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.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter:


Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at

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.

(33) comments


A couple of observations. First, the unofficial results at the board of elections show that about 2.5% of the ballots cast were blank. As in, they didn't vote for anyone or anything on the ballot. Why would someone go to a polling place (or go get an absentee ballot) and then leave it blank? It can hardly be apathy; an apathetic voter wouldn't have gone to the polls. So I'm guessing it is a form of protest. I wonder if they stood at the actual voting booth for a while before going over to run it through the scanning machine or did they just pick it up from table A and walk it over to the scanner.

Second, as someone else said below, I think Jerry Donald has a very good chance of winning. He trails by 57 votes out of almost 22,000 cast (another almost 900 didn't vote in this race.) 5,000 of the 22,000 were early votes -- and he got 60% of those. If absentee voters are more like early voters than like election day voters -- meaning he gets 60% of absentees -- about 300 absentee votes would be about enough for him to make up the 57 vote difference. If the absentees are especially enthusiast Donald voters and he gets 70% of them, then 150 absentee ballots would be about enough. Four years ago a bunch of the absentees were former students of his. Four years have gone by; he has more former students.


Excellent analysis regarding District 1 tight race.


Dems in Frederick county winning overall. Frederick county soon to be a dem county Thanks to ba’lane young, one new house at a time


News flash Kelly- what you say was true- until yesterday. The Blue Wave laid an egg in Fred co. I see many- very many - of the same incumbent Republicans returning to office. More importantly the elections of Steve Mckay, Grubb (if it stands) Kai Hagen and, yes, even if you don't all agree with all his supposed motivations, the continuing tenure of Sheriff Jenkins are about arresting (that's a pun) those trends. I know you know that because you have a very intimate knowledge of what is happening in Frederick County. (Or at least you write as if you think you do.)[wink]


Kai Hagen is a Dem


I know- i voted for him because of his anti-development cred. Fewer homes to preserve my way of life and fewer MoCo refugees to vote Democrat. win-win.


I'd say the Blue Waters are rising in FredCo. Four years the GOP won both at-large council seats; only one this time. Four years ago the GOP had 5/8 of the delegation; this year down to 4/8. Jenkins won by 63/37; this year ~53/47. Ron Young: 51/49 last time and 57/43 this time. Hough: 67/33 last time; 60/40 this year.

The FredCo GOP can't afford too many more victories like this.


Indeed, this is a holding action. If the GOP does not broaden it's appeal, it is dead here and everywhere else.


Frederick county used to be a blue county at one time.


A picture is worth a 1000 words. That pic of Dacey and Danny pretty much sums up my feelings toward them both. (And I voted for Danny- but not Phil. He's much too busy for public office. See his attendance record.)


Agree, Dacey is an empty suit. Didn't do squat as city alderman. Why the promotion?


He must have a lot of local family is all i can figure.


Congratulations to Steve McKay! Congratulations to Jan Gardner!

McKay as council president? That would be a surprise, but I'd welcome it. I had been thinking M.C. would get a turn but I'm sure McKay would be a fine selection as council president.

I will not miss Billy Shreve, Kirby Delauter and Bud Otis. Buh-bye!


It's not about "turns" is it? Lord I hope not.


Thank you DeltaOne!


I like both of them, but prefer Donald.


And some were not close!- Steve McKay by over 20% in D2?! I am so proud of my neighbors! Tough loses for Donald and Farrar. Perhaps Phil Dacey will try to clear his schedule and actually make some meetings. Glad Kai Hagen won.

I know partisan affiliation shouldn't matter in local politics but it does. With a 4-3 advantage on the Council the Republicans have a chance to elect the next Council President. I could not IMAGINE a more attractive candidate for such a role than Steve McKay. Knowledgeable, courteous, hard-working- funded by 150 private citizens with no developer money? I know you're overwhelmed this morning but please Steve, think about it.

How's it feel Tony? $6000 ($5000 from JEM "Farms") got you 749 votes? That's $8 per vote. That has got to be crushing to such an egomaniac. Did you call to congratulate Steve? I doubt it. That would require class and humility. The 3 Stooges are gone! I'm so proud of the local Republican Party. While the national party may have no place for moderates for the next few years the local party is all about cool, factual analysis and action- well at least in D2! I'm giddy! Have a wonderful day! I will!


Someone has a heart on for Chmelik. Lots of trash talking and energy against some who got a couple hundred votes.


You're just noticing that I'm no of the D2 megalomaniac? Pay attention Don! It's the energy and money he expended that are amazing. All out of spite!

For $6000! Those were expensive votes eh Don. I think you have a crush on TC and all the other pro-development former Council members that we Republicans unceremoniously threw out in the primary. No MTC, now time to revisit that silly publicly funded Downtown hotel fiasco. (Don's teeth grind a little harder.)[beam]


"no fan"


Another sore winner.


Who are you talking to 3? I am absolutely delighted this morning!


Thank you des for your support. I haven't been able to get online until now but wanted to make sure folks know that Tony did call me this morning. We had a good conversation and he congratulated me.


That's good to hear! I was also impressed he got his signs down so quickly. Glad to see he's embracing reality this time.

That was some win Steve. Did ANY CC candidate get near as many votes as you? Council President buddy, council President. Other's may have longer service but balancing the CE in the Republican majority Council is important. i guess we'll have to see what happens with Donald and i know you're a deferential guy but you'd be ideal.


I'll take the other side of the bet regarding your statement on Grubb winning District 1. For the second time in a row, I think Jerry Donald will win on the absentee ballots. Do the math. I think it's unlikely Donald doesn't win.






God, winning twice on absentee ballots? If he were a Republican 80% of this forum would be crying foul. Seems like a good guy. i don't he campaigned too hard. Lot of work if done properly, little money.


Just when I think you are making sense (by supporting Kai) you go back to your Republican superiority complex. But, yah, didn't Jerry win by about 30 votes last election?


I say i like Donald and you say i have a Republican superiority complex. Sigh, I don't know what to say. Politics is about compromise. You guys despise everyone and everything that doesn't (don't) agree with you 100%. That's so childish. Sorry if that sounds superior but if being able to compromise makes one superior, well, I am. (Unlike our current President and many on your side of the aisle.)


You baffle me. These are your words: " If he were a Republican 80% of this forum would be crying foul."


There were typos, so I did not realize you were praising Jerry. Well done. I think Jerry is even further left than Kai.[cool]


Thanks 3, i always thought that, even though we don't always agree (rarely probably) that you're a good guy and a grown up. Good to know that is so. (and yes, I do have a lot of typos- I fling these things out there when i have a few secs and don't always proofread.)

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.