Can­di­dates for La Plata Ward 2 seat set af­ter pri­mary

Norris falls short with votes

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

In­cum­bent Coun­cil­man C. Keith Back and Brent Fi­na­gin will go head to head in the Town of La Plata gen­eral elec­tion May 2 as a re­sult of the re­cent pri­mary elec­tion that nar­rowed the three Ward 2 can­di­dates to two. Can­di­date Jon W. Norris lacked the amount of votes needed to move for­ward to the gen­eral elec­tion.

The pri­mary was held March 20 to nar­row the bal­lot for the gen­eral elec­tion to two can­di­dates for the Ward 2 seat. The other three wards and the may­oral race has two can­di­dates apiece.

Ac­cord­ing to Town Clerk Danielle Man­d­ley, Back had 119 votes, Fi­na­gin had 110 votes and Norris had 52 votes. With a to­tal of 6,741 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the town, ac­cord­ing to Man­d­ley, roughly four per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers in the town cast their bal­lot.

“The cit­i­zens elected who they would like to see in the gen­eral elec­tion,” Back said. “Peo­ple know what I’ve done in the past and I hope they will vote for me in the gen­eral elec­tion as well. I’m very happy to have won the pri­mary elec­tion and I’ll be re-en­er­gized for the gen­eral elec­tion in May.”

“I am sin­cerely grate­ful for the sup­port I re­ceived in the pri­mary elec­tion,” Fi­na­gin said. “The out­come of this pri­mary is a clear in­di­ca­tion that res­i­dents and lo­cal busi­ness own­ers de­sire a change from the sta­tus quo. I’m happy about every­thing [A New Day For La Plata] has done as a cam­paign up to this point and I think that what we want to do and why we’re run­ning is res­onat­ing with a lot of vot­ers. I hope peo­ple take stock of what is re­ally go­ing on in the town and think about where they want the town to go in the fu­ture.”

“A New Day for La Plata” is the name given to the slate of can­di­dates sup­ported by the La Plata Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion. It does not con­tain an in­cum­bent.

Back and Fi­na­gin said they hope to see more voter par­tic­i­pa­tion in the gen­eral elec­tion and they look for­ward to en­cour­ag­ing new vot­ers to come out and cast their vote in May.

De­spite his loss, Norris re­mained in good spir­its.

“Con­sid­er­ing our cam­paign was re­ally up and run­ning for only two weeks, I be­lieve we did sur­pris­ingly well,” Norris said. “Every­thing we learned about the town elec­tion seems to be guar­an­teed to sup­port the in­cum­bents but based on these re­sults in the pri­mary elec­tion, the in­cum­bents might have trou­ble in the gen­eral elec­tion.”

Ward 2 res­i­dent Suzanne Lee said it was tough to pick a can­di­date this time around but she voted for a can­di­date who she felt is re­spon­si­ble, de­pend­able and is some­one who rep­re­sents the Ward 2 com­mu­nity.

“I was look­ing for a can­di­date who is as wor­ried about the res­i­dents as they are about the busi­ness com­mu­nity,” said lo­cal res­i­dent Sharon Gar­ner. “All I keep hear­ing is about the busi­ness com­mu­nity but what about the res­i­dents? I’m hop­ing that the town con­tin­ues to be fo­cused on the res­i­dents be­cause I think its in­ter­est­ing that they keep say­ing the busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion are sup­port­ing cer­tain can­di­dates but none of the busi­ness own­ers live in the town and are not vot­ing. They need to tell us what they’re go­ing to do for us — the cit­i­zens.”

Mike Martin said he voted in fa­vor of Back be­cause Back’s fam­ily is very in­volved in the Ward 2 com­mu­nity and he feels that is an admirable qual­ity to have in a can­di­date.

“I’m with the A New Day for La Plata slate be­cause I’m a busi­ness owner,” said res­i­dent Su­san Peter­son. “I grew up here and I want La Plata to be more of a pro­gres­sive town. I don’t want it to be a town that is wor­ried about keep­ing the sta­tus quo ... It’s also good to see women run­ning in the gen­eral elec­tion.”

Mary Richards re­cently be­came a La Plata res­i­dent five months ago. She said her ideal Ward 2 can­di­date is some­one who will take care of the town — “keep it clean and pre­sentable, and keep the taxes down.”

Ward 1 res­i­dent Jamie Sch­nei­der said she is look­ing for hon­esty and loy­alty to the town from the Ward 2 can­di­dates. She said she hopes to get to know more about all of the other can­di­dates as the gen­eral elec­tion ap­proaches.

“The town has made tremen­dous strides since the tornado has come through — to build every­thing back up. I think they’re def­i­nitely go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see what hap­pens when we get to vote for the new mayor,” said res­i­dent Kathy Lauber.

The gen­eral elec­tion will be Tues­day, May 2. For more in­for­ma­tion about the elec­tion, con­tact Man­d­ley at dman­d­ley@townoflaplata.org, or 301-934-8421.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

Coun­cil­man C. Keith Back at La Plata Town Hall dur­ing the Pri­mary Elec­tion on March 20.

Ward 2 can­di­date Jon W. Norris at La Plata Town Hall dur­ing the Pri­mary Elec­tion on March 20.

Ward 2 can­di­date Brent Fi­na­gin, with the “New Day For La Plata” slate, at La Plata Town Hall dur­ing the Pri­mary Elec­tion on March 20.

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