ELKTON — County Council Vice President Alan McCarthy trumped the field of four candidates Tuesday night as ballots were tallied in the race for county executive on the Republican ticket.
McCarthy, who gave up a possible second term on the county council to run for county executive, will now face Wayne Tome, the only Democrat running for county executive, in the Nov. 8 general election.
Meanwhile, McCarthy’s opponent and colleague Councilman Dan Schneckenburger will resume his seat on the county council to fill out the remaining two years of his four-year term.
“I feel blessed I was able to run this race,” Schneckenburger said Tuesday night. “I think the difference was that Alan announced so early and got way out ahead of me, but I wish him the best. I’ll support him moving forward and we’ll work well together.”
Voting totals for the 2016 primary election, including early voting, gave McCarthy 42 percent of the vote, while Schneckenburger held a slim lead for second with 26 percent and conservative activist Joe Carabetta came in third with 23 percent while newcomer Greg MacDonald earned about 11 percent.
“I’m feeling pretty good,”, a jubilant McCarthy said Tuesday night. “I worked hard during the campaign and I’ll continue to do my best.”
All four Republican candidates for county executive participated in multiple forums while campaigning, some earning endorsements from several groups.
“I think it’s unfortunate that voters decided to take the path of higher taxes, higher fees and higher debt in this election,” a disappointed Carabetta said Tuesday night. “I worked very hard in this campaign, but it’s hard to fight big money. I do want to thank all my supporters.”
McCarthy, who is in his fourth year serving on the county council, feels he is in a good position to move into the executive role.
“I have a lot of ideas to help the county,” he said, noting he plans to focus on filling gaps of missing infrastructure in the commercial/industrial zoned areas of the county, especially along Route 40.
He also wants to help families and put people back to work.
His background in veterinary medicine and his years of buying and selling real estate, as well as serving eight years as a financial adviser on the Cecil College Foundation board of directors, has provided him with diverse business knowledge.
During his term on the council, McCarthy broadened his contacts in the state by serving as the county’s representative to the Maryland Association of Counties, chairman of the Upper Shore Regional Council and a member of the Clean Chesapeake Coalition. Locally, he serves on the Cecil County Drug & Alcohol Council.
Schneckenburger is disappointed he didn’t win, but is ready to roll up his sleeves and get back to work for the county.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said Tuesday.
Carabetta, a retired civilian leader at Aberdeen Proving Ground and longtime Republican activist, is going to take time to evaluate his future involvement in politics.
MacDonald, who spent 18 years at W.L. Gore, could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.