In 2014, voters in Frederick County will be electing their leaders under charter government for the first time. Previously, Frederick had been governed by a board of County Commissioners elected at-large. In 2014, they will elect a County Council with five members elected from districts and two at-large.
They will also be electing a County Executive for the first time. Blaine Young should be able to dispatch his Mark Sweadner, who was the Frederick County Budget Director for a long stretch in the 1990s, and David Gray–a sitting County Commissioner.
Young had $185,000 left over from his aborted gubernatorial Campaign in January. Jan Gardner, a Barbara Mikulski staffer and former County Commissioner had $43,000 in January. Young has money and a famous surname on his side. Frederick’s rapidly changing demographics favor Gardner.
Frederick County was once reliably rock ribbed Republican territory However, an influx of migrants from Montgomery County has turned the southern party of the County Purple. Combined with the increasingly Democratic City of Frederick nearly outweighs the dark Red, rural precincts in the northern part of the County. Frederick is perhaps the most swingy county in Maryland.
Gardner needs to turn out base Democratic Voters in Frederick City while also winning independents and Republican crossover votes in the southern part of the county. Young will need to super charge rural turnout and get as many Republican’s as possible in the rest of the County to vote. Someone as hard right as Young is unlikely to get many Democrat or Independent crossover votes.
This is one of the most competitive county general elections in Maryland this cycle.
Republican Primary Rating: Likely Young
General Election Rating: Toss Up