Latest mail-in vote count has Giordano with strong lead in Wicomico Executive's race

By Greg Bassett
Posted 7/27/22

With more than 7,000 votes having been counted as of Wednesday, Julie Giordano held a 337-vote lead over John Psota in the race for the Wicomico County Executive Republican Party nomination.

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Latest mail-in vote count has Giordano with strong lead in Wicomico Executive's race

Posted

With more than 7,000 votes having been counted as of Wednesday, Julie Giordano held a 337-vote lead over John Psota in the race for the Wicomico County Executive Republican Party nomination.

Prior to July 19’s primary day, potential voters had requested some 1,700 mail-in ballots from the county’s Board of Elections, but it’s not known how many ballots will ultimately arrive by this Friday’s deadline.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by last Tuesday to be eligible. Through Wednesday’s round of mail-in vote-counting, Giordano was ahead in total votes, 3,672 to 3,335.

The winner between the two GOP members will face Democratic candidate Ernest Davis Jr. of Salisbury and Libertarian candidate Muir Boda in November.

A Hebron resident, Julie Giordano is a Wicomico County public school teacher currently teaching high school English. She has been teaching for 16 years in Wicomico County.

A Salisbury native, Psota has served as Acting County Executive since 2020. He was appointed by the County Council to fill the post, following the death two years ago this week of Bob Culver.

Psota was the new Director of Administration when he was elevated to the top job. Prior to that, Psota had a 25-year career with the Maryland State Police and then served as Fruitland’s City Manager.

There are about 24,000 registered Republicans in Wicomico County. With 7,007 total votes thus counted, the Republican primary turnout stands at about 29 percent.

Turnout was seen as a key to Giordano’s success in the balloting. A supporter of gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox, Giordano likely benefited from the Trump-aligned Republican. Cox easily defeated more-moderate Republican Kelly Shulz in last week’s voting.

Giordano shared some campaign advertising with Cox, who appeared in Salisbury with Giordano during early voting. 

While Giordano’s tally gives her a decided advantage as the final votes are counted, she said late Tuesday that she’s not ready to declare victory.

“I am cautiously optimistic. You don’t want to celebrate too early and have something happen,” she said.

Giordano thanked the many people who took the time to learn about her and her campaign, and vote.

“I think we kind of sparked something. It was a heated primary, it really was on both sides,” she said. “I think people felt strongly about one candidate or the other and I think that played a part in it too. Just seeing so many people involved (in this election) was good.

“This is all very overwhelming and humbling and I appreciate the support,” Giordano said.

In a post on social media, Psota offered preliminary congratulations.

“The results so far show our campaign is slightly behind my opponent and I congratulate her for her hard work during the campaign,” he said.

“I am humbled and blessed to have had the opportunity to be your County Executive and Director of Administration these past two years and I look forward to what the future brings. Until then, as we await the certification of yesterday’s election results, it is vital to ensure that every vote cast is counted,” he said.

“Once the results are certified, I look forward to ensuring the continuity of government and will work with whomever is elected County Executive in November. I must say that your heartfelt expressions of encouragement and support have been amazing and I thank you,” Psota said.

The fall election could be close. Democrats hold a slight registration advantage in Wicomico, with about 27,000 registered voters. There are about 13,000 unaffiliated voters.

So far in the primary, Democratic nominee Davis has recorded 4,795 votes, more than either Republican.

Having served nearly eight years on the County Council, Davis is a small business owner who lives in Salisbury. Like Psota, he is a former Maryland State Trooper, and founder and owner of Mid Atlantic Power Wash.

Of the two elected executives in the county’s history, one was a Democrat and one was Republican.

Since 2006, the Wicomico County Executive has served as the chief executive officer of the county. Serving full time, the executive crafts and submits the annual county budget to the County Council, recommends measures for legislative action and oversees all county employees. The executive holds veto power over certain legislation and is a public face of Wicomico County government.