Several Democratic Frederick County Council members appeared poised to hold their seats Tuesday night, while two Republicans seemed ready to join the group and the council’s at-large race was very close between four candidates.
Democratic candidates Kai Hagen and Susan Reeder Jessee and Republicans Philip Dacey and Danny Farrar were all within a percentage point as of press time late Tuesday night.
Hagen said he’s both won races and lost them.
“I’ve been on both sides of that coin,” he said.
Hagen said he thinks the at-large race was a civil one, with no attack ads or other things you see in some races.
Several candidates talked about the work that had gone into their races leading up to Tuesday.
“It’s been a marathon, not a sprint,” Dacey said. “I’ve been going for over a year here, planning and knocking doors and talking to voters, so yeah, it’s been a long weekend, a long day. I was up at the polls at 7 a.m. and stayed until the end, so I’m feeling like we left everything on the field, we did everything we can, and it’s in the voters’ hands.”
Farrar reflected on the race he’d run.
“It was a super humbling experience, man. When I look at tonight, my main worry is letting people down who worked as hard as they did. I think a lot of folks, and I was one of them, you go in, and it’s like anything in life, you go into life thinking you know what it takes, and you don’t. You have no clue.”
He mentioned education, public safety and first responders as high priorities in the county budget, and said sending mailers and knocking on doors win elections, especially locally.
Farrar said the country needs to come together after the election.
“This country’s too divided. It’s too divided right now. ... If you’re in office, you got to take it on the chin. ... You got to find common ground.”
In District 4, incumbent Democrat Jessica Fitzwater led Republican Jimmy Trout with nearly 61 percent of the vote, while fellow Democrat M.C. Keegan-Ayer held a substantial lead over Republican challenger Joe Parsley in District 3, with 62.5 percent of the vote with three-quarters of precincts reporting.
Fitzwater said she’d talked with Trout at a polling place on Tuesday, and was glad that they’d been able to run a good, clean race.
Fitzwater said that now that the council had one term of experience with charter government, she thinks they can take great steps to serve Frederick County.
The District 1 race between Republican Kevin Grubb Democratic incumbent Jerry Donald in District 1 was too close to call late Tuesday.
Republican Steve McKay beat Democrat Lisa Jarosinski in District 2.
All election results are unofficial until absentee and provisional ballots are counted. As of Tuesday night, 6,854 absentee ballots had been issued to Frederick County voters, and 3,592 had been returned, according to the State Board of Elections website. Canvasses of provisional ballots will begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 14 and 16.