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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Frederick County Democrats Prepare for 2014 Election

George Wenschhof
Myrna Whitworth
After, a disastrous 2010 election for local Democrats who saw only two Democrats elected from over twenty local offices on the ballot, Frederick County, Maryland Democrats are focused on gains in 2014.
Myrna Whitworth, chair of the Frederick County Democratic state central committee, shared with me their preparations for the upcoming election, during a recent interview.
She acknowledged her disappointment there were no Democrats who ran for sheriff, state’s attorney or register of wills in 2010. She said they were hopeful there would be Democratic candidates for every position in 2014 and were doing what they can to help them be competitive.
Whitworth spoke enthusiastically about the all day training class they held last month for 35 potential candidates.  The comprehensive training was geared to help demystify the campaign process with experts sharing their knowledge on different areas surrounding running for office.
Travis Tazelaar, City of Baltimore, Office of Policy and Communications spoke on making the decision to run, how to file, make a campaign plan and plan your announcement.
Fundraising and voter targeting was covered by; J.R. Lentini, Senior Vice President for Communications, Bulldog Finance Group and David Goodman, Partner, TruBlu Politics, spoke on messaging and social media.
Myrna Whitworth tells me that early next year the central committee will also hold a retreat to develop plans for the upcoming election. 
She pointed out the central committee has 12 elected members who are determined by Democratic voters in the primary election held on June 24, 2014.  Their by-laws required gender balance so voters will be electing 6 women and 6 men.
With, the general election immediately facing the newly elected central committee, she believes it is important to the have the framework of a plan to assist Democratic candidates in place, which is what they will develop during their retreat in January.
The Frederick County ballot will be full.  At the top of ballot will be Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller. There are also two congressional races and eight races for the statehouse delegation in district 3 and 4.
The change to charter government will go into effect with the 2014 election when voters will elect a county executive and a seven member council.  The council will have five members elected by districts and two members elected at large.
In addition to electing a sheriff, state’s attorney, and register of wills, voters will elect a clerk of the court and three orphans court judges.
Myrna Whitworth told me the central committee will be equally supportive of Democratic candidates who run in contested races in the primary election and will not take sides.
In addition to developing their plan to help candidates, the central committee will also be holding, prior to the primary election, their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. This event has become a major fundraiser for them.
The bulk of the support to candidates from the central committee will come following the primary election on June 24.
Whitworth shared with me there are currently two open positions on the central committee resulting from the resignations of two male members and per their by-laws on gender balance, the committee is soliciting applications from males who are registered Democrats and Frederick County residents to replace them.
Applications should be mailed to Frederick County Democratic Central Committee, PO Box 793, Frederick MD 21705; or you may email them to Deadline for submission is Monday, December 16.
Interviews will take place on December 18 and the selections made the same day.
The general election will be held on November 4, 2014.
Stay tuned.
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