(10/30) John Kinnaird, a first-term town commissioner, won the mayorís seat Tuesday in Thurmont. The town saw a 25.4 percent voter turnout.
Kinnaird garnered 716 votes, and Rosie Bentz received 100 votes.
Wayne Hooper got 613 votes to keep the town commissioner seat he has held for 24 years. Mayor Martin Burns, who chose to run for commissioner, received 592 votes to fill the other open commissioner seat.
Ronald Terpko Jr., in his first election bid, drew 333 votes. Terpko, 24, said he hoped to draw more young people into town politics.
Carol Robertson, chief election judge for Thurmont, said she was pleased to see more young, first-time voters on Tuesday. She estimated about 25 of the 839 voters were at the polls for the first time.
As a result of Kinnairdís move to the mayorís seat ó he will be sworn in at 10 a.m. Friday at Thurmont Town Hall ó there will need to be a special election for his open commissioner seat.
Burns said the town officials will need to set the date for the election, which needs to be at least 30 days from Tuesday, but less than 180 days. Details of the special election could be discussed at tonightís town meeting at 7 p.m., but could be decided later on.
In a post-election interview, Kinnaird, a native of Scotland who came to the U.S. as a child, said he would spend some time learning the duties of the mayor. "Iím relying on Marty (Burns) to help me with that. We are fortunate as we have no issues going on right now in the town."
Hooper said his wife hoped it would be his last term as commissioner.
"The town has doubled since I first took office. The economy dictates a lot of what happens," he said.
Burns thanked the candidates and election commission for a good process and congratulated Terpko for a commendable number of votes in his first venture into politics.
Dale Sharrer, one of the election judges, said voting was steady all day. Despite suffering two strokes in a relatively short time, Sharrer said he wanted to help out with the election.
John Junier Thomas, 16, a visiting student from Costa Rica, said he was impressed with the American election system. Thurmont was using touch-screen machines, while in Costa Rica elections are done by paper ballot. John is staying with Chuck and Susan Crone. Their daughter, Carly, came to watch the voting Tuesday night as well.
Pamela Hamrick said she wanted to put her two cents in. "It is important to teach kids to vote. If you donít vote, you donít have any reason to complain about what goes on." She returned later to watch Boomer, a boxer-Lab mix, while the petís owner, her daughter-in-law, voted.