Tal­bot can­di­dates await ab­sen­tee bal­lots

The Star Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRISTINA ACOSTA ca­costa@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — Ab­sen­tee votes may de­cide the fifth per­son elected to the Tal­bot County Coun­cil and the win­ner of the District 4 school board seat.

The Tal­bot County Board of Elec­tions sent out 1,099 ab­sen­tee bal­lots (527 to Democrats, 386 Repub­li­can and 186 other), ac­cord­ing to the state elec­tions board web­site. By Tues­day, the county had re­ceived 763 ab­sen­tee bal­lots back (350 from Democrats, 296 Repub­li­can and 117 other).

In the county coun­cil race, only 227 votes sep­a­rate Repub­li­can can­di­date Frank Divlio, who fin­ished fifth, ac­cord­ing to unof­fi­cial early vot­ing and Elec­tion Day re­sults. Divilio had 7,630 votes.

Demo­cratic can­di­date Keasha Haythe was in sixth with 7,403 votes.

Repub­li­can in­cum­bents Corey Pack with 8,210 votes and Chuck Cal­la­han with 8,095 votes were in third and fourth place, re­spec­tively.

Repub­li­can in­cum­bent Laura Price led the field with 8,525 votes and Demo­cratic can­di­date Pete Lesher had 8,281, for a 71-vote lead over Pack.

“There is al­ways some move­ment,” Pack said about the ab­sen­tee counts. “I felt that Keasha Haythe

ran a very strong cam­paign, if she comes up and some­one goes down, then that wouldn’t be a sur­prise to me, be­cause I felt that she was just as qual­i­fied to sit on the coun­cil as any­one else. I think there is a small sep­a­ra­tion be­tween my­self and Pete Lesher.”

With Lesher’s elec­tion to the county coun­cil, he must re­sign from the Eas­ton Town Coun­cil, where he rep­re­sents the se­cond ward. State law pro­hibits a per­son from hold­ing more than one “of­fice of gain,” and both town coun­cil and county coun­cil of­fices are clas­si­fied that way.

“There is a salary at­tached to them,” Lesher said. “If I were on the town plan­ning com­mis­sion, that is vol­un­teer ser­vice, but the town coun­cil

and county coun­cil, I may not serve both. I will need to re­sign from town coun­cil be­fore I am sworn in for the county.”

The town char­ter re­quires a spe­cial elec­tion to fill his po­si­tion. His term ex­pires May 2019. Lesher has been on the town coun­cil since May 2009.

“So to fill the re­main­der of my time, the town will have an elec­tion re­gard­less,” Lesher said. “There is a sched­uled elec­tion al­ready this com­ing May for the mayor and for the coun­cil for the po­si­tions of ward one and ward three. I think they will sched­ule the ward to my of­fice for that same date.”

In the District 4 school board race, Emily Jack­son topped the race with 50.4 per­cent, or 952 votes, ac­cord­ing to unof­fi­cial re­sults. Martha Dar­ling Sparks re­ceived 925 votes, 49 per­cent of the vote. Al­though there only is a 27vote mar­gin sep­a­rat­ing Jack­son

and Sparks, Jack­son said she is not wor­ried about the ab­sen­tee counts.

“I am pleas­antly sur­prised, ex­cited, hon­ored and hum­bled about the re­sults be­cause I’m ex­cited about what comes next,” said Jack­son. “I don’t ex­pect any sur­prises about ab­sen­tee bal­lots, I looked at very care­fully and I see many bal­lots that are out there. I looked at the per­cent­age who al­ready won and the per­cent­age to get to con­tinue to win, and I feel pretty con­fi­dent that the bal­lots com­ing in won’t change much.”

The first count of ab­sen­tee bal­lots will take place at 10 a.m. to­day, pro­vi­sional bal­lots will be counted at 10 a.m. Wed­nes­day, Nov. 14, and the se­cond ab­sen­tee bal­lot count will be 10 a.m. Fri­day, Nov. 16.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.re­sults.elec­tions.mar yland.gov.

PETE LESHER

FRANK DIVILIO

KEASHA HAYTHE

EMILY JACK­SON

COREY PACK

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