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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Frederick County Deserves More Than a Carnival Barker

George Wenschhof
Blaine Young
The deadline has now passed for candidates to file to run in the 2014 election and there were few surprises for the voters in Frederick County Maryland.
In a poor imitation of Professor Harold Hill from “The Music Man”, Republican board of county commissioners President Blaine Young, holding back tears and using his sons as props, made official what everyone knew, by announcing his run for county executive.
The alleged suspense as to whether he would run was embellished by Blaine stating his 13 year old son would make the decision for him at 6:00 PM on February 25, a mere three hours before the filing deadline. 
Holding up a “Blaine Young for county executive” sign, Blaine proclaimed he had no prior idea what his son’s decision would be.
Reminiscent of George C. Scott in the movie “The Flim-Flam Man”, Blaine would like voters to believe it was a last minute choice, while many believe the appearance of his sons was intended to blunt sure to come scrutiny on Blaine’s personal life.
One thing numerous Frederick County voters can be thankful for is Blaine will not, due to legal constraints, be able to host his radio show while he is running for office.  A platform he exploited while serving in office the past three plus years.
It is likely a weakened Blaine will still easily prevail over fellow commissioner David Gray and former county budget officer Mark Sweadner in the Republican primary. 
However, in a much anticipated contest, he will face a colossal battle with Jan Gardner who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.   
Joining Blaine in the last minute trip to the board of elections was Republican board of county commissioner Billy Shreve who filed for county council at-large.  Shreve, commissioner Kirby Delauter(R), who is running for county council in district 5 and commissioner Paul Smith(R), who is running for Maryland state delegate in district 3-A have given Blaine “carte blance” over the last three plus years to proceed with his reckless and ill conceived privatization strategy, leading me to label them “Blaine and Company”.
Shreve will not have an easy route in the at-large council race where voters will choose two representatives.  The June 24 county council at-large primary will have 8 Republican candidates and 5 Democratic candidates with the top two from each party facing each other in the November 4 general election. 
Former Republican congressman Roscoe Bartlett chief of staff Bud Otis and Billy Shreve will be the early favorites to win in the Republican primary.  With 5 strong candidates, Democratic voters are ensured they will have two competitive contenders for the general election.
In years past, because of voter registration favoring Republicans, one could easily say it would be difficult for a Democratic candidate to win countywide.  But with Linda Norris, Susan Reeder Jesse, David Twigg, Whitney Duck and Steve Bruns in the running, look to see at least one elected in November.
The rearranging of the deck chairs, by proponents for “smart growth” versus proponents for growth continues with the candidates who have filed for the five members of the council elected by districts.
Look to see the Democratic primary produce the winner in November in District 3 with M.C. Keegan-Ayer, Dwain Earl Robbins and Jesse Goode having the most name recognition.
At first glance, all of the county council races appear to be competitive with the exception of District 4 where I place Democrat Jessica Fitzwater, who is unopposed in the primary, as the favorite to win in November.
Even, in northern district 5, long a Republican voter stronghold, early favorite Kirby Delauter will face a primary challenge from Walkersville Burgess Ralph Whitmore.  Whitmore is close to former county commissioner and Walkersville Burgess John “Lennie” Thompson who was a member of the 2006 board of commissioners led by Democrat Jan Gardner dubbed “The Dream Team”.
Frederick County residents have had enough theatrics from Blaine Young over the last three plus years. 
What Frederick County residents deserve is reasonable, fair and effective representation.
Instead of signs welcoming visitors stating “Frederick County, Open for Business”, what are needed are signs saying “Welcome to Frederick County, a Well Planned Community”.
Vote for change in 2014.
Stay tuned.

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