Merrill Lockfaw Jr., a Republican, won his primary against three other contenders while Jimmy Schoolfield, a Democrat, advanced to the general election unopposed.
The seat represents Pocomoke City and surrounding areas. It is currently held by Bobby Cowger, who did not seek re-election.Both Lockfaw and Schoolfield have served in the armed forces. Lockfaw spent four years in the Air Force, while Schoolfield spent six years in the Army.
Lockfaw worked for Worcester County government as a road superintendent for 19 years, retiring in June.
"I thought with my business experience as well as working with large budgets and county government would make me a good candidate," said Lockfaw.
Schoolfield has been a minister at Georgetown Baptist Church in Pocomoke for the past 14 years, in addition to being vice president of the NAACP for Worcester County. He resigned his NAACP role when he decided to run for the County Commission seat.His life path wasn't a smooth one. In the early 1990s, between the ages of 29 and 32, Schoolfield was charged with 12 separate crimes in Maryland courts, including assault, theft and malicious destruction of property.
"A lot of those extended from when I was out in the world drinking," said Schoolfield. "I watched what alcohol and drugs did to me, and that has given me a lot of things I can talk with youth about.
"I can say from experience there are other things we can do besides hanging on the street and drink."
He has not been charged with a crime since 1995, although he does have three active cases in the civil court system, including one in which his wages were ordered to be garnished by $13,622. Schoolfield said he and his wife took out a loan to start a fashion store, before she had to undergo heart surgery. As a result, they closed the store and incurred the debt.
He was also taken to court for a $632 bill owed to Sharp Energy, which he says was an outstanding energy bill for his daughter's house that she was unable to pay.
If elected, Lockfaw says he wants to be able to provide citizens with the services they need, such as police officers and firefighters.
"While protecting ourselves, we can't over-regulate ourselves to the point it would drive businesses away," said Lockfaw.
Schoolfield says he wants to focus on ways to improve the housing situation, build the community and reach out to youth.
"I want to be a force for the lower district," says Schoolfield. "I would like to work with the youth and on education issues. Crime is also an important issue, especially in downtown Pocomoke."
When asked about legislation requiring all homes built after Jan. 1 to contain residential sprinkler systems, both men said they would like to tweak the law as it would apply to Worcester.
Lockfaw says he opposes mandating them, while Schoolfield would be satisfied with an amendment restricting the requirement to homes on a municipal water supply.