SEABROOK – On June 26, the primary elections occurred all over the state of Maryland, including Prince George’s County. Here are the final results for local offices.
Current State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks thoroughly won her bid to become the Democratic nominee for the county executive election in November’s general election, collecting over 61 percent of the vote.
According to recent state election data, Prince George’s is an overwhelmingly Democratic county, giving Alsobrooks a good chance at becoming the first African-American women to be elected county executive. In the 2016 general election, 454,428 county voters classified themselves as part of the blue party while only 43,135 claimed to be Republicans.
“I want to thank my fellow residents of #PrinceGeorgesCounty for honoring me with your vote,” Alsobrooks said on her campaign’s Twitter page. “I am immensely grateful to the family, friends, & supporters who so generously contributed their time and effort to our campaign. I look forward to serving as your County Executive.”
Alsobrooks will face Jerry Mathis, who ran unopposed to become the Republican candidate, in the November general election. Mathis, a real estate agent and political activist, said it will be essential to re-educate voters of the importance of a two-party system to keep government officials accountable. If Mathis succeeds with an upset victory, he would become the first Republican since Lawrence Hogan (1978-1982) to become county executive.
“This county has the potential to be one of the greatest counties in the United States,” Mathis said. “We can be a shining star on a hill for other people to emulate but it takes a leader like me who is capable of bringing folks together, because I can, and who isn’t looking to make this their second job.”
The winners of the County Council At-Large primary race were Democrats Mel Franklin and Calvin Hawkins and Republican Felicia Folarin. The two-person position, created after the November 2016 elections, will go to a final run-off vote in the general election.
Franklin is a member of the County Council serving District 9 but is coming to the end of his term. Throughout his campaign for County Council At-Large, his focus has been on job growth through his Jobs First For Prince George’s County plan to create and sustain economic opportunity and investment in the people of the county.
“I’ve noticed there isn’t a great information connection between everyday citizens and the local government,” Franklin said. “I want to change that as County Council At-Large.”
For the past 20 years, Hawkins has worked in the county’s Department of Public Works, Office of Emergency Management and was a special advisor to the county executive. Throughout his campaign, Hawkins has advocated for improvements to the school system including council authority over budget outcomes, a housing strategy that yields affordable housing for all and effective public safety programs.
Felicia Folarin was the only Republican candidate to run for one of the two At-Large spots. Her campaign focus has been to “empower the residents of Prince George’s County to achieve higher levels of economic development and educational excellence.” She has been advocating for teacher incentives, investing in lower-income communities, greater tax incentives for local businesses, endorsing fiscal responsibility to support infrastructure and education and working with the growth of small businesses.
Aisha Braveboy took the win for State’s Attorney against Victor Ramirez and Michael Lyles with 62 percent of the vote. Braveboy brings experience with her to the position of being a lawyer and former house delegate. As State’s Attorney, her goals are to expand diversion programs for non-violent offenders, providing services such as transitional housing to victims of domestic and child abuse and focusing on mental health.
“My next plans are to look at building a good transition team and work with the current state’s attorney to develop a plan for transitioning in,” Braveboy said. “As far as the campaign I really want to focus on reaching out to stakeholder groups.”
There were tight races in the Democratic primaries for County Council seats. Tom Dernoga narrowly beat out Craig Moe for District 1. Jolene Ivey collected 73.3 percent of the vote, defeating four other candidates, in the District 5 race. Rodney Colvin Streeter narrowly won District 7 over Krystal Oriadha by 33 votes. Monique Anderson Walker took home District 8 with 51.1 percent of the vote. Sydney Harrison beat Tamara Davis Brown in District 9.
Current members Deni Taveras and Derrick Leon Davis won their respective races to retain their seats while Dannielle Glaros and Todd Turner ran uncontested for Districts 3 and 4.
In the county sheriff election, incumbent Melvin High collected 52.1 percent of the vote in a six-candidate race to win the Democratic nomination. His closest competitor, Capitol Heights Chief of Police Anthony Ayers, only accumulated 17 percent. High, 73, said the department’s “willingness to be transparent” was a reason why he was reelected.
The department recently added body cameras as a requirement for all 264 deputies and received accreditation as one of the top law-enforcement offices from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies in April. There were no candidates who filed to run for sheriff for the Republican Party during the primaries.
The Board of Education races saw three current members seeking re-election hold large leads over their rivals in the general election. Lupi Quinteros-Grady (District 2) received 49.4 percent of the vote during the primary and will take on Joshua M. Thomas. District 9 saw current member Soyna Williams win the primary with 54.3 percent of the vote. She will take on Arun Puracken, who received 28.5 percent of the primary votes.
Meanwhile, in District 6, Vice-Chair Carolyn Maria Boston finished the night as the leading vote-getter, with over 4,700 votes, in a six-candidate race. Boston, who is seeking for a third term, will face Belinda Queen, a member of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee and collected 24.6 percent of the primary votes.
In the District 3 race, local business owner and community activist Pamela Boozer-Strother finished in first place with 47.3 percent of the primary vote.
“I think the message is that the voters are looking for someone with my experience as a parent in the schools that understands the issues on a day-to-day basis,” Boozer-Strother said. “What I bring as a candidate is what really resonated with the voters as they want someone who is in the community and is working on education issues every day.”
She will take on Juwan Blocker, who finished in second place in the primary voting, in a run-off vote for the vacated seat, being left by Dinora Hernandez, in the general election. Blocker, 20, is a current student at Bowie State University and was a student board member during the 2016-2017 academic school year.