Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Elections Today for Maryland Cities: Rockville, Salisbury, Gaithersburg, College Park, Greenbelt, Takoma Park & More!

By Matt Verghese

Election Day 2015 is upon us. Nationally, Democrats and progressives have a number of competitive races to watch: Attorney General Jack Conway battling to keep the Kentucky Governor's mansion in Democratic hands; Republicans trying to fortify their one-seat State Senate majority in battleground Virginia; 3 open Pennsylvania State Supreme Court seats that could determine which party controls redistricting in 2022; Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood trying to keep his title as the last Democratic statewide official in the Deep South; and, a number of ballot measures including initiatives to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in Ohio and a referendum on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

In Maryland, some of the largest municipalities head to the polls. The vast majority of municipal elections are non-partisan. Baltimore City (elections in '16), Frederick ('17), Annapolis ('17), and Hagerstown ('16) are among the few exceptions.  Many of the contests this year feature open races, multi-candidate fields challenging incumbents, and the usual accusations of stolen yard signs. With many town and city officials going on to run for higher office, Maryland Juice runs through some races to watch.

ROCKVILLE: Incumbent Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton faces a stiff challenge from political organizer and consultant Sima Osdoby, with development and growth being among the top issues in the race. Osdoby is part of Team Rockville slate - which includes incumbent city Councilmembers Julie Palkovich Carr and Virginia Onley, former Councilmember Mark Pierzchala and first-time candidate Clark Reed. Also running are Councilmember Beryl Feinberg, Twinbrook Civic Association President Rich Gottfried, former candidate Brigitta Mullican, Planning Commission member David Hill, and businessowner Patrick Schoof. The Mayor and Council are being elected to a 4-year term for the first time.

  • Bridget Donnell Newton (i)
  • Sima Osdoby

At-large Council (4 seats)
  • Beryl Feinberg (i)
  • Richard Gottfried
  • David Hill
  • Brigitta Mullican
  • Virginia Onley(i)
  • Julia Palakovich Carr (i)
  • Mark Perirzchala
  • Clark Reed
  • Patrick Schoof

GAITHERSBURG: Current Mayor Jud Ashman - who was appointed to the post after Mayor Sidney Katz was elected to the Montgomery County Council,  longtime Councilmember Henry Marraffa and Darline Bell-Zuccarelli are running to fill the balance of Katz's term. Ashman has been endorsed by Mr. Katz. Running for the 3 at-large Council seats are City Council Vice President Ryan Spiegel, appointed Councilmember Neil Harris, African American Democratic Club President Laurie Anne-Sayles, and attorney Robert Wu.

  • Jud Ashman (i)
  • Darline Bell-Zuccarelli
  • Henry Marraffa

At-large Council (3 seats)
  • Neil Harris (i)
  • Laurie-Anne Sayles
  • Ryan Spiegel (i)
  • Robert Wu

BOWIE: 21 year city council veteran Dennis Brady is challenging Mayor G. Frederick Robinson, who has the position since 1998. A number of newcomers are challenging incumbents as Bowie residents elect councilmembers who will now serve a 4 year term. These include veteran Kelly Rowe challenging Councilmember Diane Polangin in District 2, and former President of the Bowie Chamber of Commerce Craig Muckle trying to oust Councilmember Isaac Trouth. Two open city council races have attracted Comptroller Senior Advisor Monica Best-James, former Senator Peters aide Michael Esteve, and County Executive Baker intergovernmental affairs attorney Courtney Glass among others.  Dufour Woolfley, Jimmy Marcos and Henri Gardner - all sitting Councilmembers - are vying for 2 at-large spots.

  • Dennis Brady
  • G. Frederick Robinson (i)
  • Keith Alphonso Jackson

At-large Council (2 seats)
  • Henri Gardner
  • James L. Marcos
  • Dufour Woolfley (i)

Council District 1
  • Jenmaire Dewberry
  • Michael P. Esteve
  • Pauletta G. Handy
  • Monica Best-James

Council District 2
  • Diane M. Polangin (i)
  • Kelly P. Rowe

Council District 3
  • Babatunde O. Alegbeleye
  • James Scott Hessberger, Jr.
  • Courtney D. Glass

Council District 4
  • Isaac C. Trouth (i)
  • Craig M. Muckle

COLLEGE PARK: District 4 Councilwoman Denise Mitchell and District 1 Councilman Patrick Wojahn are vying to succeed Mayor Andy Fellows, who is stepping down after three terms. Mitchell would be the first African American woman to hold the post, and Wojahn would be the City's first openly gay mayor. Incumbent Councilmembers Faziul Kabir, P.J. Brennan, Monroe Dennis, Robert Day, Stephanie Stullich and Alan Hew all face competitive races. Interesting to note that 6 out of 18 candidates running in College Park are either UMD alumni, professors or students.

