Eight Candidates Seeking Four Open Fenwick Council Seats

FENWICK ISLAND – Eight candidates are seeking four seats on the Fenwick Island Town Council this year.

On Wednesday, the Fenwick Island Town Council held a special meeting to accept the names of eight candidates who will vie for four council seats currently held by Gene Langan, Richard Mais, Mike Houser and Bill Weistling.

In addition to the four incumbents, candidates for this year’s election include Janice Bortner, Paul Breger, Jacque Napolitano and Natalie Magdeburger, daughter of Councilwoman Vicki Carmean. Board of Elections Inspector Audrey Serio noted the committee certified the list of candidates preceding this week’s council meeting.

“There will obviously be an election held,” she said.

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This will be the first election the town has held in two years. In 2019, Langan, Mais, Houser and Weistling were the top four vote-getters among six candidates. Last year, however, the town was forced to cancel its election as the three incumbents were the only applicants.

Serio told officials this week seven of the eight candidates are residents of Fenwick Island. Bortner, she noted, is a non-resident property owner.

Weistling, who served four terms on the council between 2006 and 2016, is seeking a sixth term on the council after returning to the dais in 2019. And Langan, who’s served six consecutive times since 2009, is seeking his seventh term. Mais, who was first elected in 2015, is seeking a fourth term, while Houser is seeking his second consecutive term.

The four newcomers in this year’s election have been viewed as watchdogs for elected officials in recent years and have been vocal in their opposition to certain town matters, including the construction of an outdoor bar at the Fenwick Shores hotel and the development of an offshore wind interconnection facility at Fenwick Island State Park.

The annual town election has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 7. Absentee balloting will also be available by filing an affidavit with the town. An outdoor absentee ballot box will be stationed at the Fenwick Island Police Department.

“This would just be for absentee ballots, but it would be strictly for the town of Fenwick Island and no other purposes …,” Town Manager Terry Tieman said last month. “They’re meant for our election.”

The four candidates that are elected to serve on the town council this year will hold a two-year term that expires in 2023.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.