When it comes to a run for Mayor of the City of Frederick, it’s Déjà vu all over again for Shelley Aloi!
A lot can happen in four years, and for Shelley Aloi that’s an understatement. Back in 2013 she threw her hat in the ring at the last minute in a three-way primary challenge versus Mayor Randy McClement and a former Mayor Jeff Holtzinger. Unfortunately for Aloi, although she put up a good fight, her campaign came up short that September and did not qualify for the general election.
Just a few months after her defeat, Shelley leapt right back into the political arena.
Surprisingly, she accepted an offer to run as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor with Maryland Gubernatorial candidate Ron George (former Republican member of the Maryland House of Delegates) in a bid for the Republican representative in the November 2014 general election. Well, we all know how that turned out: Republican Larry Hogan easily defeated his opponents in the primary and went on to win a shocking victory in November over Andrew Brown, the assumed protégé of Martin O’Malley.
But even with that loss under her belt, she gained a tremendous amount of positive experience from her political battles. She chose to carry on, and in the words of French writer Alexandre Dumas, Aloi knew that “Women are never so strong as after their defeat.”
Not too long after that she transitioned from her career as an analyst in the banking industry to become a member of the John Maxwell Leadership Team and certified as a business, life and success coach with two other organizations. She immersed herself into the program and has networked “with colleagues who are transforming governments around the world, teaching and empowering elected officials, employees and other stakeholders using proven leadership principles”, as she states in on her campaign website.
With these new skills and her background as a former City Alderman during Mayor McClement’s first term, Aloi believes that the qualities of decisive leadership she displayed during that term-combined with her Maxwell training-has set her up to be the quintessential candidate this time around.
She espouses fiscal conservative finance principles when it comes to handling taxpayer money, but at the same time she feels she has displayed a strong sense of compassion for the everyday citizen of the city. Being the only Republican candidate who was born and raised in Frederick, and as a graduate of Thomas Johnson High School, Shelley says she better understands the pulse of the city than her opponents. In addition, she has been endorsed by long time former US Congressman Roscoe Bartlett and supported by former Mayor Jeff Holtzinger in her bid for Mayor.
The positions that she campaigned on in her 2013 mayoral bid haven’t changed much since I interviewed her back then for a blog post entitled Aloi Kicks into High Gear in August of that year. She feels strongly that there is a lack of leadership in City Hall, and that the multimillion dollar plans for the Hargett Farm on the west side of town are very unrealistic.
She is a strong believer in economic development and, with caveats, she is a supporter of the public-private partnership concept for the downtown hotel conference center.
On the hot topic of blighted properties, she feels that while the current mayor has moved the policies of the issue forward, much more can and should have been done to deal the property owners of the most flagrantly unkempt buildings.
The determination of this high kicking karate black belt is not to be underestimated, and with only a handful of days until the September 12th Republican primary, you will likely find Shelley out knocking on doors or standing on a street corner with campaign sign in hand waiving at passing cars.
She truly wants to lead the city to the next level this time; so I wouldn’t count her out until the last vote is counted!
Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He has been an active member of the Frederick, Maryland community for over four decades. He has served as chairman of the board of Frederick Memorial Hospital and as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Frederick Mutual Insurance Company. Established in 1843, it is one of the longest enduring businesses in Frederick County.