Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 5, 2011



MAYOR* Bruce Morrison — 505
* Lynn Duffy — 97
* Frank Ward — 57

* Donald Malloy — 67
* Bobby Brittingham — 47


Friday, April 1, 2011

Pocomoke's Election Day Nears

Election Day, APRIL 5,  is almost here for the citizens of Pocomoke. 
From the Worcester County Times
Written by:  Jennifer Shutt
March 31, 2011
POCOMOKE CITY -- In a few days, Pocomoke voters will head to the polls to select a new mayor and District 3 city council member.
Five people have registered to run for the two open seats -- three vying for the title of mayor and two campaigning to be the District 3 representative.

On election day candidates say they will be at the library for all or most of the 12-hour day from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., campaigning, shaking hands and letting voters know what matters to them.
Bruce Morrison, Lynn Duffy and Frank Ward will be competing for the mayoral seat, while Bobby Brittingham and Donald Malloy are both seeking the District 3 council seat.

Many of the candidates said reducing crime and revitalizing downtown will be priorities if elected.

"We've got to find a way to make downtown work again," says mayoral candidate Morrison, adding crime prevention would be similarly important.

Duffy, a professional counselor, also wishes to tackle crime if elected and says she would pursue a more open government. "I'm fully committed," she said in an interview about her campaign. On her often-updated campaign website, duffy4pocomoke. com, she has written insistently about crime as a growing and dangerous problem.

"Crime went up and our town has no plan," Duffy wrote. "Everything is not okay in Pocomoke."

Ward, the third candidate, could not be reached for comment.

Last year, 162 people turned out to vote for District 1 and 2 City Council representatives. This year, city officials expect more votes to be cast, because all registered Pocomoke voters will be able to cast a ballot for mayor. Officials said their voter rolls show 2,773 registered voters who could participate in the election.

The mayoral seat became available last year after mayor Mike McDermott was elected to represent part of the Eastern Shore in the House of Delegates. After Morrison announced his intention to run for mayor after six years as District 3 councilman, his council seat also became available.

Council race

Malloy, who was a councilman in the 1960s, is running to fill the District 3 seat, and says he's bringing no grand plans for changes with him.

"I don't think there is anything rather drastic to be changed in Pocomoke," said Malloy. "I think I am capable of keeping Pocomoke running as well as I think it does now."

In a campaign statement, Brittingham said his experience as a retired policeman could help Pocomoke, and he said city government is at times unresponsive. "What I see today is the lack of confidence in our city government, and the lack of information that the city government provides to the people," he said in the statement. He would step up code enforcement for abandoned buildings, he said, and work to get tenants for empty storefronts.

Brittingham won the Democratic primary race for Worcester County Sheriff last fall but lost to Republican Reggie Mason in the general election.

Source;|newswell|text|Worcester County Times|s

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dr. Lynn Duffy Files For Mayor Of Pocomoke City

Duffy files for Pocomoke Mayor Election

Dr. Lynn Duffy is pleased to officially announce filing for Pocomoke City Mayoral elections. Her vision is to 'Revitalize Pocomoke City"! Duffy is a resident and successful Pocomoke business owner the last 8 of a 24 year career and recognized expert in her field by wellness community (, offers on-line services and more than a year ago her counseling and mediation/consultation practice relocated to the heart of Downtown Pocomoke. A most important role to her is as mother to Launa Ashley, who celebrated her 23rd birthday on the day Duffy filed to run for Pocomoke Mayor. Launa Ashley completes her first year in graduate studies in a few months pursuing a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling with Liberty University.

Duffy filed for office stating her daughter, and others, are some of the reasons she prayerfully considered running for Mayor. The children and youth of our community are significant reasons and there are several more. She questions the direction our community is going, more importantly the dramatic increase of projected expenses from 2010 for 2011 from 7.3 million to 10.6 million and the town’s repeated issue of crime. Duffy believes the deaths last year of young people was needless and the town needs to not look away or hold meetings discussing events but deal directly with proactive steps developing a plan of action. Duffy’s campaign team, organized with prayerful consideration, consists of Launa Ashley, Campaign Manager; Edean Bundick of Bundick Law Office in Virginia, Treasurer; Donna Hardin, Web Manager; and Bishop Isaac Jenkins, Chaplain; and several Prayer Warriors.

