Frederick's early poll numbers favor incumbents

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Sep. 15—With the majority of city ballots still to be counted later this week, Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor led his contest for re-election in the city's primary election, as of late Tuesday.

O'Connor collected 127 votes in early and primary day voting, followed by Alderman Roger Wilson with 101, former mayor Jennifer Dougherty with 93, and challenger John Funderburk with 20 votes.

The tallies only included the four days of early voting that ended Saturday and votes from primary election day on Tuesday, but not votes cast by mail or at seven secure drop boxes around the city. The mail and drop box ballots will be counted over the next few days.

The election is scheduled to be certified at 9 a.m. on Sept. 21.

Katie Nash, meanwhile, collected the most votes in the Democratic primary for aldermen, with 258. The four incumbent aldermen — Derek Shackelford, Kelly Russell, Donna Kuzemchak and Ben MacShane — followed Nash with 236, 228, 203 and 197 votes, respectively, trailed by challengers Chris Sparks with 132 votes and Robert Van Rens with 119.

In the Republican mayoral primary, Steve Garrahy collected 66 votes and Steven Hammrick got 59.

Republican aldermen candidates Robert Fischer and Michelle Shay will move automatically into the Nov. 2 general election, since there are fewer than five GOP candidates.

O'Connor said Tuesday night that he's hopeful the different options for voting will increase turnout. The 2017 primary drew only 14 percent of voters.

He said the last count he'd heard for ballots from the drop boxes and by mail had exceeded the total vote from four years ago.

About half an hour before polls closed at the city's voting site on New Design Road, there had been 364 votes cast Tuesday.

The city has 35,599 registered voters, although unaffiliated voters weren't eligible to vote in Tuesday's primaries.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

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