Jack Heath

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Wicomico County is mourning the loss of County Executive Bob Culver who died on Sunday from liver cancer. Salisbury City Council President Jack Heath ran as an independent against Culver in his reelection bid. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Heath about that experience and Culver's legacy.

Don Rush

Mayor Jake Day swept to victory for a second term as Salisbury’s chief executive with 86 percent of the vote.

His opponent Wayne King received 14 percent.

The totals were 2,276 to 377.

Voters emerging from the District 3 polling place:

Day promised that he would begin strategic planning for the next four years.

He added that his election along with the five winning council members represented a rejection of the angry politics of our time.

Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with Day to talk about the significance of the election.

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At forum held by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce six of the ten candidates running for Salisbury City Council focused on the growth the town has seen in recent years.

Incumbent Jack Heath from District 3 touted economic growth noting that the unemployment rate had declined significantly.

WBOC reports that incumbent April Jackson said she wants to deal with the entire city including a focus on neighborhoods with blighted housing.

Meanwhile, Riley Smith running in Heath’s district charged that there has been censorship at the city council meetings.

Don Rush (File Photo)

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan won re-election last night the first Republican to do so since 1954.

He beat out Democratic candidate Ben Jealous in a state in which Democrats have a 2-to-1 majority.

Hogan has taken a moderate political stance emphasizing bipartisanship and distancing himself from President Trump.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin won a third term easily defeating Republican and independent challenges.

It was a charged up atmosphere as voters cast their ballots.

Here are some voters in casting their ballots in Wicomico County.

Don Rush

It was a record turnout in Maryland for early voting.

The state’s total was just over 661-thousand.

The number of Democrats casting their ballots was nearly 424-thousand compared to just over 155-thousand Republicans.

Incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan is being challenged by Democratic candidate Ben Jealous.

In Wicomico County 10-thousand people cast their ballots according the Anthony Gutierrez, the county’s elections director.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that this is twice the number cast in 2014.

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In the money race for the Wicomico County Executive incumbent Republican Bob Culver and independent candidate Jack Heath are less than two hundred dollar apart.

Culver has raised $23,460 compared to Heath’s $23,266.

The Democratic candidate John Hamilton has only pulled in just over $13-hundred.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a large part of Culver’s war chest went to pay for advertising with just over $17-thousand for television and newspaper ads.

Meanwhile, Heath has spent around $78-hundred on televisio, radio and newspaper ads.

Don Rush

Early voting begun yesterday and local officials say turnout has been strong.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports…that line were already forming in Salisbury and Berlin.

By 10 a.m. Wicomico County elections director Anthony Gutierrez told the paper 73 people were already in line to vote.

Similar scenes played out in Somerset and Worcester counties with more than 200 showing up by noon at the office in Princess Anne.

Audio from the Wicomico County Executive debate, held October 9th, 2018, at the Wicomico Room in the Guerrieri Center on the Campus of Salisbury University.

Candidates:

Bob Culver, Republican Incumbent

John Hamilton, Democrat

Jack Heath, Independent

Panelists:

Todd Karli, moderator  WBOC TV

Don Rush

The three candidates for Wicomico County Executive faced off in a forum last night on the campus of Salisbury University.

WBOC reports that independent candidate Jack Heath emphasized education saying that he fully backed the current Imagine 2022 plan by Superintendent Donna Hanlin to improve the public schools.

When asked about the county’s revenue cap incumbent Republican Bob Culver said he had no plans for its repeals but said he was open to a study of the measure.

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Independent candidate for Wicomico County Executive Jack Heath has endorsed Republican Governor Larry Hogan in his re-election bid this year.

In addition, Heath gave his blessing to Comptroller Peter Franchot a Democrat who is running for re-election.

He said the two have given a voice in Annapolis to the concerns of the Eastern Shore.

Heath is challenging Republican incumbent Bob Culver.

Heath is currently the president of the Salisbury City Council and has been endorsed by the local Democratic Club.

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Democratic Club of Wicomico County is breaking with tradition.

It has endorsed independent candidate for Wicomico County Executive Jack Heath.

Club president Gains Hawkins said it was in large part because of Heath’s commitment to funding the county’s schools.

Heath said he was thrilled with the endorsement.

As for making education funding his top priority including universal Pre-K Heath said that could be done without a tax increase.

The decision was made at a meeting on Monday night with overwhelming support with no arguments.

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An independent challenger is leading in the money race for Wicomico County Executive in this year’s November election.

Salisbury Council President Jack Heath received $4-thousand from Republican Joseph Ollinger who made a bid for the position in 2010 against Democratic Rick Pollitt.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that financial reports show Heath is leading incumbent Republican Bob Culver by over $33-hundred in contribution as of June 10th the most recent reporting period.

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Salisbury City Council President Jack Heath now has enough signatures to qualify to run for Wicomico County Executive as an independent.

He handed in over 800 signature to local election officials that goes beyond the 651 needed to get on the ballot.

The requirement is 1 percent of the total registered voters in the county.

