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Garrett incumbents lose seats in primary upsets

Voters oust two longtime county commissioners
From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News Tue Sep 14, 2010, 11:42 PM EDT

OAKLAND — Voters ousted two longtime Garrett County Commission incumbents in major upsets in Tuesday’s primary election, according to unofficial results released at 10:25 p.m.

Twelve-year veteran Fred Holliday and 24-year veteran Ernie Gregg, the current commission chairman, both lost their bids for re-election to first time commission candidates.

Gregg was defeated for the District 1 seat by Gregan Crawford, who garnered more than 55 percent of the votes cast.

Gregg attributed his defeat largely to the anti-incumbency mood nationwide, and congratulated Crawford for running “an honorable campaign.”

“I was a commissioner elected for 24 years,” Gregg said. “I did my best to serve the public and made the decisions I felt were in the best interest of the public, and I appreciate the support I’ve had over the years.”

In District 2, Holliday lost to four-term board of education member Jim Raley, who took more than 61 percent of the votes cast.

“I think there’s an anti-incumbency out there and I think the voters feel the commissioners were no longer listening to them,” Raley said. “That’s really the direction this whole thing took.”

Holliday declined to comment on what he viewed as the deciding factor in his race, but said an anti-incumbent mood could be part of it.

“I congratulate Jim on a well-run campaign and I wish him luck and I wish the county luck,” he said. “As long as the county does well, that’s good, and that’s where my heart is.”

Denny Glotfelty was the only incumbent commissioner to survive the primary. In the District 3 Republican race, Glotfelty beat out three challengers and secured more than 41 percent of the votes cast.

“I’ve always said I run for the people, not against anybody,” Glotfelty said. He was surprised by the outcomes of the other commission races.

“Whoever they put in in the other districts is who the people want and we’ll do the best we can for Garrett County,” he said.

Glotfelty’s nearest challenger was Bob Gatto, with 31.7 percent, then Louis Newcomb, with 15.9 percent, and Tim Thomas, with 10.9 percent.

Glotfelty will face Democratic challenger Bill Welch in the November general election. Welch easily dusted off his primary challenger, George Falter, securing more than 75 percent of the votes cast.

In District 1, Crawford will face Democrat Eric Robison in November. Robison ran unopposed in the primary.

Raley as yet faces no opponent in the general election, since no Democrats filed for the District 2 seat.

In the Republican race for sheriff, Robert Corley took nearly 58 percent of the votes cast and defeated fellow Republican Larry Gnegy. Corley will take on Democrat Skyler Hebden, who ran unopposed in the primary, in the November general election.

In a four-way Republican race for register of wills, incumbent Rita Watson won handily with nearly 64 percent of the votes cast. Watson’s nearest challenger was Traci Royce, with more than 22 percent, then John Sines, with nearly 10 percent, and Bryan Paugh, with less than 4 percent.

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