Cecil County Politics: Two Late Contenders Enter Dist. 5 Race Against Hodge

January 11, 2012

For most of the day Wednesday, County Commissioner Robert Hodge (R-5) looked like the luckiest politician in Cecil County: unopposed in the primary or general election in his re-election bid.

Democrats had scrambled for months to come up with a candidate to challenge Hodge in the general election. They sought to convince Sharon Weygand, a Democrat who ran a spirited race against Hodge four years ago and lost by a few hundred votes, to challenge him again, sources said, but she declined.

Then, Wednesday afternoon, former Elkton mayor James Crouse stepped up to the plate and took one for the Democratic team, filing for the 5th District seat. The County Commissioner seats will become County Council seats after this year’s election.

Crouse was a popular multi-term mayor and also served briefly as a state Delegate for Dist. 36 when he was appointed to fill a vacancy. But he lost election to the seat in a race against Michael Smigiel, R, in 2002.

Then, with about a half hour to go before the 9 p.m. filing deadline, a last-minute candidate, Keith Moore, Jr., of North East, filed to run against Hodge in the Republican primary.

Moore, who is not related to County Commissioner Tari Moore (R-2), owns a printing business and his wife serves on the North East town council.

A search of the state campaign finance database found no political contributions to any state or county candidates by Mr. Moore and he appears to be a political newcomer.

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