DENTON — It was a good Election Day for incumbents in Caroline County, as every candidate seeking re-election was victorious.
The 424 requested absentee ballots in the county, which will be canvassed Thursday, are not enough to change the outcome of any race.
Incumbents Larry Porter and Wilbur Levengood Jr. won their third terms as Caroline County commissioners, while the third incumbent, Dan Franklin, won his second.
The three Republican candidates had 6,990, 6,060 and 6,073 votes, respectively, defeating lone Democratic candidate Nevin Crouse, who garnered 3,302 votes.
About 1,100 write-in votes were cast, though the Caroline County Board of Elections has not yet canvassed them to figure out how many were for Frank Bartz, who continued a write-in campaign after barely missing out on a spot on the Republican ballot in the primary election, which he lost to Franklin by 30 votes.
"Certainly it's always an honor to win and to have people show their support," Porter said. "I probably did less campaigning this time. I let people know if they're satisfied with what I've done over the last two terms, I'd appreciate their vote, and if not, they have other options."
"I asked the citizens to give me another term, and I look forward to serving them," Levengood said. "That's all I've done my entire adult life, is work for the citizens of Caroline County."
Levengood said the commissioners have a lot of decisions to make over the next four years. He hopes to continue growing the county's economy, bring in more jobs and complete major construction projects in the pipeline, like the new sheriff's office building and new elementary school in Greensboro.
"Being reelected to a second term by the voters is very satisfying, and hopefully a measure of how voters feel about the job that we've done," Franklin said. "I'm very proud and excited about my second term, and definitely looking forward to it. There are a lot of things in the works that we wanted to see through."
Porter said he was a little surprised all three incumbents were reelected.
"I thought there might be a change only because sometimes people just want change," Porter said. "We made a gentleman's agreement a long time ago about how to conduct ourselves and our meetings. I certainly hope people appreciate that we try to be civil to each other and work together."
"There's a lot to be said for knowing the people you've been working with," Levengood said. "The ground rules are already set so we know what to expect of each other."
"I'm happy we kept the team together," said Franklin.
Porter commended the rest of the candidates who ran for commissioner.
"It's important for people to realize how difficult it is to run, to put yourself out there, spend the time and always be prepared to answer questions," Porter said. "I hope in the future people won't be discouraged to put their hat in the ring. There will be empty seats in the future and I hope to see good people fill them."
Caroline County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Newell was elected to his first full 15-year term on the bench. He was appointed to the judgeship in 2016 by Gov. Larry Hogan, but had to be confirmed to a full term by voters.
Newell, who had served as Caroline County’s state’s attorney since 2002 until his appointment, defeated challenger Dennis Farina, a 33-year Denton attorney.
Newell got 5,839 votes to Farina’s 4,556.
"It feels a little strange, after two years of campaign mode, to have it all done," Newell said, crediting his family for their help during the campaign. "But I'm obviously very happy with the results, and I'm looking forward to serving for the next 15 years."
Since he is no longer a candidate judge, Newell said he will not be able to attend political events, but he plans to still go out and support other community organizations as much as possible.
"I appreciate everyone's confidence," Newell said. "I look forward to maintaining that confidence."
Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds got 6,977 votes to win a third consecutive term, holding off a challenge from Steven Biddle, a 23-year veteran of and senior deputy in the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, who received 3,804 votes.
Caroline County Board of Education member James Newcomb will serve his third term as the elected member from the county’s educational voting District 3, as his 2,126 votes were enough to defeat challenger Sherone Thompson, who received 904 votes.
Newcomb, of Federalsburg, is also a former appointed member of the county’s hybrid board, and has served a total of 11 years.
Caroline County Register of Wills Jim Phelps received the most overall votes in Caroline County (9,003) and won a third term, running unopposed, and Joseph Riley, who Newell appointed the county’s ad interim state’s attorney after Newell’s own appointment, ran unopposed in the general election to win his first elected term as state’s attorney.
The only new face in office in Caroline County will be that of Terry Lord, who was elected clerk of the circuit court.
Lord has worked for 30 years in the office. She has been chief deputy since 2011, under longtime Clerk of the Circuit Court Dale Minner, who announced last year he is retiring after 36 years in office.
Lord defeated Democratic nominee Missy Gallagher, 7,675 votes to 3,105.