County voters back GOP commission, Sheriff as state voters trend Dem

by Kate Shunney

Washington County voters heavily favored conservative candidates during the 2022 Gubernatorial Election as statewide voting trends solidly backed Democrats in state and federal races.

Republican candidates swept the race for Washington County Commission. Hancock resident Wayne Keefer was one of five GOP candidates to secure terms of office. In the eight-way race for five seats, the top vote-getters were:

John Barr – 27,121 Jeffery Cline – 26,933 Randall Wagner – 25,566 Wayne Keefer – 25,553 Derek Harvey – 24,088. In other county races, Republican Brian Albert won the race for Sheriff of Washington County with 69% of the vote over Democrat Junior McLeod.

Campaign signs outside of Hancock’s polling place on November 8.

In the non-partisan race for seats on the Washington County school board, Mike Guessford, Linda Murray and Darrell Evans won the three available seats in a field of six candidates. Guessford brought in 22,355 votes, Murray earned 17,736 votes and Evans took in 14,796 votes.

Dems take Governor & Senate seats

Maryland voters elected Democrat W es Moore and Aruna Miller as Governor and Lt. Governor, with nearly 60% of state ballots going to Moore. Republicans Dan Cox and Gordana Schifanelli pulled in 37% of the vote, with the remainder of ballots split among Libertarian, Green and Working Class Party candidates.

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen secured another term in office with 60.75% of the vote in a race against Republican Chris Chaffee.

Voters in the 6th Congressional district, which includes Washington, Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and parts of Montgomery County, gave the GOP a win this election. Republican Neil Parrott won the race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in a tight race against Democrat David Trone. Parrott secured 51% of the vote to Trone’ s 48%, winning with a margin of 4,547 votes.

Longtime Western Maryland politician Mike McKay easily won his first run for State Senator representing District 1. That district includes Washington, Garrett and Allegany counties. McKay pulled in 77% of the vote while Democrat Michael Dreisbach earned 23%.

Former Washington County Commissioner Terry Baker won a decisive victory in a three-way race for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 1C. Baker pulled in 78% of the vote. Democrat Carrie Hinton earned 20% of the vote while Green party candidate Charlotte McBrearty collected 1.9% of the vote.

Amendments pass

Maryland voters supported the legalization of cannabis for adult use and possession with a margin of 66 to 34.

Voters also backed Amendment 3, which changed the threshold for requesting a jury trial in civil matters. 62% of voters supported the constitutional change.

Constitutional amendment #5 passed with 65.5% of the vote. It will reorganize the Circuit Court for Howard County.

Maryland voters decisively supported Amendment #2, which added a requirement that candidates for State Senate and the House of Delegates must maintain a place of abode in the districts they seek to represent. A solid 89% of voters backed that change.

Voters also approved Amendment #1, which will rename the state’ s Court of Appeals. That measure passed with 73% of voters in support.