Duffy has a servant’s heart for our community and as business owner and grant writer for nonprofits, she respects the need in Pocomoke City for business to encourage job growth and points to several businesses leaving town, including our downtown business area. Duffy believes although our ‘compass’ may be pointing in a direction, she questions the direction. At a time when families are not eating out nearly as much and if at all, businesses are struggling, and county appraisals of homes decreased recently, she is concerned with the town increasing the projected 2011 expenses by almost 50%. Duffy is hearing from other residents and business persons the community needs to address reduction of crime by proactive & preventive steps with a plan of action, less government reclaiming a budget that increases expenses by 50% from 2010 to 2011, encourage public input AND a public informed with increased collaboration, and foster a business friendly ‘climate’ encouraging job growth. Duffy, a Board Member for Save the Youth, Inc., is assisting with meetings to continue progress on a Strategic Plan for the organization.

Duffy offers she is not a ‘politician’ with ambitions to ‘step higher in politics’, but is one to speak up to question issues such as the town's direction, large increase in expenses, and crime. She listens and hears many feel our town has lost touch with the 'core' of what makes Pocomoke City great. Duffy was ordained in 2008 as a Minister in community service and received an Honorary Doctor of Ministry in 2008, Lighthouse Counseling is affiliated with the U.N.T.C., Int'l (an international ministry association) and Duffy serves as President-Elect of the Pocomoke Ministerial Association. She desires to work for a better tomorrow and affirms Real People NEED Real Solutions!”

Entire website is a paid political endorsement by authority of Edean Bundick, Treasurer, for Mayoral Candidate Dr. Lynn Duffy. Site activity is monitored and analyzed daily. Source: 2010 & 2011 Expenses (Excel), Pocomoke City Hall website (consecutive years posting).

(c) No part, implied intention, picture or whole of this entire website and blog may be reproduced without expressed written consent of the Candidate Dr. Lynn Duffy. We ask your respect of the integrity of this website, pictures, expressed statements and in pursuit of our freedoms. Any unauthorized use may be considered unlawful and thereby, pursuit of such unlawful act, stated herein, at the individual's expense

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pocomoke City Elections...The Race Is On.......

POCOMOKE CITY -- The deadline to file and run in Pocomoke's upcoming April election has passed, with three people seeking to be mayor and two running for District 3's seat on the City Council.

Lynn Duffy, Bruce Morrison and Frank Ward will be running for mayor, while Bobby Brittingham and Donald Malloy have filed to run for the District 3council seat.

Morrison, who was elected to City Council for District 3 in 2005, says his years of experience in budget meetings and meeting with citizens uniquely qualifies him.

"I have been a councilman for six years and a resident all my life," says Morrison. "This is going to be a real tough budget year. State money is drying up, county money is drying up and assessments are down... but I don't want to see taxes raised."

If elected, Morrison said he would like to reduce crime through continued use and implementation of crime cameras, community meetings once a month and encouraging citizens to take pride in their community.

Duffy, another mayoral candidate, is a counselor with Lighthouse Counseling and Consulting Services in Pocomoke City. She is running for mayor to reduce crime, encourage public input in government and prevent overspending by City Hall, she said in a news release announcing her candidacy.

"The deaths last year of young people were needless," Duffy said in her statement, "and the town needs to not look away or hold meetings discussing events but deal directly with proactive steps developing a plan of action."

Duffy mounted an unsuccessful campaign to be Pocomoke's mayor in 2005, the year Mike McDermott first won office. She also ran to be a City Council representative in 2006, but came in second out of three candidates. She is a past president of the Pocomoke Chamber of Commerce.

Duffy has launched a campaign website,, and named supporters to positions of campaign manager, treasurer, web manager and campaign chaplain in her statement.

