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Election 2022

Sen. Eckardt loses comeback bid in Cambridge mayoral election

Sen. Adelaide “Addie” Eckardt (R-Middle Shore) talks with a local television station at the Tawes Crab and Clam Feast. File photo.

State Sen. Adelaide Eckardt’s long political career is coming to an apparent end.

Eckardt, a political fixture on the Eastern Shore and in Annapolis for decades, lost a runoff to become mayor of Cambridge on Tuesday — two months after losing her reelection bid in the Republican primary.

Eckardt was defeated by former Cambridge Commissioner Stephen Rideout. According to unofficial results posted on the city government’s Facebook page, Rideout received 681 votes, for 55%, to 557 votes (45%) for Eckardt.

Rideout, a former juvenile court judge in Virginia who has been active with several civic groups in Cambridge, will fill the remainder of the term of former Mayor Andrew Bradshaw, who resigned in scandal earlier this year.

Bradshaw quit after being charged by the state prosecutor’s office of 50 counts of distributing revenge porn on a social media website. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty in April to five counts of distributing revenge porn. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and pay $750 to the woman he posted nude photos of online without her knowledge or consent.

Rideout will serve through the end of Bradshaw’s term, which runs to the end of 2024.

Eckardt finished second in the original six-way mayoral balloting on Aug. 23, with 30.32% of the vote, while Rideout took 35.21%. The runoff was necessitated by the fact that no candidate topped 50% of the vote.

Eckardt, 78, a 28-year veteran of the General Assembly, had hoped for one last political triumph in the wake of her own, self-described “miserable” performance in the Republican Senate primary against Del. Johnny Mautz (R), who is favored to win her seat in November.