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


Gazette Editorial: Our primary election recommendations

As the final countdown begins for next Tuesday’s primary elections in Worcester County, “balance” is the word voters should consider when they go to mark their ballots.

With a couple of exceptions, ideology and personal alliances should have nothing to do with the positions up for election. That said, the ballots next Tuesday will contain the names of many capable people. From that list, we are recommending those who we feel offer the best combination of experience, fairness and sense of the community.

Most importantly, qualified voters must exercise that privilege. Barring the unlikely success of write-in campaigns in November, the contests for delegate, state’s attorney, sheriff and register of wills will be decided Tuesday on the Republican side of the ballot.

For State Delegate: We recommend City Councilman Wayne Hartman. A successful businessman, he has established himself as a fiscal conservative and is not shy about expressing his opinion. The latter will be especially important in a House of Delegates controlled by a Democratic majority. His assertiveness, however, is tempered with a willingness to consider different opinions before adopting a position.

For State’s Attorney: We recommend Kris Heiser, an Ocean City resident and assistant state’s attorney in Wicomico County. She also served in Worcester County under then-State’s Attorney Joel Todd. She has management and courtroom experience and has trained new prosecutors. She also believes community outreach is part of the job. She has been endorsed by the Ocean City Fraternal Order of Police, Sheriff Reggie Mason and other notable figures.

Her competition, interim Worcester County State’s Attorney Bill McDermott, is a capable fellow, but our pursuit of balance calls for a clean break between the chief prosecutor’s office and the Circuit Court, where McDermott’s old boss, former State’s Attorney Judge Beau Oglesby, now sits.

For Worcester County Sheriff: We recommend Matt Crisafulli, a long-time member of the sheriff’s office who has been supervising its drug abuse resistance education. He recognizes that strong law enforcement is vital in combatting drug abuse, but he also understands that prevention is part of the cure. He has the endorsements of current Sheriff Reggie Mason and his predecessor, Chuck Martin. We feel he will run an operation that’s dedicated to upholding the law and working with the community.

For Register of Wills: We recommend Chief Deputy Register of Wills Terri Delaney Westcott. She has been a vital part of this smoothly operating office for almost two decades, which guarantees a smooth transition and no on-the-job training.

If she wins, she will face Democrat Nicole Caudell, a criminal clerk of the court in Snow Hill, in the November general election.

For County Commissioner District 3: We recommend incumbent Republican Bud Church because of his long experience on that board and his ability to compromise when the situation calls for it. Should he win, and he almost certainly will, he will face Democratic Berlin Town Councilman Zackery Tyndall.

For Orphans Court Judge: we Recommend returning incumbents Chief Judge Linda Hess, associate judge Mike Diffendal and bringing in current OPA board member Cheryl Jacobs.

As there are no Democratic candidates for these posts, the primary will decide the composition of the three-judge panel. Hess and Diffendal have done the job, while Jacobs has demonstrated her capacity to serve in public office by virtue of her tenure on the Ocean Pines Board of Directors.