With canvassing of more than 600 city absentee ballots starting Thursday, the fifth and final seat on the Hagerstown City Council hangs in the balance between two incumbent councilmen.
Both Democrats, Martin Brubaker led William Breichner by an 188-vote margin Tuesday night with all 18 Election Day precincts and early voting results tabulated, leaving a chance that Breichner could amass enough votes to potentially reach Brubaker.
A total of 730 absentee ballots were issued to city voters and 601 had been returned as of Wednesday, according to Washington Co. Elections Board Director Kaye Robucci.
After the first round of absentee ballot counting taking place Thursday, provisional ballots from Election Day and any remaining absentee ballots cast will be accounted for next week before the election is certified.
Breichner, 81, said Wednesday that he intends to wait it out until all ballots have been counted.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have been associated with the City of Hagerstown since Feb. 19, 1956,” Breichner said, remembering his very first day of work as a draftsman for the city. “I’ve always been grateful for the support I’ve received from the city, the employees and the political bodies, and the citizens.”
Breichner has served three terms on city council and one term as mayor from 2001 to 2005. He was a city employee for more than three decades, serving 17 years as superintendent of the city’s Water Department and then was appointed the first city administrator in 1983.
— C.J. Lovelace