Ben­ton gets North Beach

Defeats Hum­mel in may­oral race

The Calvert Recorder - - Front Page - By DANDAN ZOU dzou@somd­

Mike Ben­ton, a re­al­tor and two-term coun­cil­man, soundly de­feated his op­po­nent Randy Hum­mel by a mar­gin of 13 per­cent­age points Tues­day night in North Beach’s may­oral race. He will re­place out­go­ing Mayor Mark Frazer next Fri­day, Nov. 16, af­ter be­ing sworn in.

In Tues­day’s elec­tion, Ben­ton picked up 248 votes while Hum­mel gar­nered 191 votes, ac- cord­ing to town elec­tion results.

In a town of 1,547 reg­is­tered vot­ers, 437 votes were cast, rep­re­sent­ing a turnout of 28 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the town’s elec­tion board. There were nine ab­sen­tee bal­lots and no pro­vi­sional bal­lots.

“It was ex­cit­ing. We had friends and friends there,” Ben­ton said by phone Wed­nes­day. “We worked hard, and it paid off.”

Ben­ton said the resi- dents love the di­rec­tion the town is go­ing, and he will fo­cus his next four years do­ing what’s right for the town.

Prior to his may­oral bid, Ben­ton, 52, ran for clerk of cir­cuit court in

Calvert County against Kathy P. Smith and lost in 2002. Four years later, he ran for Calvert County com­mis­sioner as a Repub­li­can and lost that bid

in a field of 11 can­di­dates.

This time around, Ben­ton said he thinks he won be­cause he and his wife, Tina, are in the com­mu­nity every day.

“I think the res­i­dents like to see that we are ac­tive and com­pas­sion­ate with the town,” he said.

Hum­mel, 54, said by

phone Wed­nes­day morn­ing that he thought the re­sult would be much closer.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed ob­vi­ously,” he said. “I ex­pected it to be be­tween 10 to 20 votes.”

Hum­mel called him­self the “un­der­dog can-

di­date” be­cause he said Ben­ton was well funded and had a shorter vot­ing record than he did. Also, he said Ben­ton had a core group of peo­ple in town that he grew up with and knew well.

A six-term coun­cil­man, Hum­mel has been on

town coun­cil since 2002. He also sat on coun­cil be­tween 1987 and 1994. In 1998, Hum­mel ran for North Beach mayor for the first time and lost to Frazer.

Hum­mel said he worked on this elec­tion harder than any one he ran be­fore.

By noon on Mon­day, the day be­fore Elec­tion Day, he said he had vis­ited al­most every house and apart­ment in the town of North Beach.

“It just wasn’t enough. So that’s about it,” he said. “Maybe they were tired of me. Maybe I have been too abra­sive over the years.”

Hum­mel said he doesn’t plan to run again be­cause he be­lieves it’s time for the younger gen­er­a­tion to take over.

On the coun­cil races, since only six peo­ple filed to run for six seats, all can­di­dates won Tues­day’s elec­tion.

The next coun­cil mem­bers are in­cum­bents Jane Ha­gen (302 votes), Randy’s son Mickey Hum­mel (318 votes), Gwen Schi­ada (298 votes) and Paul Tron­cone (272 votes) as well as Gre­gory Dot­son, a for­mer coun­cil­man (299 votes), and El­iz­a­beth Law­ton (257 votes).



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