Phipps triumphs for an 11th term
Minus absentee ballots, orphans’ court results favor incumbents
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.
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.