Ward, who also filed to run for mayor, could not be reached for comment by press time.

The city council seat for District 3 is up for election this year, after being held by Morrison for several years.

Brittingham, a District 3 candidate who served as a sheriff's deputy for 25 years, says specific issues such as preventing erosion and flooding at Cypress Park, as well as general issues such as reducing crime, are his reasons to run for the vacant seat.

Malloy, who was a Pocomoke councilman during the 1960s, says he originally filed after being asked to do so by friends because no one else had filed at the time.

"I'm running because the seat is open and I think I can be of some use to the city," says Malloy, who is a retired electrician. "I would like to keep Pocomoke going on the path it's on."

In an interview, recent mayor and current state Delegate Mike McDermott said he supports Morrison's and Malloy's bids for office.

The deadline for registering to vote in the April 5 election is March 4.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maj. Todd E. Godwin Announces Candidacy for Sheriff

ACCOMAC -- Todd E. Godwin, a longtime deputy with the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, formally announced his candidacy for sheriff in the November election.

Godwin has over 25 years experience in law enforcement and is a 20-year veteran of the sheriff's office.

Godwin, of Parksley, will run as an independent for the post, which has been held by Sheriff Larry Giddens since 2008. Giddens is retiring.

Godwin has been chief deputy second in command with the rank of major in the department since January 2008.

Godwin began his law-enforcement career in 1985 as an officer with the Parksley Police Department followed by employment with the Virginia State Police as a weight-enforcement officer in 1987.

Godwin then joined the sheriff's office in 1990 as a patrol deputy and became the county's first certified K-9 officer in 1994 with his K-9 partner, Nitro.

He was promoted to corporal in 1995 and patrol lieutenant in 1999.

As lieutenant, Godwin was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the uniform patrol division, including the SWAT team, K-9 units, dive teams, and dispatch.

In 2002, Godwin also assumed responsibility of supervising animal control and began supervising the newly constructed Eastern Shore Regional Animal Control Facility in 2005.

In addition to his training at the Peninsula Tidewater Academy of Criminal Justice and the Virginia State Police Academy, he has received training in numerous areas during his career. Those areas include lawful employment practices for law enforcement, freedom of information training, managing jail risk and liability, budgeting for criminal justice executives, FBI first line supervisor school, liability issues for K-9 handlers, raid liability and planning, FEMA national incident management system ICS-100, 200, 700, 300 and 400, breath alcohol operator course, vehicle inspection course, uniform drug interdiction training, SWAT training, basic and advance patrol and narcotic K-9 schools, street survival and tactical use of police K-9, basic radar operator, domestic violence training, community policing in small town and rural areas, basic animal control school, and gang training.

As chief deputy, Godwin is responsible for the management of all departmental divisions to include law enforcement, corrections, courtroom security/civil process, communications, animal control and the animal control facility.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office consists of 75 sworn and non-sworn personnel.

Godwin is a member of the Eastern Shore of Virginia 911 Commission, member of the Chesapeake Bay ASAP Policy Board and a member of the Eastern Shore Regional Jail Board.

Godwin, 46, resides in Parksley, with his wife, Sheila, and their two sons, Johnnie and Logan.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Todd E. Godwin Announces Candidacy For Sheriff

Longtime deputy for the Accomack County Sheriff's Office Todd E. Godwin has announced his candidacy for Sheriff in the upcoming November election.

Godwin, a 20 year member of the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, announced on Monday he will run as an independent for the post, which has been held by Sheriff Larry Giddens since 2008 until the end of this year when he will retire.

Godwin's other experience includes being a member of the Parksley Police Department as well as the Virginia State Police. He has been in law enforcement for 25 years and is currently a Major, the second in command in the Accomack County Sheriff's Department.

No one else has publicly announced they will run for the Sheriff's seat in November.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mayor McDermott To Be Sworn Into House of Delegates On Jan. 12

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. - The town of Pocomoke will soon be losing its mayor, but not just yet.

