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Aberdeen Mayor Mike Bennett eased to a re-election victory Tuesday, while two incumbent city council members who supported the mayor were also re-elected.

The unofficial results are, for mayor:

Michael Bennett.......................982

Michael Hiob................................739

Barbara Osborn Kreamer............139

and for city council:

Ruth Elliott..................................1,236

Bruce Garner...............................1,123

Sandra Landbeck........................1,077

Ruth Ann Young.........................1,014

Ronald Kupferman.......................967

Zenobia Todd.................................439

Trudie Norman.............................285

The two other seats on the city council were filled by newcomers, as longtime Councilman Ronald Kupferman was defeated in his bid for another term.

Unofficial returns gave Bennett almost a 250 vote lead over City Council President Mike Hiob. The third candidate, Barbara O. Kreamer finished well back of the other two.

In the council election to fill all four seats, incumbent Councilwoman Ruth Elliott was re-elected with more than 1,200 votes. Newcomer Bruce Garner was second with more than 1,100 votes. Newcomer Sandy Landbeck finished third and incumbent Councilman Ruth Ann Young took the fourth seat.

Once again, an Aberdeen election appeared to be a referendum on the annexation and development of the Wetlands Golf Course north of the city, opposed by Bennett, Elliott and Young and supported by Hiob and Kupferman.

In all, 1,855 votes were cast at the polls Tuesday and 30 absentee ballots were counted.

There are 11 provisional ballots remaining to be validated and counted, but they won’t affect the outcome of either the mayor or the council race. Election officials said they will certify an official result by 10 a.m. Thursday.

“I’m very elated that the citizens let me continue to serve them,” Bennett said excitedly, once the results were posted. “It’s been a long hard month. I think it was pretty much the way I thought it would come out.”

Hiob, clearly upset, declined to be interviewed. He decided to leave the city council after six years to try for the mayor’s office.

Garner said: “I’m excited, I really am. I really worked hard for this one and a lot of people worked hard with me.”

Landbeck was also excited, saying: “It will be a great team to serve with. There’s a lot potential there.”

Elliott said she was confident going in, “but you never know.”

“The people have spoken,” she added.

Elliott said she thinks the new council will be “a good one.”

“My anticipation is we will be able to work together well and get some things done in the city.”

Voting Tuesday was light compared to the last two city elections in 2005 and 2007, the latter when more than 2,500 votes were cast. There were 8,528 eligible to vote this year, making Tuesday’s turnout about 22 percent.

Early in the afternoon Tuesday, a confident Bennett said he was hopeful as he walked back from his Rogers Street home after lunch with his wife, Elaine, to the area of Festival Park across from the senior center where candidates and their supporters were gathered.

“I’ve been seeing my people” coming to vote, he said, while noting that weeks of door-to-door campaigning had left him feeling good.

“We got a lot of positive comments,” he said, adding, “Nobody slammed the door in my face.”

Bennett is a retired lieutenant in Maryland State Police and continues to serve there as the civilian director of the electronic systems division.

Elliott was the first elected mayor of Aberdeen in 1992. Having retired from working at Aberdeen Proving Ground, she returned to the city council in 2005.

Young was a teacher and guidance counselor in Harford County Public Schools before retiring in 2000. She was first elected to the city council in 2007.

Landbeck is the wife of well-known judge John Landbeck and comes from a background of serving on various community boards and organizations. She has been on the city’s planning commission for 18 years. This was her first try for elected office.

Garner owns the Bayside Homes modular home company in Havre de Grace and ran for council once before but could not campaign because of health problems. He is also on the board of directors for Manufactured Housing Institute of Maryland, Inc.

The winners of Tuesday’s election will serve two year terms. They will be sworn in at Monday’s Aberdeen City Council meeting.


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