OAKLAND — Garrett County voters will see heated races for county commission and several other local offices in the Sept. 14 primary election.

The filing period for candidates closed Tuesday at 9 p.m. In the final week before the deadline, four more candidates — two Republicans and two Democrats — filed for the District 3 county commission seat now held by Denny Glotfelty, R-McHenry, bringing the total number of candidates seeking the seat to six.

Glotfelty will face challengers Louis Newcomb Jr., Oakland, Timothy E. Thomas, McHenry, and Robert “Bob” Gatto, Oakland, in the Republican primary, while two Democrats, Bill Welch, Oakland, and George Falter, McHenry, also square off.

Three challengers have filed to run against current commission chairman Ernie Gregg, R-Mountain Lake Park, for the District 1 seat on the commission. Gregg will face Republican challengers Gregan Crawford, Oakland, and Leroy Bernard Sr., Swanton, in the primary. The winner will take on Democrat Eric Robison, Oakland, in the November general election.

Incumbent Commissioner Fred Holliday, R-Grantsville, will vie in the primary with current board of education member Jim Raley, R-Finzel, for the District 2 seat.

Two Republicans and one Democrat are seeking the office of sheriff. Skyler Hebden, D-Oakland, will take on the winner of the primary race between Republicans Robert E. Corley, Oakland, and Larry Gnegy, Oakland, in the November general election. The office is currently held by Gary Berkebile.

In the nonpartisan board of education races, Rodney Durst, Oakland, filed to retain his District 3 seat, but faces a challenge from Rodney Reckart, Oakland. Both current president Donald Forrester, Mountain Lake Park, and current vice president Thomas Carr, Accident, are unopposed to retain their District 1 and 2 seats.

Seven candidates have filed for three open positions as judge of the orphans court. The three candidates from each party who receive the most votes in the primary will go to the general election; of those, the three who receive the most votes will be selected to fill the positions.

On the Republican side, incumbents Clifford C. DeWitt, Oakland, James F. Margroff, Accident, and H. Wayne Wilt, Oakland, are seeking re-election, and face challenges from David C. Beard, Oakland, Aria Knust, Oakland, and Fred Sanders, Oakland.

Only one Democrat has filed for the office, Everett B. Deberry, Deer Park, so he will advance to the general election.

Incumbent Rita L. Watson, Oakland, will face Republican challengers Traci Royce, Oakland, John K. Sines, Oakland, and Bryan Paugh, Oakland, for register of wills. Watson was appointed register of wills after the retirement of Joseph DiSimone in June 2009.

Incumbent Sondra R. Buckel, R-Bittinger, is running unopposed for re-election as clerk of the circuit court. It will be Buckel’s first time seeking the office in an election, as she was originally appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of David K. Martin in 2007.

Timothy W. Miller, Mountain Lake Park; Arzella Parsons, Oakland; DeCorsey Bolden, Oakland; Brenda Butscher, Mountain Lake Park; Tom Sheahen, Deer Park; and Ruth Hinebaugh Umbel, McHenry, filed for a seat on the Republican Central Committee. The committee seeks to fill eight seats, based on the number of registered Republicans in the county. The six candidates will fill the seats as result of the primary election.

Candidates for the office of Democratic Central Committee all filed Tuesday. They are Andrew “Andy” Diliddo Jr., Grantsville; Patricia Duck, Oakland; Timothy Duck, Oakland; William Goldsborough, Mountain Lake Park; Jeff Jovis, Friendsville; and Zelma Neary, Mountain Lake Park. The committee seeks to fill seven seats, based on the number of registered Democrats in the county. The six candidates will fill the seats as a result of the primary election.

Incumbent State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch, R-Oakland, filed to retain her position and is running unopposed.

At the state level, Sen. George Edwards, R-Grantsville, has filed to retain his seat representing District 1 in Annapolis, and Delegate Wendell Beitzel, R-Accident, has filed to retain his District 1A seat in the House of Delegates. Edwards is currently running unopposed, while Beitzel will face Democratic challenger James “Smokey” Stanton, Oakland, in the general election Nov. 2.


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