Thank you for visiting our website

Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Frederick County MD 2010 Election Forecast

George Wenschhof

Predicting local elections is not easy as many factors in addition to political party affiliation influence how a voters casts their ballot. However, for the fun of the exercise, what follows are my predictions for the local 2010 elections.

Democratic Governor O'Malley will receive 42-43% of the vote and Republican former governor Robert Ehrlich will receive 56-57% of the vote with "Other" receiving 1-2%. Statewide, I see a repeat of the 2006 election won by O'Malley by 5%. Interestingly, Ehrlich won 19 of the 24 Maryland counties in that election and lost - I'm saying this could happen again as O'Malley will win Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince Georges counties along with the City of Baltimore. Frederick County voter registration is about 4% of the statewide voter registration.

Peter Franchot for Comptroller, Doug Gansler for Attorney General and Barbara Mikulski will all win and look to see Mikulski receive 50% in Frederick County.

Democrat Andrew Duck will find the third time is not the charm as Republican Roscoe Bartlett will win again with 57% of the vote. Duck received no help from the DCCC which clearly showed they considered this race a lost cause as they concentrated on the district 1 race between incumbent Democrat Frank Kratovil who is facing Republican Andrew Harris in what is a "pick-em" race.

Duck would have been competitive and probably won had he run for delegate in district 3-b as I advised him close to two years ago.

The state senator race in district 3 will be another very close race between three term incumbent Republican Alex Mooney and Democrat Ron Young. This should be the year ineffective Mooney is defeated. But, with the national trend going away from Democrats and the fact Mooney is a very good campaigner, I rate this race very close with Young winning by several percentage points - a pick up for state Democrats.

The state senate race in district 4 will not be close with incumbent Republican David Brinkley winning easily against Democrat Sara Lou Trescott.

The two delegates elected in district 3-a will most likely be split between Democrat incumbent Galen Clagett and former Republican delegate Pat Hogan. Democrats are telling me they are splitting their ticket and voting for these two which spells bad news for Democratic candidate Candy Greenway. The only way Greenway wins is if women vote gender over substance. Republican Scott Rolle will be competitive due to name recognition from his many years serving as State's Attorney. However, his lack of campaigning, will ensure his defeat. This election will be a one seat pick up for Republicans.

In district 3-b, Republican Michael Hough will beat Democrat Paul Gilligan, who is attempting to win this seat for the third time. In spite of former Republican delegates Rick Weldon and Charles Jenkins endorsing Gilligan, Hough will win easily.

The district 4-a race promises to be an interesting one to watch election night. Democrats have not represented this district for quite some time, but that could change as Democrat Ryan Trout has run a very competitive campaign. His long time family name, well known in the district, will also benefit him.

In addition, the hard fought Republican primary which resulted in split votes and a loss by incumbent Paul Stull and the retirement of incumbent Joseph Bartlett makes this a good possibility of a pick up by Democrats.

Look to see Republican Kelly Schulz lead the ticket with Trout beating Republican Kathy Afzali. Democrat Bonita Currey was added to the ballot by the local central committee when no one filed. She is a good woman and long time volunteer in local Democratic activities who would serve the voters well in Annapolis. She deserves credit for agreeing to run, however, she will not win this contest.

Do not look to see "unaffiliated" candidate Scott Guenther receive more than 5% of the vote.

Republican incumbent Donald Elliott will easily win the delegate seat in district 4-b against perennial Democratic candidate Timothy Schlauch.

The county commissioner race promises to be one to watch when the votes are counted on election day. Party affiliation of the candidates will have some impact, but the candidate positions on "growth' v. "no-growth" and "incinerator" v. "no incinerator" will also impact voters when they cast their ballots.

This is only race where I endorsed candidates and they were Blaine Young, Linda Norris, Michael Kurtianyk, Paul Smith and Billy Shreve. You can read more on my position here.

Look to see how incumbent David Gray does as his outcome will have a big impact on the composition of the board. If he benefits from Democratic votes who support his anti-growth positions and receives support from Republicans who are voting "R", he could win again.

