I decided to run as a write-in candidate for mayor for one reason, Michael O’Connor is not a good leader. His decisions are hurting us in big ways and small. People are worried about the most basic safety issues from guns to neighborhood speeding. People see their property taxes go up with no effort to improve the tax differential with the county. People want their elected officials to protect the most vulnerable in our community and hold people accountable.

So, I think Michael is bad; but, clearly, the other guy is worse!

When the public learned of Steven Hamrick’s criminal record, we were shocked. Everyone asked, “Why didn’t we know?”

City Hall was locked down, so reporters could not get in to see the filing documents. What was routine, is not any longer. In this case, the Frederick News-Post is not to blame.

Michael “doesn’t think the city should want its mayor weighing in on who’s allowed to run for office and who’s not. ‘I don’t think that’s my authority.’”

Who else can we rely upon to inform and shed light on what is more than an embarrassment? It’s likely another crime since the documents are signed “under penalty of perjury…There are no relevant press accounts concerning or relating to me….” A May 3, 2016, FNP news account of his arrest is easily found when the correct name is entered.

I cannot trust Michael to stand up for the right things when it should be easy. He has not initiated any charges against Hamrick for the false filing.

Being a boss is sometimes difficult, but that is what a mayor is — a boss. It’s a big operation that requires decisive leadership and transparency. That’s why I am asking for city voters to follow the ballot instructions, fill in the bubble, and write in Jennifer Dougherty. Please use the Ballot Drop Box or vote in-person since the mail was very slow in the primary.

Jennifer Dougherty


Jennifer Dougherty has announced a write-in campaign for Frederick mayor.

(41) comments


Three words: Carmack Jay's fiasco. That folky was just the tip of the iceberg


Thank you Jennifer for stepping up. O'Conner has again shown how timid and lazy he is when comes to leading. A bunch of County Clerks are taking away one of Frederick City's best economic asset on Oak Street and O'Conner is AWOL.

I know Jennifer was not appreciated in her earlier term, but she knows how to fight for Frederick City, which is more than anyone else has shown.

Exactly, politics is voting for the lesser of the two evils and right now Jennifer Dougherty is the lesser of the 3 evils, why is that so hard for some people to understand ? Also I could care less how personable someone is as a politician, what I care about is can they get the job done and Jennifer Dougherty has already proven she can so…this shouldn’t be that difficult of a decision but it is for some reason? I never see it stated that a man needs to be more personable…..but always with women politicians!

Do you want Mrs. America or Ms. America? Mr. America is never expected to be personable to be elected is he, he can either be an alleged criminal or a liar or both and still be voted into office! Unbelievable ??? And we wonder why nothing ever gets done?


SMH Polite

Yep. "Jennifer is a good administrator, better than O’Connor but she lacks personable skills" Translated... So, I'm gonna vote for the bad (man) administrator just because the other (woman) one seems mean. We're not voting in our high school superlatives for the Nicest classmate. We're voting for a MAYOR.

Wondering if any of these people happen to watch any of the debates. Because, Ms. Dougherty had Michael hands down on being more composed and professional. With actual answers to boot. The more I read some of these comments, the more I realize that sexism is still thriving in Frederick politics.


Obviously we didn’t learn our lesson from 2016, and we are all set to vote a bad man into office once again….will we ever learn?

unbelievable how history just keeps repeating itself and not in a good way and we only have ourselves to blame, me not so much, I voted for the Polite White Woman in 2016 and will vote for the Polite White Woman this time for Mayor! Not a hard choice at all…then again I don’t expect cookies and milk and a good night kiss.


I hope my earlier comment was misunderstood... just an observation. My point is Jennifer’s point should be focused on expressing why she would be a better Mayor not implying the best of the worst. I’m disappointing she didn’t do that in the primary. Jennifer is a good administrator , better than O’Connor but she lacks personable skills to get her elected. She needs to work on that. Just sayin’🤷‍♂️. That image will be hard to change, as a write-in candidate in less than a month.


I don't have a horse in this race, but I am mistrustful of someone who is a write-in candidate. That does not say much for their long-term planning abilities.




So, Jennifer, you told us why the other guys suck. OK, tell us why you don't. It's easy and cheap to sling mud at the other guys. What are your plans to deal with any of those things that you accused the others of?


Go to her website-at least it has ideas. Michaels is just full of "his" accomplishments. Not a new idea in there.



You are the Google king gab.....you mean to tell me you can't locate Jennifer's website?




Agreed. The hiring of a new police chief isn't an accomplishment, it's doing the bare minimum of the job. And need I remind anyone here of the whole Frederick Logo debacle....


Exactly. I wouldn't say its doing the bare min., it's what a mayor is expected to do when a police chief retires / resigns / quits / is terminated!!!!!

Its comical that he lists that as an accomplishment! LOL No, strike that, its hilarious!


