No surprise for sheriff Tregoning trounces Spiwak

Barnes wins unopposed

November 04, 1998|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll voters elected a new sheriff and gave the incumbent state's attorney a vote of confidence yesterday.

Kenneth L. Tregoning carried more than 80 percent of the vote, easily overcoming a weak challenge from Democrat Mervin L. Spiwak.

"I am deeply grateful to the voters of Carroll County for their overwhelming vote of confidence," Tregoning said at Republican headquarters last night. "I'm going to enjoy this party for a half-hour and then go home. I'm going to tear signs down tomorrow."

Republican Jerry F. Barnes ran unopposed for his second term as Carroll County state's attorney, garnering 98 percent of the vote.

About 500 write-ins were cast for state's attorney.

The nearly 1,700 absentee ballots might figure in other county races, but Tregoning's lead is so large that those ballots will have no impact on the sheriff's race.

It has been a winning season for Tregoning, a 54-year-old state police lieutenant from Union Bridge.

He defeated two-term incumbent John Brown in the Republican primary by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in September.

Brown threw his support to Tregoning, promising to cooperate and assist in the transition.

"I expect a smooth transition," said Tregoning, who will be sworn into office Dec. 7.

Tregoning said he continued to campaign hard after his victory in the Republican primary, but remained "very comfortable about my chances."

The real battle for the sheriff's office took place in the primary, which was a replay of the 1994 election, when Tregoning, then a registered Democrat, lost to Brown.

Beat Brown in primary

Tregoning, a longtime county resident, switched parties two years ago and began a vigorous campaign to unseat Brown. He won the primary by more than 4,000 votes.

Brown lost in all but one of Carroll's 43 precincts. His only victory, in Hampstead, was by a single vote.

Spiwak, 59, who moved to Westminster about a year ago, ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and received more than 5,000 votes.

But except for the bumper sticker on his wife's station wagon, Spiwak didn't run a campaign or spend any money, he said.

He did pass out a few leaflets at major shopping centers last weekend, he said.

Spiwak said he realized that he was at a disadvantage in Carroll, where Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly 8,600. When Tregoning ran as a Democrat in 1994, he lost to Brown by 2,300 votes.

Plenty of experience

Both Tregoning and Spiwak have long years of experience in law enforcement.

Tregoning commands the Frederick barracks and formerly led the Westminster barracks. He is expected to announce his retirement from the state police.

Spiwak retired with the rank of major from the Baltimore City Police Department.

During their campaigns, both candidates said that they would take a brief period to evaluate staff, operations and budget before making changes.

Both favored an immediate inventory, an audit and an evaluation of the detention center expansion under construction.

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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