Moore Coasts to Victory in GOP Race for Cecil County Exec.; Smigiel Routed in Judge Race
(UPDATED 11:11 pm)County Commissioner Tari Moore coasted to victory in the Republican primary for Cecil County Executive, beating back a crowded field of challengers and a last-minute smear campaign against her by state Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-36) With 20 precincts reporting, Moore had 46 percent of the vote.
At the same time, Del. Michael Smigiel (R-36), the other half of the “Smipkin” political machine he and Pipkin lead, suffered a resounding defeat in his bid for a seat on the Cecil County Circuit Court. Smigiel’s longtime donor and supporter, Robert Gorman, created a political action committee that put out a negative, misleading attack mailer late last week against incumbent Judge Keith Baynes.
But even that desperation move couldn’t convince voters that Smigiel, a controversial state Delegate, deserved a judge’s robes.
Baynes, a Republican, and his court colleague, Judge Jane Cairns Murray, a Democrat, racked up solid victories in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. (Judges run on a non-partisan basis in both party primaries and the two top vote getters in each primary are placed on the November ballot.) With their strong wins on Tuesday, Baynes and Murray will be unopposed in November for the two available court seats.
With 20 precincts reporting, Baynes and Murray each had 39 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, while Smigiel eked out just 21 percent in his own party primary. On the Democratic ballot, Murray had 46 percent and Baynes had 44 percent, with Smigiel getting just 9 percent.
In the County Executive GOP primary, with 20 precincts reporting, Moore steamrollered over even her nearest rivals in the crowded 7-candidate contest. Their tally was 14.34 percent for Commissioner Diana Broomell (R-4); 12.46 percent for Smipkin-endorsed Michael A. Dawson; and 12.29 percent for former County Commissioner Harry Hepbron.
Commenting on her victory, Moore said:
“For our campaign team, this was all about getting the word out about my experience, education and qualifications for the position of County Executive – and running a positive race with integrity. We definitely accomplished all of that.
“But none of this would have happened without the help and encouragement of many people and the validation of those who voted for me. I’m very honored to have earned their support.
“I’m also very thankful the voters were able to see through the negative robocalls and mailers containing false and misleading information. The people of Cecil County deserve better.”
In the November general election, Moore will face former County Treasurer Pam Howard, who won a solid victory in the Democratic primary over North East mayor Robert McKnight.