Benton gets North Beach
Defeats Hummel in mayoral race
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).