Mayor Mike McDermott will be sworn into the House of Delegates for District 38-B on Jan. 12.

City officials say McDermott will remain mayor until then. At that point, Robert Hawkins, the First Vice-President of the City Council, will take on mayoral responsibilities, but not the official title. Hawkins will continue to serve as a councilman.

A new mayor will be elected in the city's scheduled elections in April of 2011.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rigell Is Closing His Car Dealership

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - transferredssman-elect Scott Rigell's car dealership in Chesapeake is closing, but hopes that his employees will be able to get jobs elsewhere.

Freedom Lincoln Mercury on Military Highway will close sometime between now and the first of the year. asked Rigell about the closure and how it seemed contradictory to his campaign promise to create jobs.

"It's not a contradiction because this at the Lincoln Mercury store is so far beyond our control," Rigell said.

The biggest reason for the closing is that Ford will no longer make Mercuries after this year.

Despite the store closing, Rigell hopes for no layoffs but couldn't make any promises.

"We're going to stand with our employees, and do everything to make sure every person who is working for Freedom continues to be gainfully employed," said Rigell.

Rigell's business partner, Freedom Automotive president James Church said 40 of the current 67 employees will be transfered to one of the other two Freedom locations in Hampton Roads.

That leaves 27 employees, who mostly work in Parts and Services.

Church said a Cavalier Ford down the street was anxious to hire those employees.

Cavalier is in talks to buy the Lincoln dealership, which means they would sell Lincoln vehicles from their Greenbrier location.

If Cavalier doesn't hire all of them, Rigell hopes to put them to work someplace else.

"I've reached out to some other dealers and asked, 'would you be open to interviewing them and helping," said Rigell.

Rigell and Church both said the auto body shop at the Lincoln Mercury dealer will remain open. They are hoping to lease the rest of the building.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oglesby Nears Victory In Tight State’s Attorney Race

Shawn J. Soper
News Editor
BERLIN – While incumbent Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd closed the gap somewhat this week after more absentee ballots were counted on Wednesday, Republican challenger Beau Oglesby appears to have moved closer to his “magic number”.

When the polls closed last Tuesday, it was Oglesby leading Todd by a mere 145 votes and a sense of déjà vu spread across the county electorate closely watching the highly contested campaign. In 2006, in perhaps the closest election in Worcester County history, it was Todd who led Oglesby by a single vote when the polls closed on Election Night. Todd eventually prevailed when all of the absentee, provisional and overseas ballots were counted, but a similar scenario is playing out this week with the candidates switching roles.

On Wednesday, 180 absentee ballots were counted and Todd managed to close the gap, collecting 86 new votes while Oglesby added 75 to his tally. County elections officials were supposed to count 197 absentee ballots, but 17 were rejected for various reasons. For example, 12 were not registered in the county and a handful more were not filed in the appropriate district.

After the batch of absentee ballots were counted on Wednesday, Todd had reduced Oglesby’s lead to just 96, but time, and more importantly, outstanding ballots, appear to be running out on the incumbent.

According to Worcester County Elections Board Supervisor Patti Jackson, roughly 171 ballots remain to be counted, of which 122 are expected to be counted today.

The other 49 outstanding ballots – 14 military ballots and 35 more absentee ballots held back – are expected to be counted on Nov. 22. It’s important to note, the 171 figure is a bit of a moving target because some will likely be rejected and more that were postmarked before the Nov. 2 deadline might trickle in still.

Nonetheless, with an estimated 171 still to count, it appears Oglesby needs just 38 more votes, or about 22 percent more, to win the county state’s attorney race. More simply put, if Todd received 134 of the remaining 171 votes and Oglesby scored 37, the incumbent would win by a single vote.

While the numbers appear to be in Oglesby’s favor, certainly anything can happen and if history teaches one anything about this rivalry, the race is far from over. Oglesby said yesterday he was quietly optimistic with scores of votes still to be counted.

“Compared to four years ago, this is a much better place to be,” he said. “Things look good, but there’s a long way to go and we certainly can’t start celebrating yet.”
Oglesby said the closeness of the race is remarkable, but not surprising given the history between the candidates.

