OCEAN CITY — With Councilman Wayne Hartman’s solid victory in the House 38C election on Tuesday, there will be at least one new face on the Ocean City council after the election in November, as the two incumbents whose seats are also up this year have already committed to returning.
Hartman won the state House 38C seat on Tuesday in the Republican primary when no Democratic challengers filed for the seat currently occupied by Delegate Mary Beth Carozza. The Republican Carozza will challenge incumbent State Senator Jim Mathias in the general election in November for the District 38 senate seat.
Hartman’s victory on Tuesday assured there will be at least one new member on the Ocean City Council following the general election in November. Hartman was one of three sitting Ocean City councilmen whose seats are up for re-election in November, along with Council President Lloyd Martin and Councilman Matt James.
James has already filed for re-election and Martin confirmed on Tuesday he was planning to file for re-election. Martin said it has been his intention all along to file for re-election, but that he was waiting for the state primary elections to play out before filing. He said he would likely file this week or soon after.
With James and Martin to seek re-election, at least two incumbents will be on the ballot for the municipal election in November. Hartman will remain on the council until after the general election in November, at which time he will become the new delegate for District 38C.
It remains to be seen who will emerge to vie for Hartman’s soon-to-be vacated council seat or to challenge incumbents Martin and James. City clerk Diana Chavis this week confirmed only James has filed for re-election thus far.
Ocean City staggers its municipal elections with four seats up at one time and three seats up in another cycle in the interest of continuity and preventing a complete turnover in a single election year.
In 2016, incumbents Council Secretary Mark Knight and Councilmen Dennis Dare and Tony DeLuca were re-elected to four-year terms and will continue to serve until at least 2020. In addition, newcomer John Gehrig was elected and was actually the top vote-getter in 2016 and will also serve until 2020.