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Monday, October 26, 2009

Last City of Frederick Mayoral Forum to be Held Tomorrow

George Wenschhof

Tomorrow night, Frederick Community College at the Jack B. Kussmaul Theather will co-host the last mayoral forum prior to the election on November 3. The other co-sponsors include the Frederick News Post, WFMD 930 Radio and the Frederick County League of Women Voters. It will begin at 7:00 PM and consist of two one hour segments.

During the first hour, Democrat Jason Judd and Republican Randy McClemment will answer questions asked from a three member panel. The panel will include Cliff Cumber; Assistant City editor of the Frederick News Post, Dr. Mike Powell of Frederick Community College, and Kevin McManus from WFMD 930 Radio.

The second hour will be moderated by Cliff Cumber and include a portion where the candidates can ask each other questions. Cliff asked me the other day if this was a first for the city election and I have to say I do not ever remember a local candidate forum allowing questions to be asked by the candidates.

This could be interesting as so far the election has failed to capture the attention of the voters will only 17% of the registered Democrats and Republicans casting their ballots in the primary held on September 15. Will Jason Judd continue to play it safe by playing it close to the vest and not clearly taking positions on controversial issues? Or will Randy McClement take a swipe at Jason by pointing out his lack of local work experience and his history with the Services Employees International Union?

If voters cast their ballots along political party lines, Democratic candidate Jason Judd would be heavily favored as registered Democrats in the city are around 15,000 and Republicans are around 10,000. In addition, approximately 6,000 unaffiliated voters will have the opportunity at the polls so a heavy turnout among this group could influence a close election.

Unfortunately, it is predictable that less than 33% of the registered city voters will turn out on November 3. With the election so far being void of any controversy or clear distinction between the two mayoral candidates, this forum will be the last live public opportunity for Jason Judd and Randy McClement to show the voters why they should cast their ballot for them.

Make sure you attend and more importantly vote on November 3!


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