Kent County Primary Results : Short, Jacob, Mason Lead Commissioner Race on Republican Side

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Primary candidates & supporters hold signs today near the Fire House voting location at the corner of Maple Ave (Rt 213) & Cross St. in Chestertown. Kent County Commissioner incumbent and candidate for re-election Billy Short is on right (in shades and white shirt & shorts)     Photo by Jane Jewell

THIS ARTICLE UPDATED Wed. June 27 to include more election information.

Tuesday, June 26, was the primary election day in Maryland. Kent County primary election results are in, with all 10 of 10 precincts reporting. According to the Kent County Board of Elections,  1,637 Republicans and 1,977 Democrats took part in the primary, both in early voting and on election day, for a total of 3,614. That represents just over 33 percent of the county’s eligible voters in the two parties. Unaffiliated voters are not eligible to vote in the Maryland primary as the purpose of a primary is to select the party nominees thus only registered members of the parties may vote in the primary.

The numbers were probably increased by strong interest in several contests, including the Republican race for county commissioner and the Democratic primary for the District 1 Representative to the US Congress.  The results below include early ballots plus election day votes but not any absentee or provisional ballots.

In the most hotly contested local race, five candidates entered the contest for three Republican ballot slots in the race for Kent County Commissioners. Voters chose incumbent Billy Short and newcomers Bob Jacob and Tom Mason over Aaron Bramble and Jim Luff. However, the final margin was close enough – Bramble trailed by only 16 votes – that absentee and provisional ballots could change the result. The official totals may not be known until as late as next Friday, July 6, when final absentee ballots are counted and the Board of Elections certifies the election results. As of June 25, there were 42 absentee ballot requests from Kent Republicans, of which 23 had been returned. The Board of Elections did not have provisional ballot figures as of press time.

In the Democratic primary, incumbent Kent County Commissioners William Pickrum and Ron Fithian were joined by newcomer Tom Timberman to make up the Democratic slate for November. The three were uncontested for the three November ballot slots.

The other contested race in Kent pitted Andrew Meehan against Bryan DiGregory for the Democratic slot for the position of the State’s Attorney. In a close race, DiGregory was ahead by 130 votes with all 10 wards reporting. The winner will face former State’s Attorney Robert Strong, who ran uncontested on the Republican side, in November. With only 96 Democrats having requested absentee ballots, DiGregory’s lead appears to be safe.

Another closely-watched race was for the Democratic slot for the First District representative to the U.S. Congress. As of midnight on election day, 292 of the 294 precincts in District 1 had reported their totals. At that point, political newcomer Jesse Colvin led a field of six contenders with 38 percent of the vote district-wide and a lead of some 3,500 votes over Allison Galbraith, who finished a respectable second with nearly 10,000 votes, or just under 29 percent. Three candidates shared the remaining 33%–Michael Brown (15%), Michael Pullen (12.8%), Steven Worton (3.9%), and Erik Lane (2.2% ). Colvin’s margins were considerably higher in Kent, where, with all ten precincts reporting, he garnered over 55.2 percent of the votes to second-place Galbraith’s 17.9 percent.

On the Republican side, incumbent Andrew Harris easily won the primary over two rivals, both from the Eastern Shore. Harris received 82.7% of the votes cast by Kent County Republicans and 85.8% of Republican voters throughout the district which includes all of the Eastern Shore counties plus parts of Baltimore, Harford, and Carroll counties.

Look for a fuller election report in the Chestertown Spy soon.  For the complete state, county, and local election results in all races both state-wide and in the individual counties and districts see the list at Maryland Board of Elections websiteFor Kent County totals click here.

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Grassroots Progressive Groups in MD 1st District to Protest Family Separation

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Members of Together We Will Harford County/Upper Chesapeake, Talbot Rising, Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible, Worcester Indivisible, Queen Anne’s County Democratic Club, Harford Indivisible, Together We Will – Delmarva and Lower Shore Progressive Caucus will gather on Thursday in a coordinated effort to protest the treatment of asylum seekers and their families at the U.S. border, including the separation of parents and children and the placement of these children in internment camps.

Rallies will take place at Representative Andy Harris’s offices in Bel Air (15 East Churchville Rd.) and Salisbury (100 E. Main St.) at 5:00 pm and Kent Island (100 Olde Point Village, Chester) at 6:30 pm. Harris supports the inhumane immigration policies of the Trump administration.

For further information contact: talbotrising@gmail.org

Early Voting Open through Thursday

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Candidates’ signs outside the Kent County Public Library, the polling place for early voting — Photo by Peter Heck

Do you plan to vote in this year’s primary elections? You can avoid lines and that last-minute rush to vote before the polls close by taking part in early voting at the Chestertown branch of the Kent County Public Library. Early voting is open through Thursday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polls are in the meeting room near the High Street entrance to the library; voters may enter from High Street or by the side entrance after regular library hours.

Voters can choose their party’s candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, U. S. Senate and House of Representatives, Maryland state Senate and House of Delegates, and a slate of local offices including County Commissioner and State’s Attorney. For the primary election, voters may only vote for candidates of the party they are registered in. Unaffiliated voters, often called “independent” voters, meaning those who have registered to vote but have chosen not to affiliate themselves as either Democrats or Republicans, cannot vote in the primary, whose purpose is to select party candidates. Other political parties, such as the Libertarian or Green parties, do not currently hold primaries.  These voters can vote in the general election on November 6.

What if you’re not registered to vote at all?  You can do that at early voting, too, and then cast your ballot the same day.  To register to vote, you will need to bring ID and proof of address. According to the Maryland Board of Elections, “To register and vote during early voting, go to an early voting center in the county where you live and bring a document that proves where you live. This document can be your MVA-issued license, ID card, or change of address card, or your paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document with your name and new address. You will be able to register to vote and vote.”  So your Maryland driver’s license should do it.

US citizens who are residents of Maryland can register to vote as early as age 16 though they must be 18 before they can vote in a general election.  However, seventeen-year-olds may vote in this June primary to help chose their party’s candidate as long as they will be 18 before November 6 and thus eligible to vote in the General Election.

The date for regular voting in the primary election is Tuesday, June 26, when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You must be registered before June 26 in order to vote in the Primary Election on June 26. For a complete list of polling places and other information, see the Maryland Board of Elections website.

The general election takes place Nov. 6. The Chestertown Spy will bring you more election news and analysis throughout the election season.

Election 2018: A Spy goes to Queen Anne’s County to Meet Barry Donadio

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This Election 2018 profile is the first of a six-part series on the intricate makeup and character of the 1st Congressional District of Maryland. Each month, the Spy will be interviewing different 1st District residents from Carroll County to the Lower Shore, both Democrats and Republicans, to discuss their unique sub-region of one of the largest congressional districts in the country, and the issues and political climate of those communities.

The Spy continues with a conversation with Republican Barry Donadio from Queen Anne’s County. Like many residents of western Queen Anne’s, Barry commuted across the Bay Bridge from his home in Chester for more than a decade as part of the Secret Service assigned to protect both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. After retiring in 2013, he quickly signed up as a volunteer for the GOP in QAC and eventually ran and won a seat on the county’s Republican Central Committee the following year.

In his Spy interest, Barry talks about his conservative positions, his support of both President Trump and Congressman Andy Harris, as well as his political analysis that the factors that drove many Queen Anne’s Democrats to vote Republican in 2016 still holds true in 2018.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. Barry Donadio is currently running for a seat on the Queen Anne’s County Commission.

Election 2018: 1st District LWV Democratic Candidates Forum Highlights

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While the League of Women Voters forum on Sunday afternoon at Chesapeake College for Republicans running in the 1st District primary race turned out to be a bust with only one candidate (Rep. Andy Harris) out of three showing up, which meant, according to League rules, the program was canceled, the Democrats seemed to make up for it by having all five of their primary candidates show up for their own LWV  forum a few hours later.

