Mayor Randy McClement will lead Frederick for four more years.
In the city’s general election Tuesday, residents chose McClement, a Republican, over his two challengers, Democratic Alderwoman Karen Young and former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty, who ran as an unaffiliated candidate, according to unofficial city results.
McClement received nearly half the votes, with 3,714 votes, or 48.75 percent; Young received 2,407 votes, or 31.59 percent; Dougherty received 1,480 votes, or 19.43 percent.
Of the city’s 35,498 registered voters, 7,648 residents cast a ballot Tuesday, for a turnout of about 21.5 percent.
At his victory party at Brewer’s Alley, McClement thanked his family and those who helped him with his campaign.
“I just want to say thank you, very, very, very much,” he said.
McClement told his supporters that he was proud of the campaign he ran and all his administration accomplished in four years.
“We can do things the right way, without a lot of hoopla, and get things done,” he said.
Throughout his campaign, McClement encouraged voters to look at his record. He told them he faced four tough budget years but still managed to maintain city services.
“The only thing I could promise is we are going to do it again for four more years,” he said.
McClement will be working with a mainly Democratic Board of Aldermen, according to unofficial results, as he did his first four years.
The mayor and aldermen will take office Dec. 12, according to Saundra Nickols, city attorney.
Results are unofficial until the city tallies absentee ballots Thursday.
The city had given out 834 absentee ballots as of 2 p.m. Monday, according to Stuart Harvey, Frederick County election director. Of those, 399 had been returned by that time Monday, Harvey said.
Residents could request and turn in ballots in person at City Hall until polls closed Tuesday.
McClement’s wife, Maryjane McClement, said that she was confident her husband would win.
He didn’t let the campaign get to him, she said. “I’m proud of him.”
State Sen. David Brinkley, who was at McClement’s celebration Tuesday, said he was ecstatic for the re-elected mayor.
“He has done a great job,” Brinkley said.
Brinkley said McClement’s challengers ran a good race.
“They stayed on the issues, which is what everybody wants,” he said.
Young, a first-term alderwoman, said Tuesday that she was not surprised by the results.
“I was never going to be pessimistic, because you never give up,” she said.
Young said she had three things working against her — an incumbent mayor who didn’t do anything wrong; her other challenger, Dougherty; and her opponent in the primary, Delegate Galen Clagett, who worked against her. Clagett announced last week that he was supporting McClement.
Young had said she wanted to move Frederick forward, emphasizing her experience working for statewide and regional organizations and her connections across the region.
Young is married to state Sen. Ron Young, a former mayor of Frederick, who campaigned with her.
She hopes the new board will take ideas she presented in her 100-day plan and put them to good use. She said it is up to the aldermen to push items forward.
Dougherty called McClement after initial results came in and left a voice mail to congratulate him.
“The results speak for keeping the status quo,” she said, referring to McClement’s win and the wins of both incumbent aldermen, Michael O’Connor and Kelly Russell.
Dougherty served as the city’s mayor from 2002 to 2006.
She ran in the city’s 2005 and 2009 Democratic primary elections and was defeated both times.
She dropped her party designation this year to run as the city’s first unaffiliated candidate for mayor.
To get on Tuesday’s ballot, she collected signatures from more than 1,400 city voters.
Dougherty said she was surprised to get just 20 percent of the vote, as she thought people were more receptive to her message.
Throughout her campaign, she pointed out what she saw as the mistakes and missed opportunities of McClement’s administration.
McClement said he knows that the city can get through the next four years, even though he is not sure the economy will improve.
“I would love to see our economy get better,” he told his supporters. “I’m not sure that is going to happen real quick, but we know we can do this. I thank you all for your help.”
Follow Jen Bondeson on Twitter: @Jen_Bondeson.