Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 25, 2014

Commission nominee Shade credits message with victory

Two incumbents also advance

CUMBERLAND — Jake Shade, the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s Republican primary for Allegany County commissioner, combined the use of social media and shoe leather in his successful campaign. He expects to use the same strategic plan in November, but broaden his audience to Democrats and independents.

The message, though, is more important than the campaign tactics, said Shade, who topped the polls with 3,286 votes.

“I think I can attribute that ... (the victory) to our message of economic development and that we can do better than the status quo,” Shade said. The 21-year-old said he thinks his ideas will appeal to Democrats and unaffiliated voters as well as Republicans in November’s general election.

Shade’s campaign was active on Twitter and Facebook. He also traveled to fire halls and knocked on doors across the county, campaigning the old-fashioned way. On primary election day, he waved signs with supporters in Cumberland, the Narrows and Frostburg, among other locations.

Meeting people was an enjoyable part of the campaign, Shade said.

“The best ... was getting to meet so many people I would never have met if I had not run,” he said.

While he believes he has support from voters from every demographic group, Shade said he noticed something about the primary electorate and tried to make sure to connect with older voters. About half the eligible Republican voters were ages 18 to 61, the other half were 62 or older, Shade said.

Incumbents Creade Brodie Jr. and Bill Valentine also won slots in the general election. The three Republicans will face Democrats Kevin Shaffer and Tom Striplin in the general election. Striplin received 2,137 votes in the primary and Shaffer received 1,466. Commission terms last four years.

Turnout in Allegany County was 19.82 percent of eligible voters, or 8,403 voters of 42,398 eligible voters. That number fell at the lower end of turnout in the state.

“It was much lower than in the past,” said Diane Loibel, Allegany County election administrator. In 2006, about 32 percent of voters turned out for the primary, while in 2010, the number was about 35 percent. Loibel attributed the low turnout to so many candidates being unopposed. Only minor glitches occurred on Election Day, including problems with a railroad crossing malfunction near the Allegany County Fairgrounds and a one-hour power outage in Danville. At Danville, battery power kept voting going and there was no delay, Loibel said.

The county with the highest primary turnout was Talbot County, where more than 35 percent of voters cast ballots. The lowest turnout in the state was in Montgomery County, where just over 16 percent of voters cast ballots.

 Other leading vote-getters in local contested primaries were incumbent Orphans’ Court Judge Donna F. May with 2,846 votes and county board of education incumbent Sara-Beth James, who won with 4,320 votes. Vote totals remain unofficial until a canvass is completed.

Matthew Bieniek can be contacted at


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