Saying “it’s a good council to work with and that makes all the difference in the world,” Aberdeen Mayor Mike Bennett hopes he and the four incumbent members of the city council will be voted back into office this November 8 and return to work at City Hall – this time without having to worry about re-election for another four years.
The candidate filing period for Aberdeen’s municipal election opened on Friday and so far four of the five incumbents – Bennett and city council members Ruth Ann Young, Sandra Landbeck, and Ruth Elliott – have already filed for re-election. The fifth incumbent – city councilman Bruce Garner – has not yet filed for re-election and could not be reached for comment.
In a recent interview, Bennett said that during his first two years in office, he had to “pick and choose his battles” because he was faced with constant opposition from within the city council, but now he and the four-member city council are working in lock-step and making progress in the city; something Bennett wants to be able to continue.
“I’d be totally OK with just the five of us on the ballot,” he added.
Although he has yet to file, Patrick McGrady, a former candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, has already announced his intentions of running for mayor. For Bennett, who faced incumbent mayor S. Fred Simmons and city councilman Mike Hiob in his last two mayoral campaigns, he said he’s used to early and intense opposition.
“Some guys luck out, but I guess I’m destined to always face competition,” he added.
Bennett said he tends to tune out any political attacks from opponents, but sometimes it’s impossible to ignore – such as recent comments from McGrady which criticized the mayor and city council for spending about $300,000 to have Harford Cable Network broadcast city council meetings. Bennett said the figure is actually about $12,000.
“He makes statements without finding out whatever the actual facts are. Whatever you say, make sure it’s right,” Bennett added.
“I don’t respond to dirty tactics and do my very best not to get involved in that. If they want to take shots at me, that’s fine. I’ll go on my record.”
Aberdeen will elect its mayor and four city council members on November 8, but the term of office will be four years instead of two years, as was previously set.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, with voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Aberdeen Senior Center at 7 Franklin Street.
The candidate filing period began September 9 and will continue until 5 p.m. on October 7.
The voter registration deadline is Tuesday, October 18 to the Harford County Board of
The absentee ballot application deadline by mail is Tuesday, November 1 to the Harford
County Board of Elections .
The absentee ballot return deadline is 5 p.m. to City Hall or 8 p.m. to the Aberdeen Senior Center polling place on Election Day.
The official election results will be certified by noon on Friday, November 11 and the swearing in ceremony for the mayor and city council will be Monday, November 14 at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers.