Readers indicate close sheriff’s race in Calvert


Hollywood, MD – Political polls are much like Margaritas—it’s best to consume both with grains of salt. Readers of were recently polled on three key local races in the Tuesday, June 26 Maryland Republican Primary Election. Those races will determine the GOP candidates for the sheriff’s races in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties; and the Maryland Senate seat for District 29, which is comprised of St. Mary’s County and Southern Calvert County. All three races involve incumbents vying to stay in office. The winners of those primary races will have unopposed Democrat candidates challenging them in November.

By far, the race that attracted the most attention is the Republican Primary for Calvert County Sheriff. Although there is a third candidate—municipal police officer Kinsey Weems—on the ballot, the Primary is regarded as a rematch of the 2014 General Election when incumbent Sheriff Mike Evans won a surprisingly close race against then-Democrat Craig Kontra. Since that election, Kontra has switched to the GOP. During the three days it was posted on’s front page 2,593 readers cast votes. Kontra garnered 1,291 votes (49.7 percent) to Evans’ 1,140 (44 percent). There were 162 participants (6.25 percent) who indicated they were undecided.

The margin is much wider in the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s race. Incumbent Tim Cameron, who is facing opposition for the first time in a dozen years, received 67 percent of the 1,017 votes that were registered. The number of undecided votes was larger than the number of readers who registered their support for challenger Tom Phelan.

A similar scenario occurred with our reader poll for the District 29 Senate race. Challenger Jack Bailey received 48 percent of the vote, while incumbent Senator Steve Waugh received 24 percent. The poll showed 28.5 percent were undecided. The good news for Waugh is that undecided group could make a difference on Primary Election Day—if the poll mirrors the true mood of voters. A collective eleventh hour decision by voters could make a difference at the polls.

There was another poll conducted. The results are fairly telling. Over 1,310 readers participated. They were given four choices and asked to select “the most important factor” in choosing which candidate to support. Receiving less than 2 percent of the vote was “political experience.” Only 7.5 percent of the participants chose “party affiliation” as the top priority. The second highest priority, according to the readers’ poll is “plans and ideas.” Far and away the most important factor in choosing a candidate is “honesty and integrity.” Even on a local level, in an age of skepticism about anything a politician says, the qualities that endeared Americans to Washington and Lincoln rate the highest.

It’s almost Primary Election Day. Now might be a good time for that last Margarita before you vote.

Contact Marty Madden at

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