Thank you for visiting our website

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Strong Democratic Candidates Emerge from City of Frederick, Md. Primary

George Wenschhof

While the record low voter turnout of 16.5% is the main story of the City of Frederick, Maryland primary election held on Tuesday, the Democratic candidates for mayor and board of alderman who will move on to the general election are very strong.

Before, discussing the candidates, it is way past time, the city move the election to coincide with the presidential election. I have advocated for this change for over a decade. Take the time to read the columns I have linked in the right hand margin pertaining to changing the date of the election. The voter turnout would more than double and schools could be used again for polling locations.

Jason Judd won all but one precinct against his Democratic opponents Jennifer Dougherty and Chris Simpson. Only 2680 of 15, 385 or 17.8% of the registered Democrats (as of July 23, 2009) voted and Mr. Judd won handily with 1601 votes or 59.74% of the votes cast. Former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty, who I endorsed in an earlier column, came in second with 914 votes or 34.10%. She won precinct 12; 101-99 over Judd. 300+ absentee ballots remain to be counted on Thursday. Chris Simpson was last with 165 votes or 6.16%. You can read the election results posted on the City of Frederick website here.

Mr. Judd ran an effective citywide campaign among those who voted and Jennifer Dougherty failed to convince enough of the voters who did turn out that she deserved a return to city hall. Mr. Simpson, a late entry into the race, campaigned with vigor and I had expected him to receive up to 10-15% of the vote.

All in all, the Democratic mayoral campaign was civil, so much so, some would label it as boring. All the while, serious issues such as growth through annexations, public safety and financial management of limited resources are at stake for city residents and were discussed by the candidates. It appeared both the Dougherty and Judd campaigns worked to avoid the rancor that existed during the 2005 city election.

Some may count Dougherty out in future political office opportunities and I would think that is probably true in the immediate future. However, one thing the history of politics teaches us is to never say never and don't count potential candidates out. Ms. Dougherty is a very intelligent and hard working candidate who cares about her community.

Now, the focus is on Jason Judd and Democratic voters uniting to elect him on November 3. The voter turnout will increase in the general election and the voter dynamics will change a little with the addition of close to 6000 unaffiliated and 10,000 Republican voters. However, the voter turnout is not likely to exceed 35% of the close to 32,000 registered voters. Mr. Judd appears up to the task of defeating his Republican opponent Randy McClement.

I also wrote a column on the strong Democratic candidates for Alderman where I spelled out who were receiving my five votes. I spoke of how talented the nine Democratic alderman candidates were and how hard the choices were. Four of the five candidates I voted for; Carol Krimm, Donna Kuzemchak, Michael O'Connor and Kelly Russell did move on to the general election. The fifth; Josh Bokee came in a strong sixth. Karen Young, who I did not vote for, came in first and as I indicated in my column, her experience and professional background will be a plus as a alderman.

Incumbent David "Kip" Koontz did not move on to the general election, but don't count him out from appearing on a ballot next year as county and state positions are up for election. John Daniels also did very well and he is one who I would not be surprised to see as a county commissioner candidate next year. I had expected Andrew Kotkin would probably come in last as his campaign time was limited due to family and job commitments. Look to see him stay involved in city issues and try again in the next city election.

The five Democratic alderman candidates are all very strong and expect them to seriously compete for all five seats on the Board. Russell was previously a Republican and has strong Republican support and ran a disciplined primary campaign so expect her to do well in the general. Young, with her experience in working on many local community board of directors will also be strong across party lines. The same holds true with Michael O'Connor. Carol Krimm's experience in government is sure to impress Unaffiliated and Republican voters in addition to Democrats. Donna has gone through this for three previous elections and knows what to expect. Look to see her campaign hard, taking nothing for granted, even though she finished virtually tied for first with Karen Young.

I will leave up all of the links to the Democratic candidate websites in the right hand margin for another few days and then I will only provide the links to the Democratic campaign websites for the candidates in the general election.

City Democratic voters should be proud of the efforts of all their candidates in the primary and now it is time to come together to support the Democratic slate in the general election.


To receive "Daily Email Updates" from Air-it-Out with George Wenschhof, click on "Subscribe to this feed" below.

No comments: