082 2,806 0 3,888 48.7%
Brian E. Frosh
Democratic 1,824 2,276 0 4,100 51.3%
Other Write-Ins
0 2 0 2 0.0%

 

U.S. Senator –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Tony Campbell
Republican 903 2,429 0 3,332 41.1%
Ben Cardin
Democratic 1,885 2,413 0 4,298 53.1%
Arvin Vohra
Libertarian 20 59 0 79 1.0%
Neal Simon
Unaffiliated 138 250 0 388 4.8%
Lih Young (Write In)
Democratic NR NR NR 0 0%
Michael B. Puskar (Write In)
Unaffiliated NR NR NR 0 0%
Edward Shlikas (Write In)
Unaffiliated NR NR NR 0 0%
Other Write-Ins
0 3 0 3 0.0%

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