Culver stuns Pollitt, wins county executive seat

In a decisive victory, Republican Bobby Culver on Tuesday beat incumbent Rick Pollitt, who had held the top county leadership post for eight years.

With all precincts reporting, Culver had 12,693 votes, or 55 percent. Pollitt had 10,235 votes, or 45 percent.

A County Council member for the past four years, Culver ran an aggressive campaign in which he challenged the incumbent on issues including taxes, spending and the county’s business climate.

In public forums leading up to the vote, Culver also seemed to score against Pollitt when voicing concerns about the possibility for young people to thrive in Wicomico.

Pollitt, the first man to serve as county executive under a new governmental system implemented eight years ago, almost seemed to run a reluctant campaign, barely even raising a campaign warchest to fend off Culver’s challenge.

Culver of Whitehaven, is a local entrepreneur. He tapped that background to tout a jobs-creation/fiscal accountability platform that’s gained traction in a mostly conservative community.

Statewide turnout on behalf of Larry Hogan also was seen as helping Culver; Hogan easily beat Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in Wicomico County.

Pollitt, who admitted recently in a Salisbury Independent interview that he never enjoyed being the center of attention during election time, preached a platform of community engagement, problem solving and steering the county clear of a lingering economic rough-patch.

Pollitt reign was hampered by declining national economic conditions, which seem to have held on longer in Wicomico, where the construction industry is a driver in the jobs market.

In a quick comment about the local economy, Culver said Tuesday night: “It’s been a long recession and I think people want any way now out of it.”

For a majority, apparently, electing the Republican was seen as a step in that direction.

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