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Hart and Powell vie for Calvert First District board seat


Mike Hart and Tricia Powell

Prince Frederick, MD - The race for Calvert County commissioner in Election District 1 has incumbent Republican Mike Hart facing Democratic challenger Tricia V. Powell, who was the winner of the June Primary.

Hart is the owner of Patuxent Wine and Spirits in Lusby. He and his wife Carolyn have two children. In the 2014 Republican Primary, Hart emerged as the winner in a hotly contested three-candidate race. He easily won election to the board in the General Election. Hart has been endorsed by the Southern Maryland Association of Realtors. During his four years on the board, Hart was a strong advocate for Calvert’s establishment of a “no-kill” animal shelter. The county will officially secede from the Tri-County Animal Shelter Nov. 1 as the shelter Hart and others clamored for has been built, dedicated and is ready for operation. In 2016, when a proposal to raise property an income tax rates was presented as a way to plug and sizable budget hole, Hart was one of two commissioners to vote opposed.

Hart found himself the center of controversy in 2016 when the members of the school union executive boards wrote him an “open letter,” accusing him of opposing portions of the ratified contracts of Calvert Education (CEA) and Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff (CAESS), which mandated raises for school employees. Hart called allegations that he opposed raises for educators “a lie,” and pointed to his support of the commissioners/school board-agreed funding formula as evidence of the accusation’s fraudulency.

“I am for keeping Calvert’s rural character,” said Powell, a 21-year resident of the county who lives, along with her husband, Mel, in the Drum Point community. “We need to put a cap on the number of households in order to keep the goal of 40,000 acres of farmland and forestland,” Powell stated in a questionnaire from Sustainable Calvert Network. “This means carefully planning where development should or should not go. The [Calvert County] Comprehensive Plan needs to reflect and respect these standards which means instilling boundaries in the plan relative to the town centers. We need policies that protect our rural landscape, help preserve our open space and yet maintain our tourist industry that brings revenue to the county.”
Powell’s work experiences include serving as a health care administrator and chief financial officer. The Wyoming native has been endorsed by the CEA. Powell’s campaign slogan is “we can do better.”

While Hart and Powell will represent the First Election District, which comprises much of Southern Calvert, voters are reminded the county commissioners are voted on countywide. You may vote for one from each of the three election districts and two at-large candidates.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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