Thoughts Form The Publisher’s Desk – October 27, 2017

Every year the Hometown Heroes program on the Boardwalk grows and gets better. What made this year’s program so unique was two-fold; one, it doubled to 40 honorees and included World War II and Korean War veterans, and second, eight of the individuals died over the course of the summer as their banners hung in Ocean City.

“Of those 40 honorees, eight have passed away since May 4 when the banners were dedicated and displayed,” said Ocean City Elks Lodge Veterans Committee member Pat Riordan. “That shows just how important it is to honor these heroes while they are still with us.”

Riordan is right and I personally look forward to seeing the new banners each year on the Boardwalk. It’s one of the best ideas to come to Ocean City in recent years and the Elks Lodge and Riordan deserve a mountain of credit for bringing the idea to the city. It’s a feel good program that recognizes and shows appreciation to those who serve our country. In addition, I think it adds a nice aesthetic to the Boardwalk.

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Some political games seemed to be at play this week in Worcester County.

On the same day a candidate – Wicomico County prosecutor Kristin Heiser — emerged as a challenger to him in next year’s election, Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby posted a message on his Facebook page stating his intentions to seek re-election next year if he’s not chosen as a Worcester County Circuit Court judge.

It’s close to a certainty in my view that Oglesby, a Republican, will be chosen by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to fill one of the two Worcester County Circuit Court judicial openings. Since Oglesby, of course, can’t say that like I can, he presented this week what his plan is if he’s named a judge and if he’s not. In short, if he is not picked by the governor, he will run for a third term as State’s Attorney, meaning he will be challenged by Heiser, also a Republican and worked for him briefly in 2011, in the June primary. If he is selected as a judge, he will give up his current job and endorse Deputy State’s Attorney William McDermott, who has been his proverbial right hand during his time in Snow Hill.

“Should I be blessed enough to find myself on the Circuit Court bench, Mr. McDermott will seek to earn your vote as my successor. He has my complete support and confidence in his ability to continue the exceptional work of this office,” Oglesby said.

A key date to remember in all this is the Feb. 27 filing deadline for next year’s election. The primary is set for June and the general vote will be held in November. It would benefit everyone in the election process to have these judicial appointments made well before that filing deadline so potential candidates can make their decisions. The governor has surely been made aware of the importance of making his choices well ahead of that date.

Based on recent judicial appointments, it seems the timeline from short list – where Worcester County’s process stands now with five finalists – to a selection is about three months. That would mean a decision should be expected no later than late January, a good month before the filing deadline.

Whether this was a veiled shot at Oglesby, her former boss, is unknown, but Heiser made it clear this week she has some new ideas for the State’s Attorney’s Office if elected.

“Throughout my career I have been privileged to defend those who cannot defend themselves, and I will make sure that the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s office stays committed to that high purpose,” she said. “I will specially assign an experienced prosecutor to handle all cases in which our elderly or special needs neighbors have been taken advantage of or abused.”

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.