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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Majority Should Elect Mayor of Frederick

George Wenschhof

Mayor Randy McClement
The off year City of Frederick election ensured another low voter turnout with incumbent Republican mayor Randy McClement winning reelection by receiving the votes of only 12% of the registered voters in the city.

The official returns show mayoral candidates received 8,354 votes out of 35,498 registered voters.

Even more important, with three candidates running for mayor, he did not receive a majority and won with a plurality of the vote.

The 4,121 votes McClement received fell short of a majority and were 49.56% of the votes cast.

Democratic mayoral candidate Karen Young received 2,586 votes (31.10%) and Unaffiliated candidate Jennifer Dougherty received 1,588 votes (19.10%).

The remaining 59 votes cast were write-ins, over and under votes.

Interestingly, the combined votes for Young and Dougherty equaled a majority of the vote (50.2%).

This is not to suggest the voters of these two candidates would join to support the candidate who received the higher number of votes.

What a large number of cities across the nation do in this situation is they require and hold a runoff election between the two candidates who received the top votes in the general election.

The one negative associated with a runoff election is the added cost to an election.

With this being the first time three candidates have run for mayor in The City of Frederick, it is unlikely runoff elections would be a common occurrence.

On the other hand, with Jennifer Dougherty paving the way and showing that running as an Unaffiliated candidate can be done, it may encourage others to do so in the future.

It would be wise for the city mayor and board of alderman to address this issue.

After all, requiring the mayor to receive a majority of the vote has a democratic ring to it.

Stay tuned.

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