Democratic Alderman Michael O’Connor was mingling with guests Tuesday night at La Paz restaurant after learning he had won the mayoral race in Frederick’s general election when a supporter alerted him that Republican Mayor Randy McClement was in the building.

The two walked purposely toward each other among a sea of excited Democrats, shook hands and hugged, as McClement genuinely congratulated his newly named successor.

“I had been waiting to receive a phone call from Mayor McClement,” O’Connor said later in his victory speech. “He is a class act. The mayor came in person this evening and offered his congratulations.”

O’Connor’s win ends an eight-year era that McClement had hoped to continue with a third consecutive win. But less than two hours after the polls closed Tuesday — with O’Connor keeping a steady, unwavering lead from the moment the first results came in — McClement conceded to his Democratic challenger in a speech to supporters at Brewer’s Alley.

“We did what we needed to do for eight years. We did what we needed to do for this race,” McClement said after recognizing the people who helped him over the last two terms.

“I think we ran it the right way and ran it better than I think other people did in the past,” he continued. “I think the city hopefully will be in good hands. I think all we can do is stay, watch, keep up with them, [and] speak up when you think things are wrong.”

McClement added that he intends to stay in Frederick and be around for anyone who needs his help and guidance.

According to Tuesday’s unofficial vote tallies, O’Connor received 5,093 votes over the incumbent’s 3,184. The total comes out to 58.31 percent for O’Connor and 36.46 percent for McClement. The rest were for write-in votes for mayor.

Election officials will configure the write-in results at the election canvass, which is set to kick off at 9 a.m. Thursday. Officials will certify all election results, and count the absentee ballots, after the canvass.

O’Connor consistently led McClement as soon as the first results for the election’s two days of early voting came in shortly after 8 p.m. He and all five Democrats who ran for the Board of Aldermen kept healthy leads over all of the Republicans on the ballot the entire time.

McClement and O’Connor ran a relatively friendly race, with each candidate focusing on his individual campaign rather than trying to sink his opponent.

“We’ve tried to run a campaign that was focused on ideas, aspiring to be something,” O’Connor said in his victory speech.

“I think we’ve seen over the last year it’s not enough to just be against things,” he continued. “You have to be for something, and we’ve run a campaign that was for the city of Frederick, a campaign for the citizens of the city of Frederick.”

O’Connor also recognized his campaign team and his family, notably his wife, Tammy, and two grown daughters, who surprised him by coming home Tuesday to watch the results come in, he said.

O’Connor and McClement worked together in the city government all election season, becoming direct opponents after the September primary. They have also served together for the past two terms, O’Connor as an alderman and McClement as mayor.

Issues such as the proposed downtown hotel and conference center, development of the Westside Regional Park, blighted buildings downtown, affordable housing, electoral reform, and the city’s pension system, among others, have all been pertinent topics of discussion this election season. And while the two mayoral candidates grappled a little on some methods of addressing them, they, for the most part, agreed on the details. O’Connor did consistently discuss taking a more proactive role in the hotel project and on addressing downtown blight as mayor, though.

Shelley Aloi, who lost to McClement in the Republican primary, ran an active write-in campaign for mayor in the general election. A total of 457 write-in votes came in for mayor. But election officials will not release the names until after the canvass because there were not enough to sway the race, and thus there is no way to know whether the write-ins received were for Aloi or other people. The city has no official process for registering write-ins, which means voters could write in any name they wish.

Democrats won not only the mayor’s race but all five aldermanic seats Tuesday, according to the unofficial results.

The total voter turnout Tuesday, with early voting, was relatively low at 20.95 percent. In the last general election, in 2013, the turnout was 23.53 percent. The September primary, which also included two days of early voting, returned the lowest voter turnout for a city election in recent memory at just 13.84 percent.

Staff writer Cameron Dodd contributed to this report.

Follow Mallory Panuska on Twitter: @MalloryPanuska.

(98) comments

kstr92

It’s official: The City of Frederick is now the new Montgomery Village.

DeplorableLocalVeteran

Helena Montana and St Paul Minnesota elected black mayors many republicans are now considering moving to Russia.

KellyAlzan

More people commented here than voted

Comment deleted.
m21701m

What a terrible thing to say.. There are many wonderful republicans out there just as well as there are wonderful democrats. I am a republican who gave money to and voted for Michael.. I also voted for Trump. Your comment is exactly why our country is torn in half.

awteam2000

What I liked most about this election is how McClement showed real class by going to La Paz to congratulate O’Connor on his victory. That’s is a quality act