I see his ineffective representation and the absence on the ballot of Republican John "Lenny" Thompson and Democrat Jan Gardner, who has endorsed Gray, resulting in him being "retired" by the voters.

Sub-plots which will effect voters are the Girl Scout "cookie" lawsuit fiasco of candidate Janice Wiles, the resignation letter (published on from long time County employee Mike Marschner blaming Kai Hagen for his action, and the Maryland Gazette article written by Sherry Greenfield on candidate Kirby Delauter saying he intended to continue to bid on construction projects through his company with the County, if elected. All will have a negative impact on these candidates.

Democrat Kai Hagen is unlikely to receive Republican support and his "all blow and no go" representation has caused him to lose Democratic votes as well. He can be elected, but is more likely to finish fourth or fifth.

Blaine Young is the most likely next president of the board, regardless of the political party composition of members of the board. This, due to the change made by the current board making the new president the top vote getter as opposed to the one with highest vote of the majority party on the board.

Paul Smith is also very likely to win and could finish second behind Blaine Young.

I see Ellis Burruss, Janice Wiles and Kirby Delauter all finishing out of the top five.

Which leaves Michael Kurtianyk, Linda Norris, Billy Shreve and David Gray battling for the other two seats on the board.

Norris and Shreve will have a hard time receiving votes from their opposite political party. Whereas, Kurtianyk will receive Republican support and also receive more Democrat support than he did in the primary when a small voter turn out took place - this gives him an edge to claim one of the two remaining seats.

As I said earlier, if the voters agree with me that it is time to retire David Gray, I see Norris edging out Shreve for the remaining slot on the board. Otherwise, Gray is reelected with Kurtianyk, Shreve and Norris left battling for the last slot on the board, with Kurtianyk having the edge.

If voters join me in not voting for Hagen and Gray, the new board will be Young, Smith, Kurtianyk, Norris and Shreve.

Democratic voters in Frederick county did not have candidates in the election for State's Attorney, Register of Wills and Sheriff. So, Republican incumbents Charlie Smith, Virginia Fifer and Chuck Jenkins will win reelection. Interestingly, these three elected positions are also the highest paid local positions on the ballot.

In the Clerk of The Circuit Court race, incumbent Republican Sandra Dalton will win with 60% of the vote over Democratic challenger Mari lee.

The 3 elected Judges of The Orphans Court is a hard race to predict. Democratic candidate Rosemary McDermott is an attorney which is a plus, but has little name recognition so I do not look to see her win one of the three slots. Democrat Ted Jenson is known by Democratic activists due to his volunteers efforts over the years, but he also is not well known across the county and is unlikely to win. Democrat Maggie Hays could win one of the three seats.

Look to see Republican Cleopatra Campbell, who is also an attorney win along with Republican Adrian Remsberg who benefits from some name recognition across the county. Former Republican county commissioner Mike Cady could bounce back from his loss and win a seat if voters have forgotten his "sock-puppet" debacle in the 2006 county commissioner campaign. Cliff Cumber of The Frederick News Post wrote an article on this (published on October 6, 2006) you can read here.

The Clerk of The Circuit Court, Orphans Court Judges, and Sherrif are positions which I have long held should not be on the ballot and instead be merit based positions. I wrote a column on this which was published on on October 30, 2006 you can read here.

One statewide question on the ballot voters will cast their vote on, will require Orphan's Court Judges in the City of Baltimore to be qualified and a member in good standing of the Maryland state bar. This should receive a "Yes" vote as it is long overdo and when passed, should initiate similar changes across the state. The Baltimore Sun also endorsed this change.

This concludes my local election analysis. Now, it is up to you to vote and make the decision as to who will represent you - make sure you go to the polls tomorrow - as is always the case, your vote does make a difference!


To receive "Daily Email Updates", from Air-it-Out with George Wenschhof, click on "Subscribe to this feed" below or use the sign up box located in the upper right hand margin.

No comments: