Election Fields Unchanged As Deadline Looms

BERLIN – Time is
slipping away for local political parties to find candidates to run in races
where they do not already have a candidate.

The District 2 County
Commissioner race lacks a Republican candidate, while Districts 3 and 6 lack
Democratic candidates.

By law, the political
party central committees are allowed to nominate a contender from their party
if the party is not otherwise represented in a race when the candidacy filing
deadline comes down.

Worcester County’s
Republican Central Committee (RCC) has had no luck in scaring up a candidate to
run against the Democratic primary winner in District 2, the minority majority
district. Incumbent Democrat Commissioner Jim Purnell will face former-NAACP
Chair Ed Lee in the primary in September. As it stands, whoever wins the
primary would have no Republican opponent in the November general election.

“If we had a viable
candidate, we would certainly try to,” said Lee McClaflin, the new chair of the
RCC. “We just haven’t come up with anyone yet.”

A few candidates who are
registered Republicans have been considered, McClaflin said, but were not found
to have the proper Republican viewpoint.

“If you put a candidate
up, you want it to be a viable candidate, someone who has the values a
Republican has,” he said. “We have until the 21st to get them on the
ballot…we’re still looking.”

The Democratic Central
Committee (DCC) is in the same boat.

“We don’t have anyone
right now that we are prepared to appoint to run. We’re still working on it,”
said Lanny Hickman of the DCC.

The DCC has reached out
through local clubs, its volunteer network and Democratic supporters seeking
potential candidates for District 3 and District 6.

“We’re working hard at
it but it’s very difficult,” Hickman said. “We’re disappointed we don’t have
somebody standing up ready to go in those districts.”