Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include results from an initial mail-in ballot canvass in Annapolis on Wednesday.
More than a dozen Maryland municipalities will hold elections this month, and elections on Tuesday produced a few upsets across the state. Bel Air Mayor Amy Chmielewski appears to have lost her reelection bid, and a couple of Annapolis councilmembers are clinging to narrow leads.
Annapolis and Frederick are the last municipalities in Maryland to hold partisan elections, and both elected mayors and councilmembers Tuesday. Sometimes — but not always — the off-off-year elections in those two cities are seen as harbingers of the state and county elections to come.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the Maryland municipal results from Tuesday:
After an initial canvass of mail-in ballots on Wednesday, incumbents in Annapolis were leading in races for mayor and city council.
Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley (D) extended his lead over Republican challenger Steven Strawn, and had more than 70% of the vote at the close of the first canvass. Buckley said Wednesday that Strawn conceded in a phone call.
In Ward 2, the current council’s only Republican, Frederick M. Paone, did not seek a fifth term. On Election Day, Republican Scott Gibson garnered the most votes, but 423 mail-in ballots were tallied for Democrat Karma O’Neill on Wednesday, and she now leads the race with just under 54% of the vote. It is the closest race among the eight ward-based council seats.
In Ward 8, the next-closest race, Democratic Councilmember Ross H. Arnett III led Republican challenger Rock Toews 681 votes to 526.
Mail-in ballots, which were sent to every registered voter in October, dramatically grew the vote tallies on Wednesday, and Democratic incumbents took decisive leads in nearly every council race.
More than 1,900 ballots were cast in person on Election Day. More than 4,100 mail and dropbox ballots were counted on Wednesday.
Final election results are expected next Tuesday.
The Harford County town elected two members to its Board of Commissioners Tuesday, ousting Mayor Amy Chmielewski, according to unofficial election returns.
Four candidates were competing for two seats, and Chmielewski finished third with 264 votes. Mary F. Chance finished first with 433 votes, followed by Paula S. Etting with 384 votes. Also running was Lawrence J. Russell, who received 131 votes. A second councilmember who was eligible for reelection, Patrick T. Richards, chose not to run this year.
The town council selects the mayor from its ranks. Three other members are up for reelection in 2023.
A canvass of provisional and absentee ballots is scheduled for Thursday morning. If additional mail-in ballots arrive after the initial canvass, a second canvass is scheduled for Nov. 12.
The city of Frederick is poised to re-elect Mayor Michael O’Connor (D), as well as an all-Democratic board of alderman.
As of Tuesday night, O’Connor had 61.84% of the vote. After revelations that the Republican nominee for mayor Steven Hammrick (R) used an alternate spelling of his name on city election forms and was the subject of an open criminal assault case, he was nearly tied after early voting with write-in votes. Former Frederick County Board of County Commissioners President Blaine Young (R) thanked supporters on Facebook for writing in his name.
Community advocate and Annapolis lobbyist Katie Nash (D) is expected to be the only newcomer to the council, and so far has the highest number of votes, 2,239. Nash will replace Alderman Roger Wilson, who lost in the Democratic primary for mayor.
Final results in Frederick are not expected until next week, and canvassing is expected to continue Thursday.
The Greenbelt City Council will welcome two new members: Brandon Ric Gordon and Kristen L.V. Weaver.
Gordon is chair of Greenbelt Voices Rising and co-chair of the Greenbelt Anti-Maglev Task Force, and is involved in other community organizations. Weaver is a former educator who works at the Goddard Space Flight Center and is involved in local environmental groups.
Gordon and Weaver replace Leta Mach and Edward Putens, who did not seek reelection.
Once sworn in, the Greenbelt council will appoint one of its members as mayor. Traditionally, the designation has gone to the highest vote-getter in the election. Emmett V. Jordan received the most votes, 2,029. He has served as mayor in the past, though Colin A. Byrd has been mayor for the past two years.
Voters in Greenbelt approved a referendum allowing the city council to create a 21-member commission to research the feasibility of local reparations — and how they could be established.
Larry Hushour, a former town councilmember, was elected mayor on Tuesday, defeating Councilmember Pamela Reed in a special election by a more than 2-1 margin. Hushour received 1,160 votes, according to a late-night tally, to Reed’s 548 votes. A little more than 100 absentee ballots had yet to be counted.
Hushour will replace former mayor Patrick Rockinberg, who died of cancer in August after winning reelection in May.