The second Democrat seeking an at-large county council seat declined to request a recount Monday, meaning the Frederick County Council is officially set.

Susan Reeder Jessee, who finished with 522 fewer votes than Republican Phil Dacey, said she didn’t want to cause any more expenses to the county.

“I have a lot of trust in our Board of Elections,” Reeder Jessee said.

She added that she appreciated visiting with constituents on the campaign trail, and that having five candidates in the at-large race may have affected her chances.

According to the state Board of Elections, candidates can ask for a recount at no cost to them if the margin between them and the winner is 0.1 percent or less. Reeder Jessee’s gap, however, was 0.27 percent.

Dacey said Monday he was glad to have the opportunity to be a county council member.

“I’m excited and looking forward to serving the county and its citizens,” he said.

Election Director Stuart Harvey said via email that even Danny Farrar, who finished ahead of Reeder Jessee and behind Dacey by 307 votes, would have had a difficult time flipping the results through a recount process.

“In my experience, a margin of over 300 votes would be very difficult to overturn in a recount,” Harvey said.

Now that the second at-large seat is officially claimed, the full lineup of the county council is set.

Dacey and Kai Hagen, a Democrat, are the two at-large councilmen, and represent the entire county.

Jerry Donald, M.C. Keegan-Ayer and Jessica Fitzwater — all Democrats — were re-elected. They represent Districts 1, 3 and 4 respectively.

Republican newcomers Steve McKay and Michael Blue will represent Districts 2 and 5.

All seven of them, and County Executive Jan Gardner — a Democrat who was re-elected for a second term — will be sworn in at 10 a.m. on Dec. 3 at the Weinberg Center in Frederick.

County council members make $22,500 annually with no benefits. They’re elected to four-year terms and cannot serve more than three consecutive terms.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(5) comments


Looks like a good Coucil. Good luck to all!


So it’s official. We now have a tree hugger and Billy Shreve’s replacement of Mr No show/abstain on the council.


Proud of you, Susan!


Better luck next time Susan! You will have my vote then too!


Mine too, Susan!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.