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Candidates lined up for 2018 primary

(3/1) Campaign signs are beginning to spring up around the county – a sure sign that the primary for County Executive, County Council and all the elected offices are right around the corner.

In 2012 the voters in Frederick County approved the proposed change of governance from a Board of Commissioners to a charter form of government. Jan Gardner easily defeated Blaine Young for the County Executive position, but a belief that the Republican majority on the County Council should embrace Young’s goals, in spite of their rejection by the voters, led to a spilt in the Republican majority resulting in discord that has hampered the Council’s effectiveness. The need to improve the civility on, and the effectiveness of, the County Council is an underlying theme for almost all running for the Council this year.

In the County Executive race, Jan Gardner will be running unopposed on the Democratic ticket, so all eyes will be on the three-way race on the Republican ticket between Regina Williams, Kathy Afzali, and current County Councilman Kirby Delauter.

The seven-member County Council consists of two At-large members and five district members. Candidates who have filed for the At-large seats on the Republican ticket include Emmitsburg News-Journal columnist Justin Kiska, Philip Dacey, Danny Farrar and Jason Miller. On the Democratic side, former County Commissioner and Thurmont resident Kai Hagen, Emmitsburg resident Mark Long, Susan Reeder Jessee, Kavonet Duckett and Galen Clagett have tossed their hats into the ring. Current Council President Bud Otis has chosen to retain his independent stance and will be announcing his election intentions mid-March.

Council District Five seat, which includes all of northern Frederick County, will be an open seat, as Delauter has given the seat up to run for County Executive. Emmitsburg native Will Valentine will contest Walkersville native Michael Blue for the Republican slot, while Shannon Bohrer, Emmitsbsurg News-Journal’s "Words From Winterbilt" commentary columnist, is running uncontested on the Democratic ticket.

For state representatives, Northern Frederick County is represented by three Delegates, each serving four-year terms. Candidates who have filed for these seats include Republicans Jesse Pippy, Barrie Ciliberti and Dan Cox, and Democrats Ysela Bravo, Lois Jarman, and Ryan Smith. Democrat Jessica Douglass will be seeking to unseat the Michael Hough for State Senate.

In addition, there is a full suite of candidates running for the Board of Education, including Edison Hatter, a Catoctin High School Senior and the Emmitsburg News-Journal’s Sports Editor. Edison is an impressive young candidate and definitely deserves a look. Voters will also be asked to choose candidates for Sherriff, State Attorney, Clerk of Circuit Court, Judge of the Orphans’ Court, and Register of Wills.

As we have done in past elections, the Emmitsburg News-Journal will be offering all candidates the opportunity to submit articles allowing them to introduce themselves to the voters in the northern part of the county.

This year’s primary will occur on June 26th, with early voting beginning June 21st.

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