Foster wins 3-man race to rep­re­sent First Ward

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­cgee@thekent­coun­

CH­ESTER­TOWN — David Foster took his cam­paign for the First Ward to its con­stituency, knock­ing on doors and rid­ing his bi­cy­cle through­out Ch­ester­town. On Elec­tion Day, Tues­day, he stood out in the rain for hours wav­ing to vot­ers. That per­se­ver­ance paid off. In a closely watched race for the seat cur­rently held by Liz Gross, Foster de­feated Gross-en­dorsed can­di­date Owen Bai­ley, 135-104.

The third can­di­date, Bob Miller, re­ceived 38 votes.

The count of 25 ab­sen­tee bal­lots and one pro­vi­sional bal­lot at 5 p.m. Wed­nes­day would not have changed the out­come of the elec­tion.

Two other races were un­con­tested. In­cum­bent Chris Cerino re­ceived 344 votes in the town­wide elec­tion for mayor and Ellsworth Tol­liver re­ceived 27 votes as the sole can­di­date for the Third Ward, where Sam Shoge opted not to seek a sec­ond term.

Cerino, Foster and Tol­liver will be sworn in at the first meet­ing of the Ch­ester­town Mayor and Coun­cil in Jan­uary.

Tol­liver said he was “su­per ex­cited” to rep­re­sent the Third Ward. His aim over the next four years is to im­prove and de­velop the neigh­bor­hoods within the ward.

In an email Tues­day night, Cerino said he was look­ing for­ward “to work­ing for the next four years to make Ch­ester­town as great a place as it can be.”

He thanked Bai­ley and Miller for get­ting in­volved in the po­lit­i­cal process, and wel­comed Foster and Tol­liver “to the team.”

Ch­ester­town has 3,018 reg­is­tered vot­ers. A to­tal of 379 vot­ers went to the polls Tues­day. At press time Wed­nes­day, elec­tion of­fi­cials had not de­ter­mined how many of the vot­ers in the First Ward voted. There are 734 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the First Ward.

About half of the reg­is­tered vot­ers in the First Ward live in the Heron Point re­tire­ment com­mu­nity, which has strict rules about elec­tion­eer­ing. Gross is a res­i­dent of Heron Point and Miller’s wife is the nurse prac­ti­tioner there.

While none of the can­di­dates were al­lowed to ac­tively cam­paign at Heron Point, Foster rode his bike — ad­ver­tis­ing his can­di­dacy on poster boards — through­out the re­tire­ment com­mu­nity.

He said that out­side Heron Point, he knocked on ev­ery door twice lead­ing up to the elec­tion.

First-term coun­cil­woman Gross an­nounced in July that she would not seek re­elec­tion, cit­ing the health of a fam­ily mem­ber.

Nine days be­fore the elec­tion, she pub­licly en­dorsed Bai­ley. In her en­dorse­ment, which was pub­lished in the Nov. 2 is­sue of the Kent County

News, Gross said it was most im­por­tant to her to have youth and en­ergy on the town coun­cil.

Bai­ley is 34, Miller is 64 and Foster is 74.

The can­di­dates them­selves did not make age an is­sue.

In a tele­phone interview Tues­day night, Foster said he be­lieved his ex­pe­ri­ence — 40 years as an ur­ban plan­ner and civil en­gi­neer — was the dif­fer­ence.

“I’d like to think I started it, but by the end of the cam­paign we were all talk­ing about the same things, at­tract­ing more small businesses and young fam­i­lies to Ch­ester­town,” Foster said.

Foster was en­dorsed by for­mer mayor Elmer Horsey and two for­mer First Ward coun­cil­men, Jim Gatto and Peter Heller.

He ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Bai­ley and Miller run­ning a pro­fes­sional and friendly cam­paign, which he said spoke well for Ch­ester­town.

On Tues­day night, Bai­ley con­grat­u­lated Foster by tele­phone. He told the Kent County

News that he be­lieved Foster would do a good job on the coun­cil.

Born and raised in Ch­ester­town, Bai­ley said he would con­tinue to be in­volved in his home­town. “I’ll keep vol­un­teer­ing my time, keep living here and loving Ch­ester­town,” he said.

Miller also con­grat­u­lated Foster.

It was a “gen­tle­man’s race,” he said, where each of the can­di­dates brought dif­fer­ent skill sets.


In this photo cour­tesy Pullen For Us, town coun­cil can­di­dates, from left, Bob Miller, David Foster and Owen Bai­ley and con­gres­sional can­di­date Michael Pullen stand out­side the Ch­ester­town fire­house greet­ing vot­ers on Elec­tion Day, Tues­day.


Elec­tion tech Mark Miller hands the re­sults from Tues­day’s elec­tion to Town of Ch­ester­town Clerk Jen Mul­li­gan. Also pic­tured are Bob Or­tiz, chair­man of the town’s board of su­per­vi­sors of elec­tions, and elec­tion tech Mar­i­lyn Snow­den.

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