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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bokee Wins Straw Poll at Frederick Young Democrats Speed Dating with Democratic Aldermen Event

George Wenschhof

Democratic Aldermen Candidates
Photo By George Cassutto, copyright 2013
Josh Bokee received the most votes in the straw poll conducted following the event with John Daniels finishing second, followed by incumbents Michael O’Connor and Kelley Russell.  Derek Shackelford and Jack Lynch finished tied for fifth and former alderman Donna Kuzemchak came in seventh, only one vote behind Lynch and Shackelford.  Kevin Greene who was not present, came in last with only two votes.
Josh Bokee

I asked Josh Bokee how he felt about coming in first in the straw poll in the candidate forum sponsored by the Young Democrats of Frederick. He said ""The forum was well organized, and the questions fr
om attendees were thoughtful and touched upon a range of issue
s that other residents have also been discussing, including public safety, affordability and creating well paying jobs here, locally. Regarding the straw poll, while it was nice to hear the results, I'll be continuing to work hard every day to meet voters and listen to their priorities."

The Young Democrats of Frederick, hosted this opportunity to meet with the Democratic candidates and ask questions in a roundtable format.  Jamie Shopland, President of the Young Democrats of Frederick moderated the event. It was held at the Whitaker campus at Hood College on Saturday afternoon between 2:00 - 4:00.

Jamie Shopland
Photo By George Cassutto, copyright 2013
Jamie Shopland told me “As President of Young Democrats, it's important to me to engage young voters in the political process and we wanted to do that in a fresh way that made candidates more accessible. To achieve that, we took the concept of speed dating and applied that to politics achieving a more intimate interaction between candidate and voter.

Overall I think the forum was a success. I've heard nothing but positive comments and a few folks told me they are changing their votes based on what they heard today."

John Daniels
Photo By George Cassutto, copyright 2013
When I asked John Daniels how he felt about coming in second, he said "I was both surprised and elated to place second in the straw poll conducted today. I applaud the YD’s for holding the event. 

My campaign is going extremely well. Our fundraising goals are on target and the strategy for the remainder of the primary is in place. 

Although the number voting in todays poll was small and not likely to sway the general public, I consider it an affirmation that people in Frederick, at least politically active young people, are supportive of a more progressive platform embracing smart growth and sustainable solutions for dealing with our environment."

The turnout of about twenty-five, had an opportunity to hear a formal opening and closing statement from the candidates and the fun part came as candidates were paired with voters at tables to field questions and provide answers.  After, a set period of time, voters would move to another table to sit down with other candidates to ask them questions and hear their answers.

The “speed dating” continued until all visitors had sat at a table with all the candidates and had the opportunity to hear their answers to their questions.

All of the tables were engaged in lively discussions with the questions varied, ranging from job creation, traffic concerns, public safety, blighted properties, growth issues, to the city passing a “living wage” ordinance and city-county-state relationships.

The City of Frederick primary election will be held September 10, where Democrat and Republican voters will choose five aldermen from their party’s candidates to move on to the general election held on November 5.

Stay Tuned.


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