“We’re proud of our campaign and we appreciate the trust at least 50-point-something percent of the county placed in us, and we look forward to proving and demonstrating it was well placed,” he said. “If the counts hold, we’ll look forward to earning the trust of the other 49-point-something percent.”

Todd declined to comment, citing personal reasons.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

LAST WORD OF THE WEEK: Win Or Lose- Meals Tax Was A Bad Idea!

by, Ted Shockley

Earlier this year, the Accomack County School Board was staring down the barrel of $3 million in state funding cuts. The Board of Supervisors instead gave the school system $730,000 to cover the shortfall.

The result wasn't good. The school system couldn't afford to enhance programs or salaries. It had to reduce 52 positions. Class sizes grew. Support staff was lost.

It was during this gloomy time that the seeds of Accomack's proposed meals tax were planted.

It was a strange idea for elected leaders supposedly looking out of the best interests of public education -- let voters in the state's most overweight county decide whether to pay more for fried chicken and hushpuppies, the taxes on which could raise between $500,000 and $700,000 annually for schools.

Maybe I'm a distrustful skeptic, but I was convinced that there was no way for Accomack's public schools to win with this referendum, no matter how voters cast their ballots.

It was a short-sighted, ill-advised measure and a strange corner in which to push our children's futures.

Had it passed, I feared the public schools would have never received a penny more in new funding than the meals tax would have provided.

I feared that the county would have cut its contribution to the school system by the amount of the meals tax revenues -- if the meals tax generated $600,000, the county would reduce its contribution to schools by $600,000.

I feared meals tax proceeds would have forever been held against the school system by taxpayers and the Board of Supervisors, as in, "Why are you asking for more; you already get the meals tax money."

I feared that the meals tax proceeds would have been plowed into debt service for school buildings and not operations money to help teachers and students.

But the meals tax failed, and now my fear is that elected officials will try to twist the results into a referendum on increased local funding for schools.

Elected leaders and governmental skinflints will suggest that county voters don't support new education money because they voted against it on Tuesday.

That would be wrong. The only message sent at the polls on Tuesday is that residents of the most obese county in Virginia do not want to pay more for fries and pies.

Did I say it was a strange corner in which to push our children's futures?

Accomack's public budget negotiations will begin in a few months. Public school systems need local increases each year to develop a career staff, grow educational programs and ensure our greatest resource is well-prepared for the future.

Local elected officials should make this the area's hallmark priority. Local parents, proponents and products of public education should demand it be supported by something besides a tax on food.

The state's obesity capital can tolerate taxes on land, cars, boats and businesses, but we draw the line at doughnuts and cheeseburgers.

The problem is, I think our county leaders knew that.

Maybe our local officials should concentrate on getting the back taxes collected from property owners before they put another tax on already overtaxed residents. Or were they planning on tourism? Either one, not a good idea and thank goodness the voters were able to tell them.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Congressman Elect Rigell Lays out Plan to Reshape Washington

Congressman-elect Scott Rigell has released his plan for reforming Congress. In the plan, Rigell states he attempt to reshape the mindset in Washington, forcing elected officials to be more transparent and frugal with taxpayer dollars.

Rigell says he will aim to change Congressional pensions plans to be more similar to 401(k)s as well as ending free lobbyist and foundation sponsored travel. The plan includes a call to institute 12 year term limits for representatives, posting committee votes online and restoring congressional offices' operating budgets to 2008 levels.

"I want to be very proactive and reach out to all parts of our community," explained Rigell. "We will make absolutely no distinction in constituent service, I will make that so clear to my staff. I'm optimistic that we'll reach out to folks who might not have reached out to us."

Rigell also spoke about the Eastern Shore. "I am proud of our commitment to the Eastern Shore," he said. "One of the first calls I made after learning I had won was to my good friend Ooker, the Mayor of Tangier, and he said 'Scott, we're going to turn out for you on Tangier.'"

