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As Long as We Remember...

April 25, 2013

The Horse Race is Getting Crowded

Zachary Peters

As if the race for the top job in the City of Frederick was not crowded enough, an “independent” has announced her candidacy.


However, much like Rob Sobhani in the 2012 U.S. Senate race, this candidate is far from independent. Jennifer Dougherty, mayor of Frederick from 2002 to 2006, has left the Democratic Party and has become an Independent. Not only was she the first female mayor, but also now could be the first registered-Independent mayor.


In order to legitimize her candidacy and be able run, Ms. Dougherty had to collect signatures in the city in a petition drive to allow a third party candidate. 1,097 signatures are needed and she collected 1,552 to which 1,406 names were certified.


In an interview with WFMD/930AM, Ms. Dougherty said: “Because as a business person and a resident, I don't see it strictly as a Democrat or some may have seen it as a Republican. I've always been in it for what's best for Frederick.”


This is essentially political cowardice and realization that she would stand no chance in a Democratic primary against Del. Galen Claggett or Alderman Karen Young. And much like Rob Sobhani, Ms. Dougherty knows that the best thing to do when you lose in one party is abandon it and switch to another one, or just become unaffiliated.


This gives her the perfect chance to bash both sides in an attempt to gain votes from both Democrats and Republicans, not to mention that she won’t be a choice in the primary and can focus all of her time and energy on the General Election. But, hopefully, the election will go much differently. In the best-case scenario, Ms. Dougherty will split the vote among Democrats allowing Mayor Randy McClement (R) to easily win re-election. You can switch parties all you want, but a record of liberal thinking and action doesn’t go away. People don’t forget!


Even more competitive than the mayoral contest is the race for the five seats on the Board of Aldermen. Speaking for Republicans, these alderman elections are also continuing to be a little crowded. Candidates include a fellow columnist Jill King, and Hayden Duke, a dear friend. Since there is only one Republican on the board now, and two of the Democrat incumbents are definitely seeking re-election, it will be interesting to see how the Republicans end up.


The most vocal and visible of the candidates has by far been Mr. Duke. He was one of the first to announce and has been sign waving and campaigning on a daily basis. If you are driving on a major street in Frederick during prime commuting hours, you’ve definitely seen the green and white “Vote Hayden Duke” signs. Jill King recently officially announced her candidacy, and a similar hard work ethic is expected to follow. Both Hayden and Jill are very passionate about their city and would be outstanding additions to Frederick’s Board of Alderman.


With the deadline to file candidacy not until July, more candidates will certainly come out of the woodwork for alderman and maybe even one or two more for mayor.


Do not forget that Frederick is the second largest municipality in the state of Maryland. There is a chance at stake to not only re-elect Republican Mayor McClement, but also make conservative gains on the Board of Alderman. The primary election is September 10th with the general election on November 5th.


Looks like a long, hot summer ahead full of campaigning, door knocking, and phone banking.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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