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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Highlights from Frederick County, Maryland Primary Election

Jan Gardner
George Wenschhof

The Republican primary to determine the candidate to face incumbent Democratic Frederick county executive Jan Gardner was one race watched closely. Gardner ran unopposed while three candidates battled for the Republican nomination.
Maryland state delegate Kathy Afzali would prevail over Frederick council member Kirby Delauter and former county budget officer Regina Williams.  Afzali aided by the split vote among three candidates and the largest war chest, won with 42% of the vote.

The November 6 General Election will have three candidates running for Frederick county executive.  In addition to Gardner (D) and Afzali (R), Earl Robbins, a well known Frederick businessman is running as an unaffiliated candidate.

Former NAACP president Ben Jealous would emerge the winner in a crowded field of candidates vying for the Democratic Party nomination for Governor.  He and Prince George's county executive Rushern Baker had been running neck and neck in polls that showed as many as 40% of Democratic voters remained undecided.  Jealous would receive 40% of the vote and Baker 29%.

Jealous and his Lt. Governor running mate Susan Turnbull, a former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, will face Republican Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford.

Incumbent U.S. senator Ben Cardin (D) cruised to victory in the primary and will face Republican Tony Campbell.  Popular state comptroller Peter Franchot (D) ran unopposed and will face Republican Anjali Reed Phukan who also ran unopposed.  Respected state attorney general Brian Frosh (D) will face Craig Wolf (R) - both ran unopposed.

The announcement by congressman John Delaney (D-6th district) that he would not be running for reelection and would instead pursue a run for the White House, attracted eight Democratic candidates.  David Trone, owner of Total Wine & More, would beat Maryland state delegate Aruna Miller 40%-30%.  Trone ran for congress in the 8th district two years ago and lost to Jamie Raskin in the Democratic primary after spending millions of his own funds.  He would again spend millions self-funding his campaign in this race.

Trone will face Republican Amy Hoeber who won the Republican primary against three opponents with 68% of the vote.

Incumbent representative Jamie Raskin (D-8th district) coasted to victory receiving 90% of the vote against two other candidates.  He will face Republican John Walsh who received 45% of the vote among 3 candidates.

The district 3 state senate race attracted candidates and much speculation after incumbent Ron Young(D) barely won reelection four years ago.  Eight years ago, the four term former mayor of The City of Frederick defeated Republican Alex Mooney.  Young faced two opponents in this election, one of them Jennifer Dougherty who is another former mayor of Frederick and Jennifer Brannan.  Ron would win with 43% and Dougherty would receive 33%.

Young will face Republican Craig Giangrande who crushed Frederick council member Billy Shreve, receiving 77% of the vote.  Giangrande is the Frederick County Burger King franchise owner.

In the district 4 state senate race, Republican Michael Hough ran unopposed and will face Democrat Jessica Douglass who won a close contest with Sabrina Massett.

The district 3-a state delegate race where voters elect two, Democratic incumbents Karen Lewis Young and Carol Krimm survived a bit of a challenge from Ryan Trout and will face Republicans Mike Bowersox and James Dvorak who ran unopposed.

Democratic candidate Ken Kerr and Republican incumbent William "Bill" Folden both ran unopposed for state delegate in district 3-b and will face each other in the General Election.

Voters will pick 3 candidates in the district 4 state delegate race. Republicans Barrie Ciliberti, Dan Cox and Jesse Pippy ran unopposed and will face Democratic candidates Yselo Bravo, Lois Jarman and Darrin Ryan Smith, who also ran unopposed, in the General Election.

Republican incumbent sheriff Chuck Jenkins and Democrat Karl Bickel both ran unopposed and will face each other in the General Election.

The two Frederick County council members elected at-large (countywide) also attracted a lot of attention.  Democrats Kai Hagen, a former county commissioner and Susan Reeder Jessee would win a closely fought race among five candidates including former county commissioner and state delegate Galen Clagett.  Clagett would come in last and Kavonte Duckett, in his first try for office and bidding to be the first African American elected countywide in Frederick County, would come in a strong third.

Susan Reeder Jessee and Kai Hagen will face Republicans Phillip Dacey and Danny Farrar who won against two other candidates in a very close contest.  Also running for one of the two at-large council seats is Frederick County council president Bud Otis who is running as an unaffiliated candidate.  Mr. Otis was elected as a Republican but changed to unaffiliated after his support of Democratic county executive Jan Gardner upset his Republican colleagues on the council.

In the Frederick county council district 1 race, Democrat incumbent Jerry Donald ran unopposed and will face Republican Kevin Grubb who beat Dylan Diggs in their primary.

In a bit of an upset, Tony Chmelik, a Frederick County council member representing district 2, was beat by Steven McKay 54-46%.  McKay is well known locally from his work with (RALE) Residents Against Landsdale Expansion and much of the candidate differences in the campaign were centered on growth issues.

McKay will face Democrat Lisa Jarosinski in the General Election.

In the nonpartison race for board of education, the top eight from 13 candidates advanced to the General Election where voters will elect four.  Incumbent Brad Young led all candidates by a large margin.  Also moving on in order of votes received were Karen Yoho, Jay Mason, Liz Barrett, April Miller, Cindy Rose and Camden Raynor. 

Two candidates were locked in a tight race for the eighth and last position.  They were Kim Williams (4,932) and Marie Fisher-Wyrick (4892).  With only a 40 vote difference, this is a one race that will be decided by counting provisional/absentee ballots.

The Maryland Primary Election also received some intrigue when The Baltimore Sun reported days before the election, the state motor vehicle administration had failed, due to a computer glitch, to notify the board of elections of address changes and/or change of party affiliation done online for as many as 80,000 voters across the state.  These voters were notified they could vote using a provisional ballot.

Provisional and absentee ballots will be counted and the election certified on July 6.  Frederick County board of elections supervisor Stuart Harvey told me 700 absentee ballots had been received.

The primary results were also delayed for one hour when the hours of several voting polls in Baltimore were extended due to some problems opening these polls.

Out of the total votes cast in Frederick County, Democratic voters equaled 49.5% and Republicans voters 44.6%. 


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