  • Denise Mitchell
  • Patrick Wojahn

Council District 1 (2 seats)
  • Faziul Kabir (i)
  • Christine Nagle
  • Cory Sanders

Council District 2 (2 seats)
  • Daniel Blasberg
  • P.J. Brennan (i)
  • Vivian Conway
  • Monroe Dennis (i)

Council District 3 (2 seats)
  • Ryan Belcher
  • Robert Day (i)
  • Robert McCeney
  • John Rigg
  • Stephanie Stullich (i)

Council District 4 (2 seats)
  • Mary Cook
  • Oscar Gregory
  • Alan Hew (i)
  • Dustyn Kujawa

SALISBURY: The Eastern Shore's largest city has revamped its electoral system for 2015 -- moving elections from the spring tot he fall, synchronizing terms of all elected officials, creating five single-member districts and eliminating their primary election. Current Mayor Jim Ireton decided against running for reelection, and instead filed to run for Council. City Council President Jake Day is running opposed for Mayor. All four City Council members are running for reelection - with Jack Heath and Tim Spies contesting from the same district. In the open District 2, former candidate and Libertarian Muir Boda seems to have the inside track.

  • Jake Day

Council District 1
  • Sarah Halcott
  • April Jackson
  • Shanie Shields (i)

Council District 2
  • Keyvan Aarabi
  • Marvin Ames
  • Muir Boda
  • Justin Gregoli

Council District 3
  • Jack Heath  (i)
  • Kevin Lindsay
  • Tim Spies (i)

Council District 4
  • Jim Ireton
  • Roger Mazullo

Council District 5
  • Laura Mitchell (i)

LAUREL: Mayor Craig Moe running unopposed for a fourth term, and all five City Council incumbents are favored to win reelection. Laurel has been in the news recently over the possible closure of Laurel Regional Hospital and the local MARC train station.

  • Craig Moe (i)

At-large Council
  • Michael Leszcz (i)

Council Ward 1 (2 seats)
  • Carl Dewalt
  • Jeffrey Mills
  • Valerie Nicholas (i)
  • H. Edward Ricks (i)

Council Ward 2 (2 seats)
  • Donna Crary (i)
  • Fred Smalls (i)
  • Mansoor Zia

GREENBELT: Residents elect a 7 member at-large Council with the highest vote getter traditionally being selected as mayor. Emmett Jordan -  who became the City's first African American Mayor in 2013 - is running for reelection, along with former longtime Mayor Judith 'J' Davis and the 5 other incumbent members of the City Council.

At-large Council (7 seats)
  • Silke I. Pope (i)
  • Susan H. Stewart
  • Emmett V. Jordan (i)
  • Leta M. Mach (i)
  • Konrad E. Herling (i)
  • Rodney M. Roberts (i)
  • Edward V. J. Putens (i)
  • Judith F. Davis (i)
  • Kathleen Marie Shaw
  • Bill Orleans
  • George R. Boyce

TAKOMA PARK: Councilmember Kate Stewart and local landlord Warren Holmes are facing off to become Takoma Park's next Mayor. Outgoing Mayor Bruce Williams - who is completing his 22nd year on the City Council - was the region's first openly gay elected official. Stewart - who has been endorsed by Williams, State Senator Jamie Raskin and County Councilmember Tom Hucker - is the frontrunner. The only other contested race is in Ward 1 where former HUD Assistant Secretary Peter Kovar and two others are running to replace Seth Grimes.

  • Warren Holmes
  • Kate Stewart

Council Ward 1
  • Peter Kovar
  • Victor Thuronyi
  • Elizabeth Forbes Wallace

Council Ward 2
  • Tim Male (i)

Council Ward 3
  • Rizzy Qureshi

Council Ward 4 
  • Terry Seamens (i)

Council Ward 5
  • Jarrett Smith (i)

Council Ward 6
  • Fred Schultz (i)

ABERDEEN: Incumbent Mayor Michael Bennett who prevailed in 2011 by only 26 votes, is fending of challenges from the City's first elected Mayor Ruth Elliott, Republican activist and perennial candidate Patrick McGrady, and former teacher and Delegate candidate Marla Posey-Moss. The City Council race includes incumbents Sandra Landbeck and Stephen Smith, and a 3 person slate aligned with McGrady. Mayor Bennett has endorsed both current Councilmembers as well as Appeals Board member Melvin Tyalor and  teacher Tim Lindecamp.

  • Michael Bennett (i)
  • Ruth Elliott
  • Patrick McGrady 
  • Marla Posey-Moss

Council (4 seats)
  • Carol Bruce
  • Sean DeBonis
  • Daniel Forte
  • Jason Kolligs
  • Barbara Kreamer
  • Sandra Landbeck (i)
  • Tim Lindecamp
  • Stephen Smith  (i)
  • Melvin Taylor

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