Talbot Election Results — Updated

In updated election results from the Nov. 6 General Election for Talbot County, four Republicans and one Democrat appear to have been elected to the Talbot County Council. As of the close of voting on Election Day, Laura Everngam Price, Pete Lesher, Corey W. Pack, Chuck Callahan, and Frank Divilio are the winners. Results will not be final until absentee and provisional votes are counted over the next two weeks. Divilio has a lead of 257 votes over Democrat Keasha N. Haythe.

In the District 1 Congressional race, Democrat Jesse Colvin took the Talbot County vote by nearly 500 votes over incumbent Republican Andy Harris. However, district-wide, Harris won re-election handily, scoring 60 percent of the votes cast as of the close of polls Tuesday.

Incumbents also won in the General Assembly races for District 37B, with State Senator Adelaide “Addie” Eckhart gaining 61% of the votes in Talbot and more than 60% district-wide. Delegates Johnny Mautz of Talbot and Christopher Adams of Wicomico, both Republicans, were also re-elected by comfortable margins.

In statewide races, Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, Attorney General Brian Frosh, and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin were returned to office with substantial margins. However, in Talbot, Frosh trailed Republican Craig Wolf, 8,763 to 7,949. Two amendments to the Maryland State Constitution — one to restrict the use of funds raised by commercial gambling to educational purposes, and the second to allow residents to register and vote on Election Day — were approved by statewide voters.

The state Board of Elections did not release any results until after 10 p.m. Tuesday, due to polls in some parts of the state remaining open to accommodate voters still in line as of the 8 p.m. closing time.

For a complete list of Talbot County election results, see the Maryland Board of Elections website.



Vote Count in Talbot County 



Talbot County Council



Maryland Voters to Decide on Two Statewide Ballot Questions

Commercial gaming and voter registration may not be hot topics in the Maryland gubernatorial election, but voters will have a say in their future.

Across the state, voters will have the opportunity to decide on two ballot questions — both amendments to the Maryland Constitution — in the general election.

One amendment would require the governor to budget commercial gaming revenues for supplemental public education funding, and the other would allow same-day voter registration on Election Day.

The first question specifies that, starting in 2020, the education funding from gaming revenues must be supplemental, and cannot be used as a substitute for other schools funding that is already required by law.

If the constitutional amendment is approved, the governor must allocate at least $125 million in fiscal year 2020, $250 million in fiscal year 2021, and $375 million in fiscal year 2022.

The amendment states that the governor identify where the supplemental funding be used within certain parameters, including early childhood education programs, career and technical education programs and school construction and renovations.

The second question would amend the state constitution to allow qualified individuals to register and vote on the same day.

Current law allows same-day registration and voting during the early voting period, the second Thursday before the election through the Thursday before the election. This amendment would expand that to include Election Day, according to the Board of Elections.

Ballot questions have a history of being passed in Maryland. According to the Board of Elections, about 90 percent of ballot questions have been approved since the turn of the century, with an average of about three questions per ballot in midterm years.

Maryland’s local jurisdictions can also proffer their own local ballot questions.

A Conversation with Spy Columnist David Montgomery and 1st District Candidate Andy Harris

More than a few Spy readers thought it was a bit odd last week to have David Montgomery, our most politically conservative columnist, interview Democrat Jesse Colvin, who is running against Congressman Andy Harris this November. And yet many ultimately found this format a refreshing change from the more typical and sound bite-driven public forums or mainstream media interviews.

We took that as encouragement to continue our somewhat counter-intuitive approach by having David also interview Dr. Harris as well. And while it is true that their worldviews may be more aligned than with Jesse Colvin’s, Spy readers may find it surprising that Montgomery and Harris are not in agreement on many issues, including immigration and economic tariffs. Indeed, David has withheld his endorsement until he completed these interviews with both. He plans to share his final decision this week in his regular Spy column.

Once again, we are grateful to the Avalon Foundation’s MCTV for their help in producing this Spy conversation.

This video is approximately one hour in length 

LWV Candidate Forum for Maryland General Assembly October 25

Candidates to the Maryland General Assembly from Districts 37 and 37B will be on stage at a League of Women Voters forum on Thursday, October 25, at the Senior Center on 400 Brookletts Avenue in Easton. The forum will begin at 6:30 and all five candidates will be there.

The election to both the House of Delegates and Senate is contested with a Democratic candidate running against the incumbent Republicans. The forum participants will be current Senator Adelaide Eckardt challenged by Holly Wright, and Dan O’Hare contesting incumbent Delegates Johnny Mautz and Chris Adams. In the House race, two are elected to the House of Delegates, but must be from different counties. All League of Women Voter forums are nonpartisan and educational in intent .

