OAKLAND — Regardless of the outcome of the Nov. 2 general election, the makeup of the Garrett County Commission will be very different next term.
Longtime incumbents Ernie Gregg, a 24-year veteran of the commission, and Fred Holliday, who served for 12 years, were both eliminated in Tuesday’s primary by first-time commission candidates.
Gregg was defeated for the District 1 seat by Gregan Crawford, who garnered more than 55 percent of the votes cast. In District 2, Holliday lost to four-term board of education member Jim Raley, who took more than 61 percent of the votes cast.
“I think there’s an anti-incumbency out there and I think the voters feel the commissioners were no longer listening to them,” Raley said Tuesday. “That’s really the direction this whole thing took.”
Both Gregg and Holliday also attributed their losses partly to the anti-incumbent mood that appears to be sweeping the nation.
Raley currently faces no challenger in the general election, because no Democrats filed for the District 2 seat. The Democratic Central Committee has the option to nominate a candidate to put on the general election ballot by Oct. 4.
In District 1, Crawford, who could not be reached for comment, will face Democrat Eric Robison in November. Robison ran unopposed in the primary.
The only commission incumbent to make it through the primary was Denny Glotfelty in District 3, who faced the largest number of primary election opponents. Glotfelty beat out three other Republicans — Bob Gatto, Louis Newcomb and Tim Thomas — and secured more than 41 percent of the votes cast.
He will face Democratic challenger Bill Welch in the November general election. Welch easily dusted off his primary opponent, George Falter, and won more than 75 percent of the votes cast.
Glotfelty said he was surprised by the outcomes of the other commission races.
“Whoever they put in in the other districts is who the people want, and we’ll do the best we can for Garrett County,” he said.
In the Republican race for sheriff, Robert Corley took nearly 58 percent of the votes cast to defeat Larry Gnegy and advance to the general election. Corley will take on Democrat Skyler Hebden, who ran unopposed in the primary.
In a four-way Republican race for register of wills, incumbent Rita Watson won handily with nearly 64 percent of the votes cast. Watson's nearest challenger was Traci Royce, with more than 22 percent, then John Sines, with nearly 10 percent, and Bryan Paugh, with less than 4 percent. No Democrats filed for the office.
In November, four candidates will square off for three open positions as judge of the orphans court. Republicans Clifford C. DeWitt, Wayne Wilt and James F. Margroff took the most votes and will advance to the general election, while Democrat Everett B. Deberry ran unopposed and will automatically ad-vance.
In the general election, the three candidates who receive the most votes — regardless of party — will win.
The November general election will also include nonpartisan races for three seats on the board of education.
Two incumbents, Donald Forrester in District 1 and Thomas Carr in District 2, are running unopposed. Incumbent Rodney Durst filed to retain his District 3 seat, but faces a challenge from Rodney Reckart.
Contact Megan Miller at email@example.com.