(8/1)As Frederick County voters head towards a historic general election, two key Republican candidates who lost their bids in the primary have endorsed Jan Gardner for county executive.
The voters in Frederick County approved the proposed change of governance from a board of commissioners form to a charter-based government in the November 2012 election, with the new seats created to be filled in the upcoming November election. Those elected to the new seats will assume their positions in December 2014.
Perhaps the most unique position created by the charter was the position of county executive. In the primary, three Republican candidates vied for the party nomination, including incumbent board of commissioners members Blaine Young and David Gray, and Mark Sweadner, while only Democrat and former member of the county Board of Commissioners Jan Gardner ran for that party’s
While Gardner was an unopposed shoo-in, Young pulled off a narrow victory over Gray and Sweadner for the win, resulting in a contest for the seat to be between Young and Gardner in the upcoming general election.
However, the unity of party began to disintegrate in the wake of the primaries as Sweadner and Commissioner Gray decided to back Gardner for county executive.
Sweadner stated, "I am extremely proud to say that I am supporting Jan Gardner for county executive. She is definitely the most qualified person for this office. She has been elected as a county commissioner for three terms and has served as its president for one of those terms. She performed outstandingly well all 12 years she served."
The actual vote count in the primary contest for party nominations for the county executive position was as follows: Gardner – 11,706, Blaine Young – 10,260, David Gray – 6,722, and Mark Sweadner – 2,298.
The total Republican vote in the primary for county executive amounted to 19,280, while the total Democrat votes case for county executive of 11,706.
That spread between the two parties however may not carry over into the general election, and in fact could reverse totally, depending largely on the numbers of moderate Republicans in the county who are willing to join Gray and Sweadner and support a Democrat candidate.
"Jan Gardner may be a Democrat, but she is Frederick County's best hope for sound money management, said Craig Hicks, founder of the new political organization Republicans for Jan Gardner (www.RepublicansForJanGardner.com) "We each have the right and responsibility to vote for the candidate we believe will do the best job."