Democrat Jennifer Dougherty’s promise to clean up politics in Frederick, Md., paid off at the polls yesterday, as the reform candidate received 60 percent of the vote to oust two-term incumbent Mayor James S. Grimes.
During the campaign, Mrs. Dougherty, 40, a restaurateur and gift-shop owner, accused Mr. Grimes, 60, of using the office to hand out pork-barrel projects to his friends. Mr. Grimes, who owns a trucking company, called his challenger a political novice.
Mrs. Dougherty made an unsuccessful Democratic primary bid for mayor in 1993 and also lost a 1997 run for a seat on the Frederick County Board of Commissioners.
Mr. Grimes, 60, made news around the state earlier this year when he went to court to fight the release of the “black book” client list from an escort service that reportedly serviced public figures in the state’s second largest city.
A Frederick County judge has restricted news organizations’ use of the names in the book.
Mrs. Dougherty had 5,555 votes, or 60 percent, to Mr. Grimes’ 3,721, or 40 percent, with the absentee votes still to be counted.
The race, coming on the heels of the long-running controversy, was one of the most hard-fought in the state.
Voters also were selecting five aldermen. The candidates included three incumbents.
In the Washington suburb of Rockville, slow-growth candidate Larry Giammo rode the hot-button issues of reducing traffic and increasing green space to the mayor’s office.
Mr. Giammo took 56.3 percent over his Smart-Growth opponent, incumbent Mayor Robert Wright who claimed only 42.5 percent.
Mr. Wright, 50, a City Council member, and Mr. Giammo, 37, a business consultant, traded jabs over Mr. Wright’s refusal to debate Mr. Giammo on the city’s cable-access channel.
Mr. Giammo, 37, accused Mr. Wright of using city policies on campaigning to thwart public debate earlier this year. Mr. Giammo suggested Mr. Wright was running scared, but Mr. Wright said the city shouldn’t change its procedures in the middle of the campaign.
Both were vying for the position currently held by Rose Krasnow, who is not running for a fourth term.
Ellen Moyer won the mayoral election in Annapolis with 55 percent of the vote, edging out Republican Herbert McMillan.
Mrs. Moyer’s support was widespread. She was the winner in six of the city’s eight wards.
Mr. McMillan, 42, a Naval Academy graduate, ran on a promise to be a strong advocate for the state’s capital city.
Mrs. Moyer, 65, promised to be a consensus builder as mayor, and boasted of working closely with Gov. Parris N. Glendening, Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens and the area’s legislative representatives. Voters responded. She easily beat four challengers in the Democratic primary, including former Mayor Alfred Hopkins.
In Gaithersburg, 26-year-old political outsider Austin Decker, with 498 votes 14.2 percent was trounced by incumbent Mayor Sidney Katz, who received 2,965 votes or 84.5 percent.
Mr. Katz, 50, became mayor when Gaithersburg’s Mayor Ed Bohrer died in office three years ago. He now will retain the seat for his first full term. He is a member of the Maryland Municipal League Hall of Fame.
Mr. Katz told voters his 20 years on the council and his knowledge of city politics made him the stronger choice and voters responded. Mr. Decker argued a leadership change was necessary for a city facing tough choices on congestion and the environment.
Turnout for the first November municipal elections in Gaithersburg was disappointing, officials said.
“The hope was that we would actually improve turnout” by moving the elections from April, said a Gaithersburg election official.