GOP sweep in race for 3 seats on commission Voter turnout higher than expected, say election officials

November 04, 1998|By John Murphy and Brenda J. Buote | John Murphy and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Though there were few controversial issues this election, Carroll County voters turned out in high numbers yesterday to place the county's future in the hands of an all-Republican Board of County Commissioners.

Former two-term commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge of Hampstead captured the most votes, with incumbent Donald I. Dell and Robin Bartlett Frazier trailing her by a slim margin. Gouge won 22 percent of the vote; Dell and Frazier each earned 18 percent.

Yesterday was the second time this decade that the Republicans captured all three seats on the Board of County Commissioners. During the last election, in 1994, Carroll voters elected newcomers W. Benjamin Brown and Richard T. Yates to serve with Dell during his second term.

More than 60 percent of the county's 76,996 registered voters went to the polls. Four years ago, the general election turnout was 66.6 percent. "We had incredible turnout. I've lived there 30 years and never seen such a crowd, even for a presidential election," said Democrat Maxine Carole Wooleyhand, one of the county's seven commissioner candidates.

But the Democrats did not benefit from the large turnout.

Democrats Perry L. Jones, Roger Larry Mann and Wooleyhand all finished with 12 percent or less of the vote. At Johanssons, where many of the party faithful gathered last night, the mood was glum. Several wondered aloud about Carroll's future growth, expressing concern about uncontrolled development.

"You might as well put up a 'For Sale' sign on the county," one Democrat was heard telling another.

Independent candidate Carolyn Fairbank, who collected 3,000 signatures to appear on the ballot, finished fourth with nearly 13 percent of the vote.

Gouge finished first, as she did in the September primary.

"It's really exciting to be the top vote-getter," she said. "The tradition is that the top vote-getter is president, and so many people have said they want me to be president. I would strive as president to bring harmony to the board and to present a united picture to the public."

She also pledged to bring more money into Carroll County by meeting frequently with leaders in Annapolis and Washington.

Dell was relieved by his victory, but blamed "negative press" and his "courage to raise taxes" for not finishing better than third.

"After this administration, I had to endure a lot of negatives, and even though I finished third, I think it was a substantial achievement," he said. "I feel really good that the citizens of Carroll County thought enough of me after two terms to elect me to a third."

Dell said he looked forward to a "harmonious working relationship" with the board."

"I don't forsee disharmony. I think we will work well together," said Frazier.

Planning and development issues could be the primary issues to divide the board. Dell and Frazier support the county's new adequate facilities law, ensuring that the county can absorb 1,000 new residential units a year. Gouge, however, has said she would slow growth if infrastructure cannot keep pace with residential development.

Carroll County

43 of 43 precincts

% * - denotes incumbent

County Commissioner

(three elected)

Perry L. Jones Jr. (D) 14,479

Roger Larry Mann (D) 10,825

Maxine Carole Wooleyhand (D) 9,478

Donald I. Dell* (R) 22,100

Robin Bartlett Frazier (R) 22,249

Julia Walsh Gouge (R) 26,521

Carolyn L. Fairbank (I) 15,411

State's Attorney

.` Jerry F. Barnes* (R) unopposed


Mervin L. Spiwak (D) 7,929

-! Kenneth Tregoning (R) 35,526

Circuit Court Clerk

/# Larry W. Shipley* (R) unopposed

Register Of Wills

John Lockard Barnes (D) 12,632

, Nancy L. Airing* (R) 28,451

Orphans' Court

(three elected)

Elmer C. Lippy Jr. (D) 19,724

Walter T. Haines* (R) 25,357

Herbert J. Resig (R) 21,231

Dorothy V. Utz* (R) 30,030

Board Of Education

(three elected)

Gary W. Bauer* 16,926

Susan Krebs 27,594

Mary D. Oldewurtel 11,997

James E. Reter 13,189

Thomas L. Shaffer 11,567

C. Scott Stone* 19,807

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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