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August 8, 2014

Soul of Frederick Politics

Roy Meachum

This is the 31st year I’ve covered politics in Frederick. From the bad age when Veterinarian James “Doc” McClellan held the county and he once permitted a renegade Republican to take office, state Sen. Jack Derr – ‘til Anita Stup won her office as a genuine Republican.


Loud whispering: Dr. McClellan made a deal with Rep. Beverly Byron to let up on the GOP; after all, her husband and predecessor Goodloe Byron was a very conservative Democrat. He would tend local politics while Mrs. Byron took over nationally and internationally. That suited her very well: her philosophy is no more conservative than her late husband’s.


Tom Hattery arose; he had been around for a while. Only he stood for Congress in 1992; defeated her in the primary. The real winner was Republican Roscoe Bartlett. He served for 20 years, until the state Democratic Party redrew the district leaving behind a mob of think-a-likes, which led to Representative John Delaney.


Meanwhile back in Frederick, things have turned bloody. Without Doc to keep order, the electorate waffled. With the city remaining Democratic, the county bleached so that Republicans could grab offices. The one exception, state Sen. Alex Mooney was defeated by the Democrat Ron Young four years ago: when I moved here he was mayor, it seemed, of the city for life. (He is the progenitor of the political Youngs.)


Meanwhile, Senator Mooney has moved to West Virginia, leaving behind Del. Michael Hough, who defeated Sen. David Brinkley, supposedly by using Mooney tactics. Fear is one aspect of those tactics; the other is money. The rest of state delegates are Republicans, from Kelly Schultz to Kathy Afzali. Do your homework and I assume you could come to the same conclusions!


The city elections were held in 2013, and Mayor Randy McClement won going away. Jennifer Dougherty interfered; she ran with no political party getting involved, figuring those that supported her would go along. They did.


Even in Frederick, politics are very messy.


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