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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Youngs Romp in Frederick County MD Primaries

George Wenschhof

A father and two sons won their elections yesterday in three separate races while representing two political parties. An impressive accomplishment in a day punctuated by low voter turnout and several Republican races which remain undecided. The undecided races will have to wait until the absentee and any provisional ballots are counted.

Ron Young, former four term Mayor of the City of Frederick, cruised to an easy victory for the Democratic nomination in the district 3 state senate race. He beat Don DeArmon 65.7% - 34.3% when the total unofficial results were released late last night.

While it has been twenty years since Mr. Young has held office, he showed he still has strength. This race is a great possibility for him to win against three term incumbent Republican Alex Mooney and for the Democrats to pick up a seat in the state delegation.

Mr. Mooney did not have any opposition in the Republican primary. A bad sign for him and a good sign for Young is out of the 9,850 Republicans who went to the polls yesterday in district 3, 2,023 choose not to vote for him.

Blaine Young, a former one term City of Frederick alderman, outdistanced his fellow Republicans by over 5,000 votes in the county commissioner primary where voters chose five to move on to the general election on November 2.

Once again, the county commissioner race will be dominated by the "growth" v. "no-growth" theme which overrides political party affiliation. Joining Blaine on the Republican side of the "growth" ticket are Kirby Delauter and Billy Shreve. Paul Smith finished second among Republicans and David Gray finished fifth. Smith was a one term City of Frederick alderman who was defeated last year and his second place finish is a bit of a surprise. Incumbent commissioner David Gray, a member of the "no-growth" slate, finished fifth. Note, he finished the same four years ago and was the top vote getter among Republicans in the general.

Incumbent commissioner Kai Hagen led the Democratic primary and the "no-growth" slate. Joining him in in order of finish are Linda Norris, Janice Wiles and Ellis Burrus. As expected, Michael Kurtianyck finished fifth by only 152 votes over sixth place finisher Jerry Trout. Trout did much better than the pundits were predicting. Absentee and any provisional ballots still need to be counted, but with only about 500 Democratic absentee ballots in at present, making up 152 votes will tough for Trout. Look to see Kurtianyk have a stronger showing in the general.

The third Young to romp yesterday was Brad Young as he led the ticket in the nonpartisan Board of Education race where voters chose four to move on to the general election. He received over 6,600 more votes than second place finisher James Reeder Jr., who himself received close to 4,000 more votes than third place finisher April Fleming Miller. Fourth place went to Colleen Cusimano.

The first undecided Republican contest was in district 3-a where Republicans voted for two state delegates. Former one term delegate Patrick Hogan moves on but only twelve votes separate Scott Rolle and Chris Huckenpoehler. Rolle has earlier announced he would not continue in the race due to a television opportunity, but it was past the official deadline for withdrawing from the race. Should he win, when the absentee ballots are counted, Rolle will be faced with reconsidering or he will be able to officially withdraw by October 3. If he should withdraw, the Republican party would choose his replacement on the ballot.

The Republican results in district 4-a, where voters choose two state delegate candidates, lived up to it's pre-primary billing of being a nail biter. The hotly contested race among five candidates ended with county commissioner John "Lenny" Thompson finishing last, and incumbent Paul Stull finishing third, only 29 votes behind Kelly Schultz. A surprise outcome to me.

Another surprise was Kathy Afzali finishing first at this point with 50 votes more than Kelly Shultz. Only 79 votes separate the top three candidates at this point and their order of finish could change as the approximate 500 Republican absentee ballots are counted.

Another too close to call Republican race is for the last of nine candidates to be elected to the local central committee. Only 28 votes separate Joe Cohen who finished ninth and George Bauer who finished tenth. Interestingly, county commissioner candidate Billy Shreve also appeared on the ballot in this race and finished a strong third.

In a primary dominated by contested Republican races, appointed incumbent Charles Jenkins lost big to Michael Hough; 68% to 32% in the state delegate race in district 3-b.. The race was punctuated by Jenkins supporters crying foul to campaign tactics used by Hough. However, many others were heard saying they did not feel Jenkins had campaigned hard enough. Jenkins has already stated he intends to support the Democratic candidate; Paul Gilligan who ran unopposed. Whether his support is enough to help Mr. Gilligan, who is trying for the third time to win this seat, remains to be seen.

The Register of Wills Republican primary was another contested race with twenty year incumbent Virginia Fifer winning over challenger Tim May; 53% to 47%. Ms. Fifer will not face an opponent in the general election and will go on to serve a sixth term in office.

In Frederick county, Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley won with 88% of the vote and former Republican governor Bob Ehrlich won with 66% of the vote. Ehrlich easily beat tea party activist candidate Brian Murphy, who had received the support of Frederick county Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and the endorsement of Sarah Palin.

In statewide results , O'Malley received 88% of the vote and Ehrlich received 76% of the vote from the voters in their respective parties.

The general election is only seven weeks away. The voter turnout will more than double if past elections are a good indication, with 60-63% expected on November 2.

Stay tuned...


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