Phipps triumphs for an 11th term

Mi­nus ab­sen­tee bal­lots, or­phans’ court results fa­vor in­cum­bents

The Calvert Recorder - - Front Page - By DANDAN ZOU dzou@somd­news.com

For the 11th time in a row, Mar­garet Phipps (D) is cel­e­brat­ing an elec­tion win. She will be the county’s regis­ter of wills for the next four years to han­dle the ad­min­is­tra­tion of pro­bate mat­ters, as she has done for the past 40 years.

De­feat­ing her Repub­li­can chal­lenger Mark Lynch for the sec­ond time, Phipps of Owings picked up 19,684 votes while Lynch got 16,012 votes, ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial results Tues­day evening. The results do not in­clude ab­sen­tee or pro­vi­sional bal­lots, of which

elec­tion board of­fi­cials ex­pect there to be no more than 2,000.

“I’m very happy and very grate­ful,” Phipps said by phone Wed­nes­day morn­ing. “It was just great. ... Peo­ple are so good to me.”

Phipps said her of­fice doesn’t prac­tice law or set poli­cies but of­fers a ser­vice that helps peo­ple see that she and her staff care through com­pas­sion and un­der­stand­ing.

“There’s so much sat­is­fac­tion in know­ing you are able to help peo­ple,” she said of her time as the county’s regis­ter of wills for four decades, adding she felt

“hum­bled” by the sup­port she re­ceived in Tues­day’s elec­tion.

Lynch, also of Owings, is an es­tates, trusts and pro­bate at­tor­ney who owns an An­napo­lis-based law firm. In his first run in 2014, Lynch lost to Phipps by about 2,900 votes.

“I think the only thing I can say is vot­ers in Calvert County had a clear choice of the can­di­dates who they wanted to rep­re­sent them in the of­fice,” Lynch said by phone Wed­nes­day morn­ing. “So I wish her the best in the fu­ture.”

Los­ing the race by roughly the same mar­gin twice, Lynch said that in­di­cates ei­ther the vot­ers didn’t share his view of the change he in­tended to bring to the of­fice or they were com­fort­able with the sta­tus quo.

Dur­ing the cam­paign sea­son, Lynch said he wanted to move for­ward with the elec­tronic fil­ing of the pro­bate es­tate process.

“I had a very pas­sion­ate vision for what I thought Calvert County needed,” he said. “But it is not a vision shared by the vot­ers.”

Sec­ond only to the regis­ter in Dorch­ester County, who won her 12th term Tues­day, Phipps has now run 11 times suc­cess­fully.

In other Calvert races, the three in­cum­bent judges, Les­lie Downs, Ted Le­Blanc and Thomas Pe­la­gatti, un­of­fi­cially won their re-elec­tion bids Tues­day night to sit on the bench of the county or­phans’ court in the next four years, though

ab­sen­tee bal­lot counts could come into play for Pe­la­gatti.

Downs (R) picked up 19,788 votes, the high­est of the five can­di­dates, ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial results Tues­day evening. She is the long­est-serv­ing sit­ting judge on Calvert’s or­phans’ court with 16 years on the bench. She is a home­maker and has a jew­elry busi­ness. Le­Blanc (R) won his sec­ond term by pick­ing up 17,145 votes Tues­day. He is a Prince Fred­er­ick area at­tor­ney and has been in prac­tice for 23 years. Pe­la­gatti (D) re­ceived 15,494 votes. Also a Prince Fred­er­ick area at­tor­ney, Pe­la­gatti has a gen­eral prac­tice and con­ducts real es­tate clos­ings. He has been on the or­phans’ court for 12 years, eight of them con­sec­u­tively.

Tammy Fowler (D), an­other Prince Fred­er­ick area at­tor­ney, pulled in 14,919 votes. She shares a law prac­tice with her hus­band, Ja­son Fowler, who ran for del­e­gate this year but lost Tues­day to Del. Mark Fisher (R-Calvert).

Derek Sabedra (R) picked up 13,244 or­phans’ court votes. He is a teacher and school-based psy­chother­a­pist.

Run­ning un­op­posed in the gen­eral elec­tion were Clerk of the Cir­cuit Court Kathy P. Smith (D), Trea­surer Nova Tracy-Soper (R), Repub­li­can Andrew Rap­pa­port for state’s at­tor­ney and in­cum­bents Pamela Cousins and Bill Phalen in the non­par­ti­san Board of Ed­u­ca­tion race.

STAFF PHOTO BY DANDAN ZOU

Mar­garet Phipps (D), cen­ter, chats with her son-in-law, Bruce Hutchi­son, not in photo, sit­ting be­tween her daugh­ter Lau­rie Hutchi­son and son Mike Phipps on Tues­day night at Adam’s Tap­house and Grille in Prince Fred­er­ick where Democrats hosted their elec­tion watch party. Phipps won her 11th term Tues­day, de­feat­ing her GOP chal­lenger Mark Lynch for the sec­ond time.

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