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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Gazette Editorial

The 2022 primary elections for the Democratic Party and Republican Party taking place next Tuesday will offer voters a ballot bursting with candidates.

Some contests in this preliminary round are not contests at all, since the candidates face no competition and will, barring some bizarre circumstance, take office after the general election in November.

In this group are District 7 County Commissioner Joe Mitrecic, State’s Attorney Kris Heiser, Clerk of Court Susan Braniecki, Register of Wills Terri Westcott, and Delegate Wayne Hartman. Congratulations.

As for the nonpartisan Worcester County School Board election, suffice to say that the county’s public schools are some of the best, if not the best, in the state. There’s no need for change here, hence we back incumbents Bill Gordy and Nate Passwaters, who face competition, while Todd Ferrante is running unopposed.

Another election where no change is needed is for the office of sheriff, where the job done in the last four years by Republican Matthew Crisafulli entitles him to four more.

The county commissioner contests are more complicated, with Districts 3 and 4 each giving Republican voters four candidates to consider. But first, here are our recommendations in the less crowded races in Districts 2, 5 and 6. The incumbents — Democrat Diana Purnell (Dist. 2), Republican Chip Bertino (Dist. 5) and Republican Madison “Jim” Bunting (Dist. 6) have represented their constituencies well. They should receive the nod from voters in their parties.

In the all-Republican contest in District 4, it must be said that Ted Elder also has represented the wishes of his constituents, but we believe it’s time to give someone else the opportunity. That someone would be the county’s former chief fire marshal Jeff McMahon, who backs responsible development, farm and environmental preservation and maintaining a top-tier school system.

The wide-open Republican contest in District 3 is the toughest call. Numerous good people are running in this district, but because it includes rural areas, a big part of Berlin and rapidly growing West Ocean City, the job will require philosophical flexibility with an eye on the future. In this instance, we recommend Shawn Kotwica for the job.

Most important, however, is that voters show their support for our democratic institutions by going to the polls on Tuesday. Vote for whomever you prefer, but vote.