Zimmer ousts Jones for nod

Primary votes tallied

commissioners say they won't back him

Maryland Votes 2006

September 24, 2006|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter

The Carroll County Board of Elections has finished counting 100 percent of the votes cast in the primary election - including about 1,550 absentee and provisional ballots - and all the preliminary primary results stand, according to the board's director.

That means Michael D. Zimmer, a Mount Airy attorney, ousted incumbent Commissioner Perry L. Jones Jr. for the GOP nomination to the three-member board of commissioners.

Zimmer, who placed third in the GOP commissioner primary with 14.6 percent of the vote, and incumbent Commissioners Julia W. Gouge and Dean L. Minnich are to face three Democratic challengers in the November election. The Democratic race for commissioner was not contested.

Ads sponsored by a local Republican club that is not registered with the state as an official political action committee endorsed Zimmer and called for a clean sweep of the current board.

The Carroll County Republican Club ads also supported Mary Kowalski, a late-filing candidate from Westminster, who finished fifth out of 10 candidates in the GOP commissioner primary.

The state prosecutor's office is investigating the Republican club for possible illegal campaign finance activities.

Jones and Minnich said they would not support Zimmer in the general election.

"I cannot endorse someone who benefited from the dirty smear campaign that went out to voters in the last days before the election," Minnich said. "People should not obtain public office on the benefit of lies funded by their friends."

Only 28.6 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Carroll's Sept. 12 primary. Usually, there's at least a 30 percent showing in a primary election, said Patricia K. Matsko, director of the county's board of elections.

Lack of a contested gubernatorial primary could have caused the low turnout, she said.

The board of elections finished counting absentee ballots on Wednesday, Matsko said. In South Carroll, Del. Susan W. Krebs defeated Larry Helminiak by just over 200 votes - a lower margin than she said she would have preferred. Helminiak also lost to Krebs by about 200 votes in District 9B's 2002 primary.

laura.mccandlish @baltsun .com

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