Thank you for visiting our website

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Politics punctuates this nonpartisan race between former Frederick County state’s attorney Republican Scott Rolle who is challenging the appointment by Maryland Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley of sitting Judge Danny O’Connor, who is also a Democrat.
However, other than being turned off by this campaign ad, there is no compelling reason for voters to want to remove reasonable and well qualified Judge O’Connor from the bench. While Rolle will make it close, look to see Judge O’Connor win this race.
Two term Frederick County Republican Sheriff Chuck Jenkins will win for a third time against Democratic challenger Karl Bickel.  Bickel failed to receive enough signatures to in his attempt to run as an independent four years ago and this time ran as a Democrat.  Bickel has run a competitive campaign even without having raised any significant campaign funds.  It will be interesting to see if Jenkins maintains his 60% approval rating he received in his first two elections.
Republican Charles Smith will also remain as Frederick County state’s attorney.  He should also receive around 60% of the vote.  Democrat Teresa Bean provides a choice for voters.  But, look to see name recognition and voter registration propel Smith to an easy win.
Recent redistricting suggests the winners of the state delegate positions in district 3 and district 4 will likely mirror the voter registration advantage held by Democrats and Republicans in these districts.
In district 3, where Democrats hold a voter registration, state senator Ron Young(D) will win reelection easily. Ron Young is by far the more qualified candidate over his Republican challenger Corey Stottlemeyer.
Democrats should win all three state delegate positions as well in district 3, with Karen Young and Carol Krimm prevailing over Republicans Paul Smith and Victoria Wilkins in district 3-a.  County Commissioner Paul Smith may make it interesting, but his remarks about women and their role in the home should ensure his defeat.  Republican candidate Victoria Wilkins is unlikely to be competitive in this election.
In district 3-b, Democrat Stephen Slater, who recently moved to the district should prevail over Republican William “Bill” Folden.  The Slater campaign raised significantly more money than the Folden campaign.  But look to see a well known Folden make this race closer than what it should be.
Over in district 4, where voters elect three delegates, Republican Michael Hough, who crushed former state senate minority leader David Brinkley in the primary, will defeat Democrat Dan Rupli.  Rupli is by far, the candidate best suited to serve in Annapolis and has conducted a good campaign.  But, he will not be able to overcome the voter registration advantage enjoyed by Republicans in this district.
Incumbent Republican state delegates Kathy Afzali and Kelly Schulz will breeze to reelection in district 4-a as Democrats failed to field enough candidates to offer them an opponent.
The race for the final state delegate position in the district however promises to be close between Democrat Gene Stanton and Republican David Vogt III.  Stanton has run an outstanding campaign and will make an excellent addition to the state house in Annapolis.  The odds favor the Republican in this race.  But, Vogt has done nothing in this campaign and does not deserve a seat in Annapolis. So, don’t count out Stanton.
Stay tuned.

Friday, October 17, 2014


George Wenschhof
Only three weeks to go before the General Election and in this first segment, I will look at the county executive and council races in Frederick County, Maryland. Other than for those voters who have cast their ballots early, the next three weeks are the last chance for candidates to convince voters and for voters to make up their minds.
In 2012, Frederick County voters voted for a change to charter government and will elect a county executive and seven council members in this election.
The county executive race has created the most buzz among the local contests. It promises to be a nail bitter between Democratic candidate Jan Gardner and Republican Blaine Young.
They are polar opposites on how best to manage growth.  This issue has dominated the Frederick Commissioner race for over two decades.  The result has been less than effective back and forth pendulum swings between the two sides.
The top of the ballot Maryland race for governor is likely to impact this race with Republican Larry Hogan winning Frederick County.  However, the most qualified for the position is Democratic Lt. Governor Anthony Brown who will win to become the first African American governor of Maryland.
However, with the Brown campaign running a very low key campaign coupled with a midterm election that produces lower interest than a presidential election, expect turnout to be around 60%.
In a race that is too close to call, Hogan’s win in Frederick County and low voter turnout will aid Blaine Young who will become the first county executive in a razor thin contest.  However, do not expect him to garner more than 51% of the vote after four years of questionable actions.  Do not be surprised if Jan Garner would emerge victorious – but, it would also be by only a point or two.
This prediction runs counter to a poll being touted by the Frederick County Democratic state central committee who say the numbers the poll they paid for show Jan Gardner winning big.
Frederick County Democrats, who fielded well qualified candidates throughout the ballot, will fare much better than they did in 2010 when they won only two seats out of over 20 positions on the ballot.  Those two winners, state delegate Galen Clagett (district 3-a) and state senator Ron Young (district 3) decision not to endorse fellow Democrat Jan Gardner will also contribute to her defeat in such a close race.
However Democrats, will win 2 of the 5 council seats elected by districts.  Jessica Fitzwater (district-4) and M.C. Keegan-Ayer (district-3) are the two who will win.  Both have conducted strong campaigns and benefit from a Democratic voter registration advantage.
In district 5, Democrat Mark Long, who has run a strong campaign, will lose to Republican Kirby Delauter.  In district 1, Republican Ellen Bartlett, benefitting from name recognition of her husband Roscoe who served in congress for twenty years, will prevail over the more qualified Democrat Jerry Donald.  Sadly, in district 2, Republican Tony Chmelik will beat Democrat Annette Breiling, who is clearly the better candidate of the two.
With a close election for county executive, the 2 at large council seats will also be a very competitive and almost too close to call contest.  Expect Democrats to win one seat and Republicans to win the other, giving the Republicans a slim 4-3 majority of the council.
Republican Bud Otis and Democrat Susan Reeder Jesse are likely to emerge victorious.  Otis has run a better campaign than Shreve and his time spent as chief of staff for former twenty year Congressman Roscoe Bartlett will propel him to victory.
Jesse, who has also run a strong campaign, will benefit from being the daughter of well known and liked former county commissioner Bruce Reeder.
However, both Republican county commissioner Billy Shreve and Democrat Linda Marie Norris will be competitive in this race with Norris’s background and experience making her a natural for this position.
It is always the voters who have the final say.  Make sure you vote on November 4.
Stay Tuned.