Candidates Jesse Colvin, Allison Galbraith, Erik Lane, Michael Pullen, and Steve Worton all made their case for winning the Democratic nomination on June 26 to take on Representative Harris in the general election in November.

The Spy was there to capture their opening statements and responses to audience questions.

This video is approximately fifty-six minutes in length

DCKC Meet & Greet Event: Meet Allison Galbraith

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The Democratic Club of Kent County is pleased to announce another event in our Meet the Candidates series — on Saturday, June 9 the club will host Allison Galbraith, candidate for US Congress in Maryland’s First Congressional District.  Ms. Galbraith, the only woman in this race, announced her candidacy early in the campaign season; she will speak on her candidacy and answer questions at this event.

The public is invited to attend this event,which takes place on the afternoon of Saturday, June 9, at the Democratic Headquarters Office, 357 High St., Chestertown, from noon to 2:00 pm.  Earlier in the day Ms. Galbraith is scheduled to visit the Dems booth in the Farmers’ Market in Fountain Park.  For more information check the campaign website:  www.allisonforcongress.com.

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day Endorses Jesse Colvin for 1st District Race

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Salisbury Mayor Jake Day announced his endorsement of Jesse Colvin’s campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District election on Thursday night.

“Jesse Colvin is not only going to change the way the 1st District is represented in Congress, but he’s also going to change the way Congress does business,” May Day said at an event in Salisbury Thursday night.

“Jesse is a fighter. He is a progressive candidate, who is ready to represent the Eastern Shore of Maryland’s values, and he absolutely, unequivocally has my endorsement.”

Both Jesse and Mayor Day are Army veterans, and both are in their mid-30s. The two men also share much in common in terms of their vision for innovative solutions to our communities’ most pressing problems.

This is Jesse’s statement about the endorsement:

“This is a huge deal for us. I’m running to be part of a new generation of leadership in Washington, a wave of young veterans looking to get our country back on the right track. My platform is based on a simple idea: this District is a great place to race a family, it draws people in — but we have to give our kids a reason to stay. Mayor Day embodies the kind of innovative, energetic, and results-driven leadership I plan to bring to Congress. I couldn’t be prouder to have his support.”

Andy Harris on the Eastern Shore June 1 to Talk Vet Issues

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On June 1, Congressman Andy Harris will host a roundtable discussion with local veterans at American Legion Post 18. Congressman Harris and the veterans in attendance will discuss several issues American veterans are currently facing, and the proposed solutions under consideration in Congress. After this event, Congressman Harris will meet with local farmers at MidAtlantic Farm Credit to discuss this year’s farm bill, crop insurance, and other agricultural issues.

The Congressman will conclude the day by attending the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in Easton, where he will read the names of America’s fallen heroes and participate in the ceremonial wreath laying. Media is welcome to attend all of these events.

June 1, 2018

Veterans Roundtable
3:00 – 3:45 PM
Jeff Davis American Legion Post 18
2619 Centreville Road, Centreville MD 21617

Farm Credit Bureau Roundtable
4:15 – 5:00 PM
MidAtlantic Farm Credit
379 Deep Shore Road, Denton MD 21629

Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall Opening Ceremony
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Easton VFW Post 5118
355 Glebe Road, Easton, MD 21601

Congressman Harris Supports “Right to Try” Act for Experimental Drug Use

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The he U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 204, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. This legislation increases terminally ill patients’ access to experimental drugs that have not yet been approved or licensed by the FDA. Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) issued the following statement lauding the bill’s passage:

“Today, the House of Representatives delivered new hope to patients fighting for their lives. Stunning new cures in medicine occur each and every day, and patients deserve the right to try any and all available treatments, including treatment options still in the final approval process. The federal government has no place denying terminally-ill patients the opportunity for survival, especially when there are hundreds of potential treatments stuck in the FDA’s pipeline. As a physician, I am proud to support the Right to Try Act – a bill that will bring hope and relief to families plagued by terminal illness across the United States.”