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One seeks seat on council, other strives to be mayor

(Sept. 25, 2020) The pool of candidates for this year’s mayor and City Council election just grew, with resident Nicholas Eastman vying for a council seat and resident Daniel Hagan eyeing to replace Mayor Rick Meehan

The election will take place on Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street. 

This year, in addition to the mayor, four councilmembers are up for reelection — Councilmen Dennis Dare, Tony DeLuca, John Gehrig and Councilwoman Mary Knight. 

Of the four incumbents, only DeLuca had filed for reelection as of Wednesday, and 

Meehan, Dare, Gehrig and Knight will have until Oct. 6 to file for reelection.  

“What inspired me [to run for mayor] was to learn how to bring new investments into town [in order] to bring more tourists to town [and] to bring that atmosphere that people enjoyed before,” Hagan said. 

The 34-year-old real estate business developer said he also wanted to tackle the city’s trash problem, which citizens and current city officials have recently complained about, and to spearhead more business development. 

As for 25-year-old Eastman, who is currently employed with the City of Salisbury, he said his motivation to run for City Council was to act as a vessel for constituents through which their voices could be heard on important matters. 

“I just want to make sure that the people’s voices are heard and I feel like that’s something I could do,” Eastman said. “… I just feel like maybe that isn’t happening right now as much as it could be.” 

Hagan expressed similar sentiments, saying a disconnect existed between city officials, constituents and even tourists. 

Hagan and Eastman are both green when it comes to local politics, but neither seemed too worried about their lack of experience. 

“I come in with an open mind, a fresh mind, [and] I have … nonstop energy,” Hagan said. “I’m in the age group [that’s] more politicized now than it used to be, and I would say that you have to give me a chance.” 

Hagan said he welcomes challengers who may criticize him for his inexperience, and would face them head on — including his main competitor. 

“My challenge to you is to vote for me and for me to prove you wrong,” Hagan said. 

He said as mayor, he would be open to multiple perspectives, but would remain firm in his beliefs. 

“I’m not going into this alone,” Eastman said. “I want the community to be behind me and I want them to help me through this so I can help them. I want my voice to be their voice.” 

This year’s election will look slightly different because of the novel coronavirus. 

Each constituent will be sent an electronic ballot that can either be mailed in or scanned at the convention center. 

Bus service to the convention center will be free.

Josh covers everything Ocean City government and crime. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in French and Journalism.

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