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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
After a hard fought City of Frederick primary among well qualified candidates, Democrats enter the general election with a very strong field of candidates.
Interestingly, on both the Republican and Democratic primary for mayor, the addition of a third candidate did impact on the final outcome.
On the Democratic side, political newcomer and ASL User Carol Hirsch received 10.17%, Maryland state delegate Galen Clagett 39.70% and alderman Karen Young won with 50.13%, prior to the absentee ballots being counted. Absentee ballots are not expected to alter the outcome of the mayoral contests.
What is unknown is whether the votes that went to Hirsch were drawn equally from Clagett or Young, or came predominately from one or the other. If, they had gone to Karen, she would have won even more convincingly or had Clagett received all of them, it would have been a neck and neck finish.
The entry of former Mayor Jeff Holtzinger into the Republican primary for mayor had most local political pundits predicting Mayor Randy McClement would win and he did. Once again, the vote received by Holtzinger was 19.11%, alderman Shelley Aloi 32.19% and Randy won with 48.70%.
Had Aloi, won all of Holtzinger’s votes, she would have won.
More important for Republicans, is their incumbent mayor did not receive 50% of the vote, which is typically a clear signal he is vulnerable in the general election.
However, in this general election, there will be the addition of unaffiliated candidate and former mayor Jennifer Dougherty, thus creating another three way contest.
The three way contest will add lots of intrigue and plenty of conjecture on who will be the next mayor.
For Democrats, it will be important for the Young and Clagett campaigns to reach out to each other and work together to help elect Karen Young as mayor.
Rumored Democratic infighting is what purportedly led to a Republican victory in the 2009 and 2005 race for mayor.
The alderman contests went mostly as anticipated with the final two slots for the board a close finish between three qualified candidates who also exhibited strong campaign organization.
Derek Shackelford finished a close sixth, only 97 votes behind fifth place finisher John Daniels. Finishing first and second were the only two incumbents to seek reelection, Kelly Russell and Michael O’Connor. Josh Bokee finished a strong third and former three term alderman Donna Kuzemchak finished fourth, only 81 votes in front of Daniels.
Kelly Russell finished fifth when elected in 2009 and her strong showing in the primary illustrates her hard work over the last four years. Michael O'Connor finished second in 2009 and second in the primary also displaying his effectiveness over the last four years.
Hopefully, both Shackelford and Jack Lynch, who finished seventh will stay committed to local politics and will stay involved. It would be wise for the local Frederick County state Democratic Central Committee, to reach out to them to ensure and help facilitate their involvement locally.
Hayden Duke and Jill King were the two Republican alderman candidates who will not move on to the general election.
The first place finisher was Phil Dacey, followed by Katie Nash. The third and fourth place finishers were former alderman Alan Imhoff and Dave Schmidt. Only 18 votes separate these two, so the absentee count may impact their order of finish. The fifth place finisher was Daniel Cowell.
Looking at the under votes, that often take place in multiple candidate elections, there were few in the mayoral contests with only 83 from Democratic voters and 9 from Republican voters.
In the five person alderman race, there were 2,754 under votes among Democratic voters and 2,081 under votes among Republican voters.
There was some talk election night that some alderman candidates had encouraged their supporters to “single-shot” (voting for only one candidate), but there is no confirmation this took place.
Interestingly, Democratic alderman Kevin Greene, who made no appearances throughout the primary campaign, received 319 votes.
The City of Frederick unofficial primary results can be viewed here.
Now, the general campaign begins and in 8 short weeks voters will weigh in on who their mayor and board of alderman will be for the next term.
Democrats are well positioned, with well qualified and experienced candidates to obtain a sweep in November.
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