I agree with you Gabe! Jennifer needs to explain why she would be a better choice, not simply “the other guy sucks”, especially since Jennifer lost to O’Connor in the primary election. A follow-up letter is required on how she would be a better choice. If serious 🧐. Just being bossy doesn’t make one a good boss. Good leadership and oversight is far more important.


How is telling the truth about the other guys slinging mud? Why doesn't Jennifer suck.......because she has ethics and morals....see that was very simple, the other two not so much. Don't see much in the way of ethics and morals from O'Connor nor Hammrick. Odd that you do?

So you are okay with voting for an alleged criminal or a liar ? Interesting, or is it you just can't bring yourself to vote for a female?


Lots of gratuitous statements in your response, pickles. Yes, what she said is factual regarding Ham(m)rick, and O'Connor should have picked up on that in a heartbeat. However, that is ALL this LTE does; point out the faults of her opponents. Negative ads are by definition "mudslinging". What does SHE plan to do about the issues she mentions in this LTE? No, I am not OK with voting for a criminal or a liar, and you commit the "false choice" fallacy in saying so. Your last assertion is just plain stupid, pickles. It's right up there with "have you stopped beating your wife?" I have no problem voting for women. I look at a candidate's qualifications, experience, issues, and their plans to address them. If only others did, instead of voting for members of "their tribe". smh...


So gab, if Michael's plan is non-existent or wait and see on so many important issues, like blight, speeding, affordable housing, etc—to support your argument, you're gonna have to show us where Michael has shared his ideas. Good luck with that. He's resting on his incumbency.


So pointing out the truths about her opponents is pointing out their faults? The only faults I saw her point out is that Steve Hammrick is an alleged criminal and O'Connor lied about not knowing? Pretty cut and dry....

Oh you are talking about this part:

people are worried about the most basic safety issues from guns to neighborhood speeding. People see their property taxes go up with no effort to improve the tax differential with the county. People want their elected officials to protect the most vulnerable in our community and hold people accountable.

I don't think the FNP would have given her space to address these but her website does so...but that wasn't the point of her letter, her letter was to point out that you can either vote for an alleged criminal a liar or write in Jennifer Dougherty? Seems pretty simple to understand....but yet?


Where did I say that any of the candidates had a good, or any, plan kfmd? Aren't you sick of the negative ads, letters, etc. about "the other guys suck", without stating exactly what THEY plan to do? That is what this LTE was. Sorry you appear to be taking this personally, but it applies to ALL of the candidates. Quit telling us how "the other guys suck", and tell us why you don't.


Gab. Taking nothing personal. And, I didn’t put any words in your mouth.

You’re done with “negative” ads. They aren’t my favorite either but, many of us are done with Michael not taking responsibility and never getting called out on it. So, in this case I appreciate JD boldness.

I pretty sure she outlined what she would do, she would have initiated charges against Hammrick.

We have let so much slide regarding the ‘behavior’ of elected officials and even those running for office. Michael’s adminisration had two responsibilities in this situation.

First, inform the public of the alias, so the voters could make a more informed decision. (They did not)

Second, take action once it was discovered that Hammrick lied on his alias form. (They have not)

Maybe, Jennifer is just sick and tired of a Mayor taking the path of least resistance and not being accountable for his administration. The above 2 decisions that are not in our best interest. She tried nice. Now, it’s time to be more frank.


mudslinging is how campaigning is done. Its 2021.

Kelly Q. Alzan for sheriff.

Also gab this last question you asked Jennifer Dougherty, what are her plans to deal with any of those things she accused the others of doing? Kinda doesn't make sense....Jennifer Dougherty is accusing Steve Hammrick of being an alleged criminal and O' Connor lying about not knowing about Steve Hammrick being an alleged criminal..so how exactly should Jennifer Dougherty deal with liars? Not be a liar nor an alleged criminal herself? I think Jennifer Dougherty has dealt with those things already don't you?

Remember it isn't the crime, it's the cover-up of the crime that gets people sent to prison.


pickles, my question was truncated due to typing on a cell phone. It should have continued with "...that you are accusing the other candidates of not dealing with". Here is her statement:

"His decisions are hurting us in big ways and small. People are worried about the most basic safety issues from guns to neighborhood speeding. People see their property taxes go up with no effort to improve the tax differential with the county. People want their elected officials to protect the most vulnerable in our community and hold people accountable." What does she plan to do about any of that? BTW, I was able to Google her website, although that was not my job to go looking for it. When you say "go to the website", the link is usually provided at that time. There's not a lot of meat on the bones regarding those issues on the website either. Just a basic outline of bullet points. I am also wondering why she didn't decide to "out" the other candidate. Do you know why?


Did JD have access to the name change affidavit? No, the city didn't make it public. Is JD responsible for the city website and sharing city public information? No, but Michael is. It's likely JD found out when the rest of us did, AFTER the primary.

It's obvious that JD ain't for you, but you criticize her for NOT ENOUGH meat and bones (when she is obviously sharing an outline of plans) And, Michael has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING of substance to share. Pretty much a double standard. And not even worth considering your point of view.


You know gab well...he's obtuse and disingenuous at the same time. As his comments display...so yeah any discussion with him is rather pointless. I mean he's defending voting for either a liar or an alleged criminal so....well there's that.


No double standard at all. It was pointed out above (by you, btw) that she had a plan on her website, and what I saw was a bare-bones outline; the "whats" and not the "hows" as it were. The "whats" are the easy part. The "hows" are the difficult part. I did not compare any other candidate to her (you're doing that). I commented on her website content, and her content alone. Sheesh..

If she claims that she didn't have access to the information about Ham(m)rick, then fine. That's why it was a question.


More gratuitous assertions, pickles, and an ad hominem to boot. Nice job. Please point out where I am defending voting for either other candidate. I didn't, so talk about being disingenuous. Why are you so wrapped up in binary thinking? "If you ain't for us, you're against us". I mean, I point out that this letter was an example of "the other guys suck" without pointing out why someone should vote for them? Not vote against the other guy, but actually vote for them.


Last reply to you Gab.

How do you vote if you aren’t comparing candidates? It’s the whole point of an election. Comparing candidates.

So yeah, I’m comparing canidates.

Sheesh, Did you click any links? Do you read any further than the headline? I’m more tired of people complaining about JD by placing a double standard on her.

You complain she has no Hows. She has plenty of how’s. Way more than Michaels how’s, which are 0! And, you’re not judging him for that.

Here’s a few things on her site.

People are concerned with taxes.

Michael has not reevaluated the tax differential formula in a few years, and this was his response.

“We should regularly evaluate the tax differential formula, but again, my inability to persuade the County to look at this issue differently than the way I look at. Perhaps I should be more persuasive, but the County is free to reject that argument. We should regularly reevaluate that formula.”

Jennifers HOW.

Re-examine the City-County Tax Differential issue. Because County Property Taxes are too high. City taxpayers carry a disproportionate burden. The Mayor and Board have neglected yearly audits of the formula and data. The audit determines if the County tax rate should be lowered to offset the cost of services not provided by the County to City residents. I will get it done.

* Deliver that data to the County before the FY23 budget.

* Publicize the information through the Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NAC.) 

* Make property tax differential a specific issue in the 2022 Elections.

* Make sure the County candidates running for the precincts within the city are aware of our position on the Property Tax Differential.

* Ensure the County Executive Candidates are supportive of the City efforts.

People are concerned with speeding.

Jennifers HOW.

Street trees and landscape can have a positive affect on driver behavior. At least that’s what studies show. Colorful crosswalks build sense of community—while keeping pedestrians safer and drawing drivers’ attention to them. Traditional calming methods work too, like the speed bumps we installed 18 years ago after resident complaints.

I’m ready to listen and share ideas. Speeding is a problem. It’s time to act. Enough studies. Here’s some ideas.

Promote curbside rain gardens. Imagine streets lined with grasses and flowering perennials. Feed native birds and bees, reduce runoff, filter out pollutants and slow the speeders. It’s a win-win all the way around.

Encourage more street tree planting. The City has a program for this. Let’s get more neighbors to take advantage.

Explore colorful crosswalk designs.  Crosswalks are a rare commodity in our neighborhoods. Maybe they’re all we need to slow speeders and build neighborhood pride. 

Invest in traditional traffic calming. Speed bumps and traffic circles work in some situations.

Pursue expanded enforcement efforts. Like speed cameras.


* Red light camera legislation proposed

* Speed Humps pilot program initiated

* Traffic circles and humps installed

People are concerned with blight.

Jennifers HOW.

For 12 years Michael has been getting serious on “habitual vacancies.” He won’t even use the word “blight.” First more staff was needed. So 3 people were hired. Then more laws. So 2 versions of Receivership were adopted. Recently, the Board added an additional property tax that Michael predicts we will see results in 2-3 years. For 12 years, they’ve enforced reactively and randomly. They’re inconsistent with fines. And they’re tone deaf in dealing with the public. You’ve been demanding change. The time has come. 

These building are eyesores. They diminish neighborhood property value. They threaten the safety and character of our community. They attract crime. I’ll act within my first 100 days on the issue.

Use the existing laws that are on the books. Condemnation and eminent domain laws will flag the most obvious offenders.

Take flagged offenders to the Board of Alderman for condemnation. Within my first 100 days.

Walk with NAC leaders through their neighborhoods. We’ll identify problem area throughout the City.

Create a Code Enforcement Board of residents. We’ll keep the process transparent, fair, and conclusive.

