The trigger of the starting gun was pulled several weeks ago, and the candidates are on the road!
It’s that season again …It seems that the dust has barely settled in Frederick County from last year’s City mayoral and aldermanic campaign, and here we are again back into politics on a county wide level.
The next six months and few days thereafter will surely be another very interesting and unique brawl for the county’s top seat.
The reigning champion from four years ago is current county executive Jan Gardner, who handily defeated former Frederick County Board of County Commissioner president and Charter government initiator, Blaine Young. Without spending too much time on that battle, let’s just say that Ms. Gardner won her seat fair and square, and Young’s political career was at the very least out on hold … not finished.
Gardner has worked hard during her term to undo much of what she considered Young’s political wrongs and has now capped her first term with the recent introduction of a new master plan for the county that was two years in the making. The plan known as “Livable Frederick” will likely be a controversial topic in her campaign to retain her seat of power in Winchester Hall.
As the only Democrat in the race, she will have the luxury of sitting out the primary election as her party seems very unified behind her – rightly so, as she will be a very difficult challenger to defeat.
On the Republican side there are three candidates who each have, let’s say, “unique” qualities that will without a doubt make for raucous primary campaign.
Kirby Delauter, who for sure has a few axes to grind with Ms. Gardner, is clearly fired up and chomping at the bit to defeat his fellow GOPers in the primary. Delauter is one of the once 4 (now 3) republicans on the County Council and a former Frederick County Commissioner from the Young board. His positions on just about everything that Gardner stands is the political poll-ar opposite.
Frederick County Delegate Kathy Afzali is another GOP contender, who is known for her scrappy no-nonsense style. When in a debate with her, one must know that she is not just on the political right, she will also tell you that she is right all the time. One thing for sure is that she is a very hard and diligent campaigner who will likely wear out a pair of shoes a week as she pounds on one door after the next.
Also, from within the offices of Winchester Hall comes budget officer Regina Williams, who hopes to bring an air of common sense to the political landscape. With the support and backing of her well known (of local celebrity status) mother Debbie Williams, she is making her way around the county spreading the gospel of civility to the voters. But make no mistake, Ms. Williams has her own axe to grind with Gardener as well!
And then, there is the strong possibility that already declared third party candidate Earl Robbins, currently a few hundred signatures away from reaching the number needed to get on the November ballot, could make a push. Robbins, a long-time registered Democrat, has a long history in the Frederick community. He gained his fame as the local business representative for Eastalco Aluminum, at the time one of Frederick County’s largest employers. He has been very active in community service, and is well respected within the African-American community. No doubt Mr. Robbins has the potential of upsetting the apple cart in this year’s election.
Stand by and stay tuned for upcoming posts on individual feature articles on each of the fearless five.