The lower Eastern Shore counties saw some changes, but no dramatic shifts through the 2022 General Election. Here’s a county-by-county rundown.
The five-member Council had only two incumbent members seeking re-election. Republican Chuck Callahan appears to be safely ahead for re-election, but Democrat Pete Lesher is in a tight race with three candidates’ tallies very close for the fourth and fifth seats available. Republicans Lynn Leonard Mielke and Dave Stepp appear to have secured seats, but Wade Strickland and David Montgomery hold very narrow leads over Lesher with a wave of ballots yet to be counted.
Republicans will hold either four or all five seats in the term ahead.
Thursday update: upon posting the counted mail-in ballots, Council Member Lesher leapt from 6th to 1st in the total vote count, and now appears safely among the winners, as the sole victorious Democrat. David Montgomery leads Wade Strickland for the final at large seat, through Friday morning.
The five-member Council might be the only governing body to shift partisan majority across Maryland, as District 1 Council Member Jay Newcomb has lost to Republican Rob Kramer, Jr. – tilting the body to a 3-2 Republican majority. Mike Detmer is the other new member of the Council, winning in District 5.
Incumbent Democratic Council Members William Nichols and Ricky Travers prevailed in their General Election, as did Republican Lenny Pfeffer, a MACo Board Member.
Four members of the current Board were re-elected this year, so Somerset may largely remain “still the same.” Newcomer Darryl Webster won in District 2 and will join returning Commissioners Craig Mathies, Eldon Willing, Charles Laird, and Randy Laird on the Board for the coming term.
Five of seven Commissioners return from the last term: Democrat Diana Purnell, and Republicans Ted Elder, Chip Bertino, Jim Bunting, and Joseph Mitrecic. Eric Fiori won for an open seat in District 3, and Caryn Abbot appears to have defeated incumbent Joshua Nordstrom in District 1.
For a review of the Wicomico Executive and Council races, see Conduit Street‘s stand-alone coverage: Giordano Wins for Wicomico Executive, Multiple Council Changes
– – – – –
MACo’s election coverage and analysis rely on unofficial results published by the State Board of Elections. Official results will follow after a full accounting of pending votes. MACo advises readers that any close unofficial results are subject to realignment in the days ahead.