Salisbury’s Ireton ready for Tuesday primary

Congressional hopeful Jim Ireton will be at Roadie Joe’s on primary election night, watching the numbers to see if he defeats Democratic challenger Joe Werner.

Since he filed to run for congressman of the 1st District last winter, Ireton – who in the past year has been mayor of Salisbury, then a City Councilman —  has been traversing the state.

He’s traveled about 4,000 miles, talking to constituents and hearing a variety of concerns.

“It depends on what the local issues are from county to county,” the 46-year-old Salisbury native said.

“In Carroll County they are talking about school closing issues. In Baltimore County it’s school air conditioning. In Kent County, there are rural health issues. In Worcester it’s that the Pocomoke election didn’t go. They have to do it again. In Wicomico, you hear a lot about heroin. You hear about poultry litter, CAFOs, chicken farms,” Ireton said this week.

“You hear about who is running for president. Everybody is sick of Washington but everybody has been incredibly gracious,” he said.

Calls to constituents have been made from Ireton’s Salisbury office. He’s asking for volunteers to join in the phone effort, either by making calls from his office this week, or from supporters’ homes.

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The candidate is also continuing to knock on doors. This week, he attended a fundraiser in Washington, D.C.

Seven candidates are competing in Maryland’s Tuesday, April 26, primary. The general election is Nov. 8.

In the primary, incumbent Republican Congressman Andy Harris, who Ireton hopes to overtake in the general election, will compete with Jonathan Goff Jr. of Harford County, Sean M. Jackson from Harford County and Mike Smigiel of Cecil County.

Harris was first elected in 2010.

Ireton will challenge fellow Democrat Werner, of Harford County.

Matt Beers of Cecil County is running as a Libertarian but in Maryland, only Democrats and Republicans may vote in primaries.

The 1st District is composed of Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, Dorchester, Caroline, Talbot, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s, counties as well as parts of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties.

In 2014, Harris won overwhelmingly against Democrat Bill Tilghman, who received less than 30 percent of the vote. Of 250,185 votes, Harris received 176,342 or 70.5 percent, according to information provided by the Maryland Secretary of State.


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