Rigell is set to be inaugurated in January.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

District 38B Winner..............

Pocomoke Mayor Mike McDermott wins seat in Maryland House Of Delegates!

His goal when taking office will be removing regulations that keep industries and companies from settling in Maryland, with job creation his ultimate goal.

"We've been working on this campaign for two years," he said. "When I started, it wasn't necessarily a great time to be a Republican. Now, big government has fallen out of favor."


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Virginia Election 2010

Today's election will decide the next Congressman for Virginia's 2nd District, as well as Town Council positions for the localities of Parksley and Wachapreague in Accomack County.

In addition to these elections, there will be three referendums in both counties regarding amendments to the Commonwealth of Virginia's Constitution. The referendum's all regard taxation.

In Accomack County, there will a meal's tax referendum which was initiated by Supervisor Wanda Thornton. If the referendum passes, it will add a 4% tax to the purchase of prepared food from businesses not in incorporated towns. This tax already exists for prepared food purchased in incorporated towns.

Please be sure to take the time and vote today.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Few Words From Beau Oglesby

Having lost an election four years ago by 14 votes, I know better than most that every vote counts. Four years later, I am the deputy state’s attorney in Caroline County, with 13 years of experience as a prosecutor.

The state’s attorney is the critical link between arrest and conviction. Without a conviction there can be no punishment, no deterrence and no rehabilitation. Thus, public safety is compromised.

I am proud to have received the support and endorsement of all three of Worcester County’s Fraternal Orders of Police (Worcester County, Ocean City and Berlin), the Maryland State FOP, Chief Deputy Reggie Mason of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, Wicomico County FOP and Caroline County FOP. These endorsements are from the men and women who know best the importance of a strong and effective state’s attorney. Law enforcement is a team effort and these unanimous endorsements prove the need for immediate change in the State’s Attorney’s Office to increase public safety.

As your state’s attorney, I will execute an office-wide policy of prosecution that ensures individuals will be held accountable for their criminal behavior. All cases will be prosecuted with a hands-on, aggressive approach and in a manner that is firm, fair and consistent.

I appreciate your consideration on Tuesday. Together we will make Worcester County the first place you want to live and the last place you want to commit a crime.

Beau Oglesby
Ocean Pines

Oglesby is a candidate for Worcester County state’s attorney. — Editor

Clarification Some Have Been Waiting For..........

Md. Coast Dispatch
Steve Green, Publisher Editor

In last week’s issue, a story was published on the State’s Attorney campaign between Joel Todd and Beau Oglesby.

A small part of the article touched on a Facebook page titled, “Crime Victims to Re-elect Joel Todd.” In the article, Oglesby questioned the site as a campaign tactic for Todd’s re-election bid and alleges Todd solicited comments from crime victims for political gain. Though Todd denied having anything to do with the page, there were questions raised as to why the newspaper did not print who created the page.

In fact, Lynn Dodenhoff, the mother of Christine Sheddy, who was allegedly murdered in Worcester County, started the social network page, and she adamantly confirmed this week.

Todd had nothing to do with its creation or the information contained on it. She said it was her idea to start the page and she continues to monitor it daily.

We regret any confusion.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Election Bullying?????

Politics in the Worcester County sheriff's race have been ugly.

My opponent, Reggie Mason, with his staff, has for some time been under investigation by the Maryland Attorney General's Office for violating the Hatch Act, passed in 1939 and redefined in 1993.

It states: No one shall engage in any political activity while on duty, in government office, wearing an official uniform or in the use of a government vehicle.

Photos and other evidence have appeared recently on blogs showing my opponent and uniformed deputies campaigning while on duty. Mason refuses to step forward and explain or defend himself.

Instead, he has sent his henchman to attack me personally. They do not attack my policies on crime, of which my opponent has none. Instead, they call me names. I have had more than $600 worth of campaign signs stolen from the northern part of the county in the last two weeks, which is where my opponents and his henchmen live.


To anonymous writers who criticize me and not my stance on issues? You are afraid the "good old boy" way of running things are coming to an end.

