It’s Election Day in Aberdeen and Bel Air.
If you’re a registered voter in Aberdeen, this will be your last chance to vote for your local leaders for the next four years – as term limits were increased from two years to four years since the last election. Although the names of six candidates will be on the ballot, there is only one contest in the city – the race for Aberdeen mayor between incumbent Mike Bennett and opponent Patrick McGrady.
The race for three town commissioners seats in Bel Air has drawn five candidates – incumbents Terry Hanley, Eddie Hopkins, and Rob Reier and challengers Greg Adolph and Susan Burdette. The compelling storyline in this race is whether Hanley’s recent legal troubles will resonate with voters in town.
McGrady got a boost last week when the Aberdeen Ethics Commission found Bennett in violation of city code for a “series of imprudent actions” stemming from his trip to Georgia with Ripken Baseball.
While Bennett picked up the endorsements of the local and state Fraternal Orders of Police, McGrady garnered a surprising groundswell of support from the residents of Georgia – who were upset with Bennett’s portrayal of the economic conditions in Aberdeen, as Ripken Baseball prepares to build a new stadium in Augusta.
Both mayoral candidates appeared on WAMD 970 AM radio Monday morning.
To listen to Mayor Mike Bennett’s interview, click here.
To listen to Patrick McGrady’s interview, click here.
Please note: to stream the audio on your computer, you will need the latest verisons of Quicktime or Windows Media Player. If you don’t have those programs or can’t update right now, right-click on the link to save the file your hard drive, where you can listen to it or put it on your mobile device.
Elsewhere on the Aberdeen ballot, the four incumbent city council members – Bruce Garner, Ruth Elliott, Sandy Landbeck, and Ruth Ann Young – are unopposed in their re-election bids and are virtually guaranteed another four years on the city council.
The Aberdeen Ballott:
FOR MAYOR (pick one)
Michael E. Bennett
Patrick L. McGrady
FOR COUNCIL (pick four)
Ruth E. Elliott
Bruce E. Garner
Sandra J. Landbeck
Ruth Ann Young
MID-DAY UPDATE: McGrady issued an early-morning e-mailer Tuesday to spur last-minute votes. The text of his message follows:
Today is the Day!
Our campaign team worked late into last night and we were out at 5:00AM this morning making sure everything is finalized today for this election.
We have our volunteers at the polls– Everything is coming together, but we need your help!
If you live in Aberdeen, make sure you vote today for Good Government by casting a vote for McGrady for Mayor. Then call all your friends and neighbors, or send a text message and ask them to vote too. Post it on your facebook page, tweet it, and let’s win today!
If you don’t live in Aberdeen, please post “If you live in Aberdeen, vote TODAY for McGrady for Mayor, for lower water bills and property taxes at the Aberdeen Senior Center” on your Facebook page. Then, think of 5 people to text or call that live in Aberdeen, and make sure they get out and vote!
Have a great day, and don’t forget to vote!
In Bel Air…
Hanley defused a potential bombshell himself last week when he appeared in Cecil County District Court for what was scheduled to be the start of his trial on a charge of theft. Instead, Hanley requested a jury trial, which assured a delay in any further action in the case until after the election.
Will Hanley’s legal uncertainties be enough to allow newcomers Burdette or Adolph (who came within 8 votes two years ago of besting longtime incumbent commissioners David Carey and Rob Preston) to edge ahead?
The Bel Air Ballot:
FOR TOWN COMMISSIONER (pick three)
Brian “Gregory” G. Adolph
Susan U. Burdette
Terence O. Hanley
Harry “Eddie” E. Hopkins III
Robert “Rob” J. Reier
MID-DAY UPDATE: Hanley sent out an e-mail message to voters in the late-night hours Tuesday, the text of which follows:
For the past eight years,I have had the privilege to serve the residents of Bel Air.I worked tirelessly to ensure a better future for the town we all love.
As a husband and father of three wonderful children,I know how important it is to maintain the quality of life in the Town of Bel Air.
I respectfully ask for your vote for re-election this Tuesday, November 8th.
Aberdeen and Bel Air citizens who are registered to vote can do so from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Aberdeen Senior Center and Bel Air Town Hall, respectively.
The official canvasses will be:
Aberdeen Canvass: Thursday November 10, 2011 at 10am
Aberdeen City Hall; 60 N Park St
Bel Air Canvass: Thursday November 10, 2011 at 10am
Bel Air Town Hall; 39 Hickory Ave
Stay tuned to The Dagger for election update throughout the day. Please send us your photos, reports, impressions, and reactions to the Aberdeen and Bel Air Elections.