Church Re-Elected As No New Faces Join Field

SNOW HILL – Incumbent
Worcester County Commissioner Bud Church will keep his seat in county
government after the Democratic Central Committee could not find a candidate to
oppose him in the general election.

Church said he called
the local elections office on Wednesday just before the central committee
nomination period closed to learn if he would continue to run unopposed for his
District 3 commissioner post.

“It feels pretty good,”
Church said the day after the central committee nomination period closed. “I’m
pretty happy at this point.”

The only challenge to
Church would have to come through a write-in campaign, a method that is rarely
successful and tremendously onerous.

Church said he would not
miss campaigning door to door in the August heat.

“Campaigning is a chore,
but I enjoy knocking on doors and talking to folks,” Church said.

Church said he would
attend and speak at most of the candidate forums, although not needing to
campaign might allow him to take a vacation at some point. He also had some
words for candidates who must contest for their district’s commissioner seat.

“I want to wish all of
the other candidates the best of luck. I think there’s going to be some very
close, tight races,” Church said. “I’m going to encourage them especially to
run a positive campaign. People don’t like negative campaigning. There’s enough
of that in the world today.”

The race for Worcester
County Commissioner seats also stands unchanged in Districts 2 and 6 after
local political party central committees failed to turn up candidates for races
in which that party was not already represented.

The Democratic and
Republican Central Committees had two weeks after the main filing deadline on
July 6 to find and nominate candidates in one-sided local political races.

Candidates face two
primary races in the single-party districts.

District 2 will see a
Democratic primary between incumbent Commissioner Jim Purnell and challenger Ed

In District 6, incumbent
Commissioner Linda Busick will face challenger Madison “Jim” Bunting, Jr. in
the Republican primary. 

Three of the seven
County Commissioner seats will be decided by mid-September, after the primary

Neither central
committee could find much interest in the single-party races after the regular
filing deadline.

“Candidates pick the
races they feel are winnable,” said Chuck Herbert, chair of the Worcester
County Democratic Central Committee (DCC). “We had an opportunity to do one of
these but the time window closed.”

The District 2 race has
traditionally been a Democratic race, Republican Central Committee (RCC) Chair
Lee McClaflin said. Although incumbent Purnell has been challenged by a
Republican previously, the contest was not close. After going through the
Republican voter registration list of the District 2, the RCC could not find
anyone who wanted to run.

A write-in campaign in
one of the Republican-only races is not impossible, Herbert said.

The District 6 race
could have been a good opportunity for a Democratic candidate, the DCC felt.

“I think we would have
had a good chance given the record of the incumbent and I think the lack of
name recognition in Ocean Pines of the challenger,” Herbert said.

Both Herbert and
McClaflin noted that voters at the local level tend to vote for the person
running, not for the party.

“It really boils down a
lot more to the individual than the party line,” McClaflin said.