Updated: Mar 29
Pictured: Judy Carbone, Commissioner Larry Tichnell
Garrett Countians had a chance Wednesday to hear from all candidates running for Commissioner.
The Greater Grantsville Business Association sponsored a candidate forum at Penn Alps. All candidates on the primary election ballot were invited to address guests at the forum, with each given five minutes to speak.
Three districts divide the county voting population with only one seat running unopposed. Commissioner Paul Edwards will comfortably retain his position in district 2. He asked that voters still cast their ballots to support him and the democratic process.
Districts 3, however, is another story. Incumbent, Jim Hinebaugh will face off with two challengers, Fred Fox, and former Commissioners, Bob Gatto. With all three registered as Republicans, the primary will determine who will be the next representative for their district. There is no Democratic challenger in the General Election in November.
District 1 candidates include Democratic challenger Judy A. Carbone and Republican incumbent S. Larry Tichnell. Both will coast through the primary since neither have challengers in their own parties.
Carbone is running a landmark campaign. If elected in November, she would be the first woman and first Democrat elected to the Board of Commissioners in 25 years.
“Uncontested elections certainly are easier, but challenging our incumbents keeps them accountable. I think it is important that we have a challenger in the race,” said Carbone.
Carbone stated that she felt since the Democratic Party is growing in Garrett County, and 51 percent of the population is female, she was concerned both demographics deserve at least one seat of the three seats on the commission.
“I really do believe that I can bring a new voice to the county commissioners,” she said.
Tichnell said he is a lifelong county resident and was actually born in the house that he owns.
“I have to say that my family is the reason I’m running,” he said. “I want to know that 20 years from now, my great-grandchild is going to have a place to live, play and be able to work here in Garrett County and make an affordable living. And that’s why I’m running. I want to have all children have that opportunity.”
He mentioned what has been done in the last four years, such as taking commissioners’ meetings to various parts of the community to be among the people and talk to them.
“I took over my grandad’s farm when I was 19 years old, and I know all about farming in Garrett County,” he said. “The reason I ran the first time was because several farmers asked me to run. I didn’t think I’d be doing this again. I figured that at the end of the first time I would have had enough of this. But it’s been a great experience. I’ve met a lot of great people, and I enjoy what I do.”