Merrie Street, the former Harford County director of government and community relations during the Jim Harkins administration, filed last week as a candidate for Register of Wills.
Street, who lives in Bel Air and has worked in radio, communications and public affairs, will face opposition in the Republican Primary Election from Derek K. Hopkins, an auctioneer from Pylesville.
Hopkins, who is not related to longtime Harford County Register of Wills Harry “Tombstone” Hopkins, has been fundraising and campaigning since he filed as a candidate for the office in August.
It remains to be seen whether Street will garner the support of the local Republican regime, of which she was such a major part while serving as the mouthpiece of the county executive’s office.
It also remains to be seen whether any other contenders will join the race for Register of Wills. Prior to his re-election to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners there was speculation Rob Preston was interested in the Register of Wills position. During a candidate’s forum host by The Dagger in late October, Preston, when asked about seeking higher office, said he was “leaving his options open.”
The Register of Wills is responsible for appointing personal representatives to administer decedents’ estates and for overseeing the proper and timely administration of these proceedings. We also perform the following duties: assist and advise the public in the preparation of all required forms; maintain and preserve the permanent record of all proceedings; serve as the Clerk to the Orphans’ Court; track estates and refer delinquent matters to the Court; determine and collect inheritance taxes and probate fees/court costs; audit accounts of personal representatives and guardians; mail various notices and court orders to interested persons; and, verify compliance with court orders.
Here’s some information from Hopkins’ Facebook page:
Birthday: August 12, 1976
Hometown: Darlington, MD
Siblings: Megan Hopkins
Married to Katrina Dawn Hopkins
Political Views: Republican Party
Religious Views: Christian – Methodist
Activities: Whiteford Vol Fire Company, Outdoors, Horse Racing,
Interests: I am going to be running for Harford County Register of Wills in 2010.
Favorite Music: Country, Bluegrass, and Southern Rock.
Favorite TV Shows: Shark Week, Sports, TVG
About Me: Derek Hopkins is currently a full time Auctioneer, Appraiser, and a 3rd Generation Real Estate agent that has focused on estate services. Hopkins is a Graduate of North Harford High School where he served in the FFA and as a State Vice President. After High School he attended Virginia Tech with a focus on Business Management and worked in the Swine Research Center. Hopkins is a Graduate of the Missouri Auction School, Kansas City, MO, and is a Graduate of the three year Certified Auctioneer Institute program held at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
Hopkins is a past 4-H member and has been an active volunteer for years. He first joined the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company at the age of 16 where he served as a firefighter and EMS member. After buying a home in Pylesville, he joined the Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company where he is an active Fire Fighter, EMS Driver, current President and has served many other roles in the company. During Hurricane Katrina he was sent by FEMA to be deployed to Mississippi where he served over a month helping the citizens of the gulf coast. Hopkins has also served on a number of other community groups. He is a member of the Harford County‘s Ag advisory board and is advocate for the agricultural industry.
Derek grew up on the Hopkins Family farm in Darlington where he says he learned his hard work ethic from his Great Grandmother Hazel Hopkins and Grandfather Harry G. Hopkins. The family farm is now in farm preservation. Hopkins resides in Pylesville with his wife Katrina who has worked for the State of Maryland’s Court System for over 12 years. They have two children, Tim, 9 and Emma, 6. The family spends a lot of time now working on their small farm where they have dairy goats, beef cattle, and chickens. 4-H is a big part of their family life and it allows them to spend a lot of family time together.
Education and Work
High School: North Harford High ’95
Location: Pylesville, MD
Description: Auctioneer, and Hope to be Harford Register of Wills
Here’s a tidbit from his Facebook page:
I believe I have what it takes to be a strong leader, and will be committed not just to the office but also to improving the lives of every citizen of Harford County. Through outreach and educating seniors and family members about the Register of Wills I hope to show just how important it is to have a will filed. Like the current register, I am out to make this a full time career, and not a retirement job like others. I will be in the office every day working side by side with the dedicated staff in the office.
Here’s some information from Street’s Facebook page:
Birthday: June 8
Hometown: Marywood , Bel Air, MD
Relationship Status: Married
Looking For: Networking
Political Views: Responsibility
Personal Information Activities: Traveling, Scuba Diving, Quilting
Interests: Use to be Politics but in Maryland there is no reason to be active.
Favorite Music: Classical
Favorite TV Shows: Antiques Roadshow
Favorite Movies: nothing since the 50’s
Favorite Books: anything with suspense and happy ever after endings
Favorite Quotations: You don’t stop laughing when you grow old. You grow old when you stop laughing.
Education and Work
College: Oklahoma ’75
High School: Bel Air Senior High ’71
Position: communications specialist
A tidbit from her candidate’s page:
“What sets me apart from any other candidate mentioned for this position is my demonstrated experience of creating and executing outreach programming. My goal is to take the office into the community.” – Merrie Street