To my opponent: You hide behind your henchmen and refuse to tell voters where you stand and what you plan to do for them. Why?

To Worcester County voters: Look at your candidates well; see what they will do -- fight for you or hide from you?

Visit www.bobbybritting and vote on Nov. 2.

Bobby Brittingham

Pocomoke City

'Tax Increase' Supporters Clarified

There seems to be some confusion and frustration by sincere voters, as expressed in The Daily Times recently, relative to who voted for and who voted against tax increases in Annapolis. Perhaps it would be helpful for me to comment.

In the 2007 special session, I voted against all tax increases. However, in the House of Delegates both Jim Mathias and Norm Conway took a different position and voted for HB 2. The bill contained a 25 percent increase in corporate taxes, an income tax increase, a new recording and transfer tax, and a new "combined reporting" tax on Maryland business.

Though I opposed all tax increases, the "combined reporting" tax was especially egregrious because it would damage our Maryland-based poultry companies. In my opinion, we must maintain a strong, viable poulty industry here on the lower Eastern Shore. It is a foundation of our local economy.

I encourage voters to go online to verify the voting record of all candidates. Though we can respectfully disagree as legislators, voters should know how we voted.

To view this information, go to 2007s1/votes/house/0033.htm.

Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus


Stoltzfus will retire from the Maryland Senate, District 38, at the end of his current term in January. --Editor

Political Choice - Cat Or Dog?

John Merline
Opinion Editor

Elections are supposed to be about politics and public policy and big issues. And this election has its share of all that, given the stakes.

But elections are also about people -- the kind of people who want to run for federal office. And we at AOL News wanted to get a better sense of just who these people are.

So rather than asking a bunch of boring policy questions, we invited candidates for the House and Senate to answer 10 mostly fun questions. We got a response rate of about 5 percent. And while the results aren't exactly scientifically valid, they are still pretty interesting. Here's one of them:

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

According to the results, 61 percent of Democrats said they are dog people, while 37 percent of Republicans candidates said they prefer canines.

Meanwhile, 26 percent of GOPers identified themselves as cat people, compared with just 5 percent of Dems. (Keep in mind that these are not scientifically valid survey results.) Which Political Party Is Going To The Dogs?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Delegate Candidates Speak At Forum

BERLIN – During a candidate forum last week, the four District 38B House of Delegates candidates were asked about their collective economic backgrounds in managing budgets, experiences that will likely serve the eventual winners well when they get to Annapolis.

A diverse filed of candidates are vying for two District 38B House of Delegates seats including two Democrats and two Republicans, although the top two vote getters will emerge victorious regardless of party affiliation. With the state’s economy still stalled in a lingering recession, budgets and finances are at the heart of the issue in the upcoming election, and each of the candidates was asked during last week’s forum about his or her economic backgrounds.

“I have a checkbook and I have to balance it every month,” said Republican candidate and Pocomoke Mayor Mike McDermott. “I’m also the chief of police in Snow Hill and have to get by on what you can imagine is a very meager budget, so I understand living inside my means. This is where Maryland has gotten so far off track.”
Democratic challenger and Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said he would draw on his collective life experiences in the private and public sectors if and when it came time to deal with the state’s finances.

“I’ve owned and operated newspapers in the private sector, I’ve worked for the state of Maryland with the State Highway Administration and I now work in the non-profit community,” he said. “In addition, I’m the mayor of a municipality, so my unique experiences have prepared me for this challenge. The one thing I’ve learned is that life is too costly and too complicated for government to be the answer for all things.”

Like Williams, Republican challenger Marty Pusey has a wealth of experience in managing budgets from which to draw from should she be elected. Pusey said reigning in spending is imperative with the state budget continuing to swell.

“In my capacity with the health department, I oversee about 20 different budgets, and I also own my own business, so I have practical experience,” she said. “Maryland is looking at a $2 billion deficit this year that could swell to $8 billion in five years. We need to get our house in order and we need to see pork spending come to a halt.”

