BERLIN – After much counting and re-counting, rattling of sabers and gnashing of teeth, followed by a decided calm, the state and local election results from earlier this month were officially finalized this week.
The results did not change when the final vote counts for the numerous state and local offices were officially put in the books on Monday, bringing closure to what was decidedly a tumultuous campaign season. The following is a race-by-race look at the final results:
Maryland Governor: Incumbent Democrat Martin O’Malley cruised to re-election, collecting 56 percent of the vote statewide compared to 42 percent for Republican challenger and former Governor Robert Ehrlich. In Worcester, however, it was Ehrlich gaining 58 percent of the county’s vote, compared to 40 percent for the incumbent.
U.S. Senator for Maryland: Barbara Mikulski retained her long-held seat in the U.S. Senate, collecting 62 percent of the statewide vote compared to 36 percent for Republican challenger Eric Wargotz. Again, Worcester broke ranks for a Republican with 50 percent of the county’s electorate voting for Wargotz compared to 48 percent for Mikulski.
U.S. Congress-1st District: Maryland voters ousted one-term Congressman Frank Kratovil, sending Republican Andy Harris to Washington by a margin of 54 percent to 42 percent. In Worcester, the percentages almost mirrored the state totals.
State Senate-District 38: Democrat James Mathias emerged victorious over Republican challenger Michael James by a mere 640 votes when the last of the absentee ballots and provisionals were counted. Mathias led James by 146 votes when the polls closed on Nov. 2, but steadily widened the gap as the absentee ballots were counted. Essentially, Mathias won the race in Worcester, where he collected 1,052 more votes than James. James carried the other two counties that make up the Lower Shore district.
House of Delegates-District 38B: Long-time Democrat Norm Conway garnered the highest vote total with 16.248, or roughly 29 percent. Republican Mike McDermott finished in a close second with 15,297 votes, or 27 percent, and will join Conway in Annapolis. Marty Pusey made a strong showing with 13,794 votes, or 24 percent, while Berlin Mayor Gee Williams came in at 10,459, or 19 percent.
County Commissioner-District 1: Merrill Lockfaw won the seat vacated by the retiring Bob Cowger, collecting 1,464 votes, or 63 percent. Jimmy Schoolfield finished second with 867 votes, or 37 percent.
County Commissioner-District 4: Incumbent Democrat Virgil Shockley regained his long-held seat in one of the closest County Commissioner races in memory. Shockley earned 1,278 votes after the absentees were counted, compared to 1,188 votes for Elder, for a difference of just 90 votes.
County Commissioner-District 5: Incumbent Republican Judy Boggs cruised past Democratic challenger John Bodnar with 2,371 votes, or 63 percent, compared to 1,389 votes for the challenger, or 37 percent.
County Commissioner-District 7: Republican Louise Gulyas routed familiar challenger Ellie Diegelmann, collecting 2,195 votes, or 70 percent.
Worcester County States Attorney: Republican Beau Oglesby unseated the long-time incumbent Joel Todd by 93 votes after the final absentee and provisional ballots were counted. For the second time in two elections, the state’s attorney race between the familiar foes was decided weeks after the general election.