Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

There was plenty of election news to digest this week because a critical filing deadline passed Tuesday night in Maryland. Here are some thoughts on what took place this week and what could unfold over the next several months leading up to the June primary and the November general election.

– In some cases, the races have essentially all but been decided, including in Worcester County Commissioner Districts 1 and 7, where incumbent Merrill Lockfaw has been unopposed and Councilman Joe Mitrecic’s bid to replace Louise Gulyas has not been contested.

Sure there could be some funny business down the line with late filings and central committee nominations, but the fact is Lockfaw is primed for a second term and Mitrecic will be moving to Snow Hill as a commissioner.

Nonetheless, both report they are planning to campaign for their seats in the months ahead.

– It was interesting to hear that Mitrecic’s intentions to resign his council seat prior to this fall’s general election whether he was opposed or not.

If he was opposed in the commissioner race and lost, he would have been out of public office altogether. That doesn’t matter now because chances are he will remain unopposed through election season, and it’s a good thing he will give up his seat prior to the municipal election because it will save the town the expense of a special vote in early 2015.

Mitrecic’s vacancy on the Ocean City Mayor and Council election this fall means the majority power of four will be back up for grabs with the terms of Council members Brent Ashley, Lloyd Martin and Margaret Pillas all up for re-election.

– The fact only four candidates are vying for the open Ocean Pines seat on the Worcester County Commission is shocking to me. As robust and politically active as this district is known to be, I figured there would be as many as 10 candidates seeking Judy Boggs’ seat.

As it stands, there are three Republicans and a Democrat, and each candidate was impressive this week in our profile of the district election.

– When the Worcester County Board of Education became an elected office, the hope from supporters was it would attract a diverse set of candidates to seek the seats, rather than just allowing the governor to handpick designees. That has never truly materialized, but this year’s election appears to be changing that trend.

Although there are other contested races, let’s take District 4 as an example. With the incumbent not seeking re-election, six candidates have filed for the seat. Over in Ocean City, two challengers are looking to upend incumbent and current Board President Bob Rothermel. The Board of Education elections are non-partisan by the way so the seats will be decided in November.

– Wicomico’s chief law enforcement team seemed to get a major vote of confidence this week. State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello and Sheriff Mike Lewis will be unopposed and can now essentially remain focused on the work at hand, rather than concentrating on keeping their jobs.

My last conversation with George Feehley took place last summer regarding the then-ongoing parking meter petition effort. The former three-term Ocean City councilman reached out to opine about an issue about once year or so. Sometimes, he was critical of current events, other times supportive. Either way, his viewpoint was typically welcomed because it was known it came from a good place.

Sometimes his views were obscure, such as the gondola lift idea from West Ocean City to Ocean City that he pitched during his last council campaign, but more often than not his ideas deserved consideration. Last summer’s conversation was a tad on the critical side of this publication because he said we were letting the parking meter petitioners off the hook by not demanding they come up with a revenue plan to replace the dollars that would be lost if the petition driver was successful and the new meters were removed. He wondered whether they wanted us to become like New Jersey and start charging to use the beach. He said the money had to come from somewhere.

It was a legitimate point, but that was not surprising. He usually had good points to make.