As the lone incumbent in the field, Democrat Norm Conway said state lawmakers have worked in earnest to curb spending while maintaining programs for those who need them the most.
“In the General Assembly, we have reduced spending and we have been extremely careful to maintain fiscal prudence and social responsibility,” he said.

The state’s economic recovery is largely dependent on a robust business climate, but Maryland has a growing reputation for becoming increasingly unfriendly to new business with an onerous tax structure and increased regulation. The candidates were asked what they thought could be done to relax the rules in Maryland. Conway said over-regulation and hefty fines were at the heart of the issue.

“I’m aware businesses come in and talk about Maryland’s regulatory process,” he said. “The fines are out of control and unreasonable and we have to work toward modification, but there has to be a process.”

Pusey said over-regulation in Maryland was stifling the state’s economy.

“Every time we pass another regulation, we take away choices,” she said. “There is an obvious place for regulations, but they have to be based on real science. The current assault on poultry and agriculture in general is unreasonable.”

Pusey said state lawmakers need to curb their collective zeal for new regulations.
“For every new law that’s passed, we should have to eliminate two older ones,” she said. “The number of new laws and regulations is out of hand.”

Williams said while the intent of many state regulations is founded in common sense, the focus is often changed in the implementation.

“In many cases, they take a good law but put in place regulations that hurt the towns,” he said.

“When applied to the private sector, the results can be devastating. In most cases, the law is good, but the application is unreasonable.”

McDermott echoed Pusey’s sentiment about over-regulation in Maryland, although his remarks took on a decidedly harsher tone. He pointed out the impacts of increased state regulations on agriculture, for example.

“Over 1,500 bills carried forward in Annapolis,” he said. “That’s an outrage and we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re myopic in Maryland. It’s a one-party system and you’re not getting Eastern Shore values heard in Annapolis. They’re tone deaf to what’s going on down here and if we don’t change this, we’re going to lose a way of life forever. If we don’t stand up for our farmers now, when are we going to do it.”

At the end of the forum, each of the four District 38B candidates was allowed to sum up their bids with a brief closing statement. Williams urged voters to look at his record as mayor of Berlin when heading to the polls in November.

“If you want a better future for the Lower Shore, you need somebody who knows the difference between spending and investing public dollars,” he said. “My record is creating jobs, supporting the environment and creating business relationships.”

For Pusey, the election boils down to satisfaction with the status quo or an opportunity to affect real change in Maryland. She referred to the current tax and spend attitude in the state as an addiction.

“I bring a unique combination of experiences and skills to the table,” she said. “We need a change of attitude. We have an addiction of taxing and spending and we need to change that culture.”

McDermott, for his part, went beyond calling for change in the upcoming election. The Pocomoke mayor said there might never be a greater opportunity to dramatically change the culture in Annapolis then November 2.

“It’s the election of our lifetime,” he said. “The issue tonight is about wholesale change and how this state will survive. Philosophically, we need to change how this state is run. If we don’t make this state more business friendly, we’re going to get bigger government and more taxes.”

McDermott also took the opportunity to call out the district’s current representation in Annapolis, essentially accusing them of paying lip service to conservative Eastern Shore values.

“They get to that bridge with their conservative Eastern Shore values, but they leave them in a bucket on the bridge and pick up their liberal values on the other side,” he said.
For his part, Conway took exception to McDermott’s pigeon-holing the district’s representatives into neat and tidy partisan definitions.

“I don’t consider myself a liberal or a conservative,” he said. “I believe in paying my way with fiscal prudence and social responsibility.”

McDermott called out Conway and fellow District 38B Delegate Jim Mathias for voting for a tax increase package during a special session two years ago. However, while Conway acknowledged voting for the tax hikes, he reminded those attending the forum much of the revenue was dedicated to important projects in the district.

“I voted for those taxes, but only because one half of one penny on the tax rate was dedicated to restoring the Transportation Trust Fund,” he said. “That one half of one penny kept Route 113 going and that same half of one penny will improve Route 589.”
News Editor, Shawn J. Soper