By C.J. LOVELACE
11:19 AM EST, November 7, 2012
Two former Hagerstown City Council members appear to be headed back to City Hall, according to complete but unofficial election results Tuesday night.
With 18 of 18 precincts reporting and early voting results, Democratic challengers Kristin B. Aleshire and Penny Nigh held the top two positions overall, earning 8,010 votes and 6,477 votes, respectively.
In third, longtime state legislator Don Munson, who looks to be the council’s lone Republican, had collected 6,185 votes, followed by incumbent Democrat Lewis C. Metzner with 6,016 votes.
The race for the fifth and final seat on the council was neck-and-neck and is currently still undecided between incumbents Martin Brubaker and William Breichner, both Democrats.
Barring uncounted absentee ballots, Brubaker looks like the final council member with a slim lead of 5,264 votes to 5,076 votes for Breichner.
The remaining five candidates were Jonathan R. Burrs and Chris Kelly, both Republicans, with 3,372 votes and 3,251 votes, respectively. Incumbent Ashley C. Haywood, who is an unaffiliated candidate, was next with 3,073 votes, and GOP candidates Larry Bayer and Jeffrey M. Coney rounded out the final two spots with 2,921 votes and 2,759 votes, respectively.
Aleshire said he was surprised that he was the leading vote-getter, especially by such a large margin. He also led all council candidates in the primary election this past April.
“I generally sort of expected Munson or Penny to be at the top of that list, and they certainly are,” said Aleshire, who also formerly served on the Washington County Board of Commissioners. “I think with Lew looking like he’s in and a toss up there before Marty and Bill right now, I think you’ve got a good group of folks out of an even larger group of good candidates selected. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Metzner said he felt “very humbled” that the citizens were supporting him for another term on the city council.
“When you look at those numbers ... it sure looks like it’s going to be the five of us,” Metzner said, referring to Aleshire, Nigh, Munson and Brubaker or Breichner, in addition to himself.
“I’ve worked with Penny, I worked with Kristin and I’ve worked with Martin and Bill. And I’ve certainly worked with Don on various levels,” he added. “It certainly looks like we’re going to have a new mayor, and I look forward to working with Dave (Gysberts).”
Nigh said she was very tired after spending all days at the polls, but she said it felt “really good” to return to council.
“We’ve worked really hard,” Nigh said. “I hope it just continues.”
A total of 727 absentee ballots were issued to city voters, and 462 were returned as of Tuesday morning, according to the Washington County Board of Elections.
Approximately 250 to 300 more countywide absentee ballots postmarked Tuesday had been received, but not yet counted in the “returned” figure, county Election Director Kaye Robucci said. The total number of absentee ballots from just city voters was not available Tuesday night, she said.
The first round of absentee ballots will be counted Thursday. Provisional ballots will be tallied Wednesday, Nov. 14, and any remaining absentee ballots will be counted Friday, Nov. 16 before results are finalized.
In the April primary, Aleshire earned 1,478 total votes, almost 24 percent of the total 6,260 votes cast.
Munson topped all GOP candidates in the primary with 1,394 votes.
Unofficial results as of 12:25 a.m. Wednesday:
Hagerstown City Council
Kristin B. Aleshire, D — 8,010
Penny Nigh, D — 6,477
Don Munson, R — 6,185
Lewis C. Metzner, D (i) — 6,016
Martin Brubaker, D (i) — 5,264
William Breichner, D (i) — 5,076
Jonathan R. Burrs, R — 3,372
Chris Kelly, R — 3,251
Ashley C. Haywood, U (i) — 3,073
Larry Bayer, R — 2,921
Jeffrey M. Coney, R — 2,759
With 18 of 18 precincts reporting and early voting results
Candidates with (i) next to their names are incumbents.
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