District 37 is one of Maryland’s 47 senate districts, each represented by a single seat. The district contains Dorchester County, part of Caroline County, part of Talbot County and part of Wicomico County.

There are also 47 House of Delegates districts, each represented by three delegates. While most serve at large, 37 has subdistricts 37A and 37B which divide up the three legislators.

The League of Women Voters of the Midshore, which likes to say it is working to make democracy work, plans election forums so that voters can make informed choices when they vote. “It’s a happy symbolism that we are doing this on the first day of early voting so that both the necessity to vote and to come to the voting booth prepared with knowledge of the candidates can be highlighted,” said Hilary Gibson, Voter Service chairman for the three-county League. She said the League has questions to ask the candidates on issues that particularly concern their members, but hopes a large audience will attend and submit questions of its own.

The forum begins at 6:30 and will feature both houses of the legislature in separate segments.

Richard Kimball Demonstrates Online Tools to Help Inform Voters

Project Vote Smart’s FACTS MATTER TOUR is coming on Saturday, October 20th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. to the Talbot County Free Library at 100 W. Dover St. in Easton.  There’s no need for confusion or failing to vote for lack of information anymore. Just in time for Maryland’s gubernatorial election, Project Vote Smart has included Easton, Maryland as one of only two stops in Maryland during its 50-state tour.

Richard Kimball, co-founder of the non-partisan Project Vote Smart, will demonstrate how to easily access the information you need to decide who deserves your vote, such as candidate biographies, their positions on key issues, where their money comes from, and who has endorsed them.

Vote Smart is dedicated to providing accurate, abundant, and relevant information on candidates, incumbents, and issues at no charge, while upholding the highest standards of accuracy, balance, and integrity of any information source of its kind.

Jeanne Halpin of the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Shore and Cristi Demowicz of Represent Maryland will also talk about preparing voters to be well-informed.

This non-partisan event is free,and participants will receive voter’s guides, online tools, and apps. This event is highly recommended for new and experienced voters of every affiliation.

For More Information Contact: Grace Soltis, grace4tr@outlook.com, (443) 385-0538

Bipartisan Coalition Formed to Play Role in Talbot County Council Election

Four different community groups in Talbot County, from different areas and focused on different issues, have joined to form a bipartisan political movement committed to electing new leadership to the Talbot County Council this year. Dan Watson, Chair of the organization, explained that “The goal of our Bipartisan Coalition is good government and its sole and immediate objective is to vote out of office Jennifer Williams, the Council President and leader. The campaign has begun.”

Though this effort has just been announced, the Coalition is already publicly endorsed by a large number of prominent individuals of both parties (and independents), all deeply concerned about Ms. William’s harmful leadership on certain actions adverse to citizens’ welfare and the County’s long-term future. Judge John C. North II, the Honorary Chair, said, “The Coalition’s campaign will present fully the background and hard evidence that supports our effort to unseat the current leader of the Council. We will express our viewpoints in a civil and respectful manner.”

Issues which have riled many citizens, including members of the four founding organizations, include failure reasonably to regulate short term vacation rentals and attitudes towards sewers, zoning, and land use, where Ms. Williams has demonstrated actual enmity to the citizens’ long-standing vision that guides planning in Talbot: “a high quality of life…and rural character. Other important issues during Ms. Williams’ tenure involved development density in historic villages and the Councils’ approval of a sharp increase in permitted noise levels, which at one point the Council considered doubling.

Time and again only concerted action by engaged citizens and community groups has staved off the worst proposals. But relying on citizens continuously to play defense is no way to run a local government. The Coalition and its supporters are intent on unseating the Council President in order to open the door for voters to elect new leadership genuinely committed to the wellbeing of Talbot’s residents and their aspirations for Talbot County in the future.

The Bipartisan Coalition For New Council Leadership PAC, is an alliance of these independent groups: Neighborhoods Are For Neighbors, whose focus is on problems caused by the failure to regulate the exploding short term vacation rental (“STR”) industry in Talbot; Citizens For Sustainable Communities, concerned about the impact of excessive noise in the County; Talbot Preservation Alliance, an established entity that for 20 years that has worked to keep Council’s land use decisions true to citizens’ intentions; and Citizens For Managed Growth, a group focusing on historic villages. It was formed in 2015 when Royal Oak was threatened with the specter of a 100-acre farm being legally divided into quarter acre lots.

More information can be found at CountyOverParty.org


The League of Women Voters Host Forum for Congressional District One Candidates

On Sunday October 21 candidates for United States House of Representatives, (MD District 1),  Andy Harris (Republican), Jesse Colvin (Democrat), and Jenica Martin (Libertarian) will participate in what may be the only scheduled forum for this race. It will be held at the Talbot County Free Library at 100 W. Dover St., Easton, at 2:00 p.m.

Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer questions they have received in advance from the League of Women Voters. Audience members may submit questions to be answered by the candidates, and each candidate will also present closing remarks.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to promoting informed and active participation in government; it does not support or oppose any candidates for office or political parties.  In accordance with the League’s 501-c-3 status and Federal election laws, no demonstrations will be allowed in the event venue. No clothing or signs indicating support for or against a candidate will be permitted. Forums may not be recorded or filmed, unless with written agreement from the League of Women Voters.

For more information please contact: Nancy Smith at nismith@verizon.net.

State Senate Candidate Holly Wright Visits DELMARVA Community Services

Holly Wright, State Senate Democratic candidate for Maryland’s District 37, visited DELMARVA Community Services (DCS) in Cambridge Tuesday, Sept. 4, to meet with staff and learn about the services they provide to residents of the district.

Wright, after a career in public health at the state and regional level, will face incumbent State Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-Md.-37th, in November’s general election.

Wright began her visit at the Senior Center and spoke with Mary Handley, Terri Cornish and Arlene Moaney who help provide programming and services to approximately 50 older persons attending during days of operation.  Larry Roberts supervises a kitchen that prepares 300 meals for homebound seniors and others in three counties.

She spoke with individuals in the transportation/dispatching center where several different transportation services for the general public, veterans, medical assistance recipients and others are coordinated.

At the agency’s Delmarva Works location at 1000 Goodwill Avenue she observed an employment assistance meeting and spoke with staff who coordinate the employment development training programs for approximately 12 individuals.  Within the same building she spoke with Brenda Blades with the Community Action program about the community food pantry and transitional housing operated by DCS.

The final stop was at one of the 30 group homes operated by DCS in Maryland and Delaware.  These group homes are the residences of individuals with developmental disabilities and provide staff and supports to assist these individuals to live independently in the community.

After the tour of just some of the many DCS locations, Wright had an opportunity to speak with Santo A. Grande, the organization’s founder and visionary who has guided the agency’s remarkable growth to this day, employing 320 people and serving thousands.   The latest project is Chesapeake Grove Intergenerational Center which will provide several services under one roof and opportunities for seniors and children as well as individuals with disabilities to experience together.  The project when completed will provide 50 jobs.

“What a tremendous tribute to the people who work here and the remarkable leadership of Santo Grande.  DCS and Santo are truly a treasure on the Mid Shore.”

Delmarva Community Services, Inc., formerly the Dorchester Development Unit, was established in May 1974.   Since its founding, there has been continued growth in day, residential, transportation and vocational services across the Mid Shore including senior centers and delivered meals, thirty group homes, adult medical day care, supported employment at Delmarva Works and coordinated transportation throughout the region.  Delmarva Community Services welcomes visits with anyone from the community interested in learning about community needs, services and innovative ways to address and provide them.

Talbot County Council Forum October 5

A quiet and peaceful spot on the banks of the Tred Avon river will be in the mainstream of current local politics when the Londonderry retirement community hosts a forum for candidates to the Talbot County Council on Friday, October 5, at 3:00 pm.

It has invited all candidates to a new Club House to tell of their plans for the future direction of the county, and the public to come and hear them. The League of Women Voters of the MidShore will be on hand to moderate the forum. By League policy, forums it conducts are nonpartisan and serve as an important part of its mission to inform and empower voters – of making democracy work as the League likes to say.

For this event Londonderry on the Tred Avon will use its new Club House just opened at 700 Port Street in Easton. Those who drive may go to straight up to the Community Center to park and be directed by a short walk to the Club House. For further information call 515-229-0180.

Andy Harris Announces Justice Department Grant to Combat Sex Offenders in Maryland

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a grant to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in Baltimore, MD for $231,202 to support programs under the national sex offender registration system, called the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Sex offender registration is a system for monitoring and tracking sex offenders following their release into the community. The registration provides important information about convicted sex offenders to local and federal authorities and the public, such as offender’s name, current location and past offenses.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services will use the grant to hire staff and purchase equipment.

Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) made the following statement regarding the grant award:

“As a member of the Committee on Appropriations, I am pleased to announce this Justice Department grant to combat sex offenders in Maryland. We need to provide law enforcement with the resources to keep our families and communities safe from convicted sex offenders. I am proud to help local law enforcement provide information to families in Maryland that will help keep children safe.”

For press inquiries, please contact Congressman Harris’ Washington, DC office at 202-225-5311, or contact Julia Nista at Julia.Nista@mail.house.gov.

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