OC Council Field Increases To Four With Deadline Near

OCEAN CITY — With the filing deadline looming next week, the field of candidates for Ocean City’s municipal election in November became clearer this week with a couple of familiar names added to the mix.

Up for election during the Nov. 6 municipal election are the mayor’s seat and three Ocean City Council seats currently occupied by Council President Lloyd Martin and Councilmen Matt James and Wayne Hartman. Hartman in June won the Republican primary for the state House of Delegates District 38-C seat, essentially assuring his election to the state legislature and also insuring there will be at least one new member on the council following the November election.

James filed early for re-election and Martin formally filed for re-election on Thursday morning. Long-time Ocean City Police Department Sgt. Mark Paddack has made his intentions to file for one of the three council seats known, but under law cannot formally file until his official retirement from the police department, which is expected next month.

On Monday, Ocean City resident Christopher Rudolf officially filed for one of the three council seats, bringing the total number of expected candidates to four. Rudolf ran for council in 2014 when four seats were open and missed a seat by 211 votes.

In that election, James was the top vote-getter with 1,666 votes, followed by Hartman with 1,384, Martin with 1,342 and Councilman Tony DeLuca with 1,287. Rudolf finished with 1,075 votes. DeLuca was elected to a two-year term to fill the vacancy created when sitting Councilman Joe Mitrecic was elected to the Worcester County Commissioners.

DeLuca won a full four-year term in 2016. With Rudolf’s narrow loss in 2014, he decided to make another run at the council and formally filed for election on Monday.

“I’m throwing my hat into the ring again for the Ocean City Council,” he said. “I lost in the 2014 election by 211 votes. I’m hoping that the second time will be the charm.”

Rudolf is no stranger to state politics, having served in a non-elected capacity for nearly a decade.

“I now have nine years of Maryland state legislative experience as a staff person for the Senate Minority Caucus,” he said. “I’m hopeful the people of Ocean City will give me the opportunity to put that good political experience to good use for the greater good of the town and its future.”

As far as the Mayor’s seat goes, incumbent Rick Meehan has not formally filed for re-election as of Thursday, but that appears to be a foregone conclusion. Local resident Joe Cryer has filed to challenge for the mayor’s seat after a coupe of unsuccessful runs for council in the past.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.