Health told the Salisbury Daily Times that he looks forward to the general election in November when he is expected to run against the incumbent Republican Bob Culver.

Jake Day website

Mayor Jake Day has vetoed a measure that would have raised the salaries of Salisbury elected officials.

Day said that because he planned on running for re-election next year he did not want to approve his own pay raise.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Council President Jack Heath plans to put the issue on the agenda for next week’s work session.

It takes four votes to override the mayor’s veto.

Under the ordinance the mayor’s salary would double from $25-thousand to $50-thousand.

Don Rush

The Salisbury City Council has put off the question of increasing the salary of the Mayor.

At last night’s session council members looked at whether the salary should be increased from $25-thousand to $75-thousand a year.

It has not gone up over the last ten years.

WBOC reports that former mayor and current city council member Jim Ireton said he was against going above $40-thousand a year.

Meanwhile, council members Muir Boda and April Jackson appear to be looking at something between $50-thousand and $60-thousand a year.

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It could be Jack Heath for Wicomico County Executive.

There’s a new website promoting the Salisbury City Council president’s name for the job.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times that would make an announcement next Wednesday.

Incumbent County Executive Bob Culver told the paper that he was not surprised.

He added that the city was looking for someone to run against him next year.

The website is listed as Friends of Jack Heath.

Mark Granger is named as its treasurer.

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The Salisbury City Council decided not to hire the law firm of Cockey, Brennan and Maloney last night.

There were two no votes and one abstention.

The abstention came from R. Hardy Rudasill who has just come on the council to replace Laura Mitchell.            

He said that he had a conflict of interest since he worked for the firm.

Council members Jim Ireton and April Jackson rejected the law firm while Jack Heath and Muir Boda voted yes.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Robin Cockey represented the City Council from 1986 to 1994.

Don Rush

Mayor-elect Jake Day will be taking the helm in the wake of yesterday’s city election which also saw a dramatic change in the city council.

Day ran unopposed as did council vice president Laura Mitchell.

The Mayor-elect said, “This is going to be a different council and they’re all going to have to work together. I am excited for them. They have to be a team. And, we have to be a team as a city.

For voters there was a myriad of issues on their minds:

Don Rush

Salisbury voters will be going to the polls today to choose a Mayor and for the first time five council members running in five separate districts.

In District 1 incumbent Shanie Shields faces challenger April Jackson and Sarah Halcott.

In District 2, a new minority-majority seat, there are four candidates who include Keyvan Aarabi, Marvin Ames, Muir Boda and Justin Gregoli.

In District 3 two incumbents Tim Spies and Jack Heath are vying for the seat along with Kevin Lindsay.

Don Rush

With the Salisbury city council elections just around the corner it was realtors, developers and landlords who were providing candidates with campaign funds.

Roger Mazzullo who is challenging Mayor Jim Ireton in District 4 pulled in $3,450.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 90 percent of that came from landlords, their employees or business associates.

Ireton has been a strong critic of the landlords in Salisbury and has proposed rent stabilization measure which was tabled by the city council.  

The mayor has raised $870.

Don Rush

There are two incumbents running for election in Salisbury City Council District 3 after the city decided to create five separate districts.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Kaydee Jones has this look at the candidates and the issues in next week’s election.

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Mayor Jim Ireton’s plans for rent stabilization ran into stiff resistance last night as municipal elections loom next month that could dramatically change the composition of the Salisbury City Council.

The council chamber was packed with landlords who spoke out – sometimes fiercely – against the proposal that would tie rents to assessed-property value for certain homes.

But it was council member Jack Heath who got the attention of the Mayor.

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There was no money in the Salisbury City budget for police body cameras despite strong support on the council.

During yesterday’s meeting council member Shanie Shields noted that with the climate in the nation she said she would support putting the devices on police officers.

Others in the chamber including Council President Jake Day and council member Jack Heath also said they were for officers wearing them.

msa.maryland.gov

Jack Heath was sworn in last night to succeed Terry Cohen to the Salisbury City Council.

Heath was appointed by the four remaining council members from a dozen applicants after Cohen abruptly resigned citing personal obligations

He said that his top priority is revitalization of the city and bringing more jobs into the municipality.

Heath is the former CEO of Lower Shore enterprises which provides job training and assistance to the disabled.

He also currently serves as a Volunteer Fire Officer in Fruitland.

(Tom Hunt contributed to this story.)

msa.maryland.gov

68-year old Jack Heath is set to succeed Terry Cohen on the Salisbury City Council.

Last night the council met and announced their choice out of dozen applicants.

Heath was the former CEO of Lower Shore Enterprises which provides job assistance and training for the disabled.

He said that he would rely on his decades of business experience in an effort to revive the local economy.

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Voters in Salisbury go to the polls today to choose the finalists for the general election in April for two council districts.

District 2

In the at-large District 2 incumbent Debbie Campbell is seeking a third term and faces redevelopment activist Jake Day and nonprofit executive Jack Heath.

The issues highlighted by the candidates range from revitalizing downtown and attracting businesses to homeownership.