The Charles County Republican Central Committee plans to choose a new county commissioner Monday after interviewing eight candidates.
The seat on the five-member Board of County Commissioners came open after Commissioner W. Daniel Mayer (R-La Plata) was tapped to replace Del. W. Louis Hennessy (R-Charles), who will leave the General Assembly to become a District Court judge in Charles.
At a 6 p.m. public meeting Monday at the Southern Maryland Business Center building on Old Washington Road in Waldorf, the central committee will interview all applicants, with members voting on a selection the same night, said Central Committee Chairman John Rutherford.
Although Rutherford said all applicants would get a fair shake, some political observers predict the contest may be a two-horse race, between La Plata resident Kevin Wedding, 40, the chief judge of the Charles County Orphans' Court, and Candice Quinn- Kelly, 49, also of La Plata, who is the president and chief executive of Waldorf-based Maredith Management, a company that manages neighborhood associations.
The other candidates are:
Ronnie Bennett, 45, of Charlotte Hall, a retired Charles County sheriff's officer who owns a landscaping business. Bennett lost in the primary for county commissioner in 2002.
Sam Bowling, 72, a retiree from Rock Point who is the vice president of the Cobb Island Volunteer Fire Department.
Jack Cheseldine, 61, a retired liquor store owner from Hughesville.
Jo-Ann Ptack, 58, the former chairman of the county's Planning Commission. Ptack lives in Bryantown and works part time at the College of Southern Maryland. She ran for county commissioner unsuccessfully in 1990.
Matt Wills, of Bryantown, a furniture salesman and a former city councilman in Lynn, Mass. Wills is the only African American candidate for commissioner.
Jim Crawford, 57, who runs a technology consulting business out of his home in Bryantown. Crawford had recently been hired as a Southern Maryland liaison for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development but was taken off the payroll Friday after questions arose about whether political positions he had posted on a campaign Web site were in conflict with the state agency's mission. Crawford ran unsuccessfully for state delegate in 1998 and 2002. His brother, Joe Crawford, is a member of the Republican Central Committee.
Calvert Fluoridation Study on Tap
The Calvert County commissioners approved a study this week to look at the feasibility of adding fluoride to county-owned water systems. The study will analyze the costs and benefits of fluoridation; none of the dentally beneficial chemical will be added to any water system.
"We're going to have just as many cavities when we get done [with the study] as when we start," said Commissioner Linda L. Kelley (R-At Large).
Calvert is one of the few counties in the state that does not add fluoride to its drinking water. Ninety-three percent of Maryland's community water systems are fluoridated, county health officer David L. Rogers wrote in a memo to the commissioners.