People are tired of not being heard.

Jennifers HOW.

The most significant threat to public health and safety in Frederick is the lack of communication. The COVID pandemic confirmed this. We must do better. We're leaving seniors, the digitally challenged, and people with less access out of the loop.

Communications was a big campaign promise Michael failed to deliver on. Some could argue he made it worse by neglecting the NACs. Here’s where we start.

Plan Emergency outreach. Implementing an Emergency Plan is a necessity. All responsible cities have one. We're going to tell you what's wrong. We're going to tell you when we're going to update you next. We're going to tell you our plan. We're going to give you peace of mind.

Fix the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NACs). NACs were created in 2002 (by me) to give residents a soapbox. Designed as an opportunity for you to voice concerns and give opinions to City Hall. Also, as a way for City Hall to communicate with you. I will restore them to their original purpose.

Plan City outreach. Developing a Communications Plan will be part of the process. All forward-thinking cities have one. We have a Communications Department. Let's do it with City staff. You want more transparency? This is where you start. Transparency and communications go hand in hand.


* City response to Amerithrax investigation coordinated

* City-Wide Emergency Operations Plan developed

Do I need to copy and past anything else from her site? Or did you expect to see academic paper? Too many vote by hearsay or negatively informed bias. Sad.


I can't take another couple of years of a do-nothing mayor. The closed and dilapidated buildings on Market Street are becoming gathering spots for the homeless. I'm goiing to write-in Jennifer! And if I hear one more person complain about city services that voted for Michael, I think my head will explode


FYI, Jennifer did exactly nothing about those same buildings when she was mayor.


Really, stjohn... thats not how the FNP reported. Dougherty had balls and took action.

Here's just a few... but so much more than what Michaels admin has done.






Writing her in might have made sense if JD was to the right of MO, but she is to his left, and we already had the Primary election.


Please elaborate 3¢... Neither are far left. Michael DOESN't support allowing independents to vote in primaries. Dougherty, does. That's about all I've got to align with your thinking. And I don't think that is even a far-left agenda item. More a general voter activist item. Give me a few more examples.


Yes, Jennifer is far left - at least in the sense of spending - which is mostly what makes a mayor left or right. I don't say that as a criticism, as I am not generally against government spending. Since you asked for an explanation: Most voters on the left are Democrats, so JD had a better chance in the Primary Election than she would in the general election - all things being equal. But things are not equal in a general election, in the sense that most people are not likely to vote for someone whose name is not on the ballot, much less someone who is not affiliated with a political party.


As for having open primaries or primaries by party, the system is what it is, and it is not likely to change, whether or not JD becomes mayor.


Like Gabe I am not saying JD would be a worse choice than MO. Most people agree that neither was great as mayor on their first try. Hopefully MO will do better when (not if) he is re-elected. Jennifer running again is poor sportsmanship and a waste of everyone's attention.


I really can’t speak to her spending. And, honestly this is first time I’ve heard that criticism of her.

But she did finish Carroll Creek in 4 years. What lingering projects has Michael completed?

And, she didn’t waste taxpayer dollars on a stupid logo we didn’t need.

Almost a quarter of City voters are Independent. And, they aren’t affiliated with any party. So this election is the first time they will have a say.

More people voted against Michael than for him in the primary. Not thinking too many Wilson supporters are Michael supporters.

So, how can anyone really say that writing in Dougherty can’t work.

The system can change. In fact it has too if we don’t want to disenfranchise 1/4 of our voters.

Many other cities have done it. It’s time for Frederick to catch up.

And lastly, was Ron Young called a poor sportsman when he ran against Jennifer after her first term,

even though he wasn’t even a resident of the City?

Likely not.

The Dem leadership has never had Jennifers back. Ever. If there is one thing you can say about her, she is resilient.

The poor sportsman comment was in bad taste.


How is that bad taste? It is my opinion. She lost by a lot and refuses to gracefully acknowledge it.


I googled Ms. Dougherty, three, and discovered, to my surprise, that she has a Wikipedia page, although it appears to not have been updated since 2018. When she ran for re-election in 2005, she lost in the primary to Ron Young (btw, who championed the Carrol Creek project that Ms. Dougherty inherited in her first term). She tried to run against Roscoe Bartlett for Congress in 2008 and lost by 20 points. She tried again for mayor, and lost the primary to newcomer Jason Judd by 23 points. She tried again in 2013, coming in third (as an independent again) with 19.4% against McClement's 48.8% and Karen Young's 31.6 %. The website has no information on the 2018 election, but it is obvious that she lost then too. The other commenters in this thread may be heavily invested in Ms. Dougherty's candidacy, but let's be honest, she has no real shot at winning. The voters in her primary spoke, and they didn't want her. Maybe she could do better than last time, who knows. But it is highly doubtful that she will ever get that chance.


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