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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Frederick Co. MD Democratic Buzz

George Wenschhof Bio

The City of Frederick election is slow getting started but may turn out to be interesting as the year unfolds.

The only Democrats to file for the City of Frederick election, remain Jack Lynch for Mayor and Kelly Russell for Alderman. Both have websites and links can be found in the lower right hand margin of our Home Page. Go check them out and if you support their positions and feel like helping in a campaign, contact them with your interest.

Unannounced Democratic candidate for Mayor Jason Judd, believes the residency of current Republican Mayor Jeff Holtzinger is an issue that should be debated in the campaign. Holtzinger has publicly stated he has rented a home within the city limits and has met the requirements of the law. This, while maintaining his family residency just outside the city boundary.

Doubtful, Judd can make an issue of this, as Holtzinger's life-long experience in Frederick will make this a minor point in the campaign, but let's see. The fact no current elected city official or any private citizen has taken any legal action underscores the weakness of this issue in the election.

Meanwhile, Judd continues to work at building his campaign organization by soliciting help, including individual members of the newly formed Frederick Young Democrats.

There is an acronym (MOM) I have often used to help describe what it takes for a successful campaign - it stands for Message, Organization, and Money.

Judd is working to develop his organization as his experience as a Union field organizer has trained him to do. However, he remains an unknown to the voters, his message needs to be developed, and he will need to be able to raise funds to be competitive in the race for Mayor.

Incumbent Democrat Alderman Marcia Hall who intends to file for Mayor, continues to try to distance herself from supporting Mayor Holtzinger.

It was reported she did not support the recent negotiated 18 million purchase of the "Hargett farm" for a city park. However, this price was much lower than originally anticipated and this acquisition may no longer be an issue in the upcoming campaign. Katherine Heerbrandt, a columnist with the Frederick News Post wrote a good piece on this issue here.

Marcia is extremely well liked and has a strong existing organization. If her message to the voters and her ability to raise funds is strong, she will be a formidable candidate and is the present favorite to become the Democratic Party nominee.

Democrat Jack Lynch has partially developed a message centered on managed growth but continues to work at developing his organization and raising funds for his campaign. If he is able to build his campaign organization, he will have an impact on the race.

Meanwhile, there continues to be rumblings that Democrat Jennifer Dougherty will enter the race for Mayor. If the three known Democratic candidates for Mayor do not exhibit their strength with message, organization and money, expect her to enter the race.

If she does not enter the race, Ms. Dougherty will support Marcia Hall and with Ron Young supporting Judd, it will be another male v. female battle in the Democratic primary.

As someone who interacts with many city voters of all political affiliation, other than from the usual Democratic activists, I am not presently hearing a strong sentiment for the removal of Republican Mayor Jeff Holtzinger. This dynamic will need to change over the next seven months for the Democratic nominee for Mayor to be successful in November.

The Democratic nominee for Mayor will need to have a clear message of change that resonates with the voters.

Nothing new to report on the possible Democratic candidates for Aldermen. Incumbent Democrats Aldermen David "Kip" Koontz and Donna Kuzemchak remain strong candidates for reelection.

"Trish" Cunningham and James Racheff remain likely candidates for Alderman. It is actually surprising that Cunningham, who ran unsuccessfully in the last city election, has not filed. Racheff, who is busy with work and family, is able to find the time to dedicate to campaigning, will make a solid candidate for Aldermen.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's surprising is how often candidates file before being prepared for standard questions such as "what is your platform" and "why should a citizen of Frederick City vote for you". It seems there is so much need to get into the race, the need to be prepared falls to the wayside. This illustrates a lack of leadership ability. A strong leader knows when they are ready to "come out" and show what they have. A strong leader does their due diligence, does their leg work and makes sure they are prepared before stepping forward. I admire Jason Judd for doing his "homework" before jumping out into the lime light. I suspect by the time he files, he will be prepared with his Message Organization and Money. As it should be.
Regarding the Male vs. Female concept, I would like to think we are not that simple. I would like to think we have finally learned that we can not lump women into the "if she's a woman I vote for her" category. I think we learned from the National Race last year that people are in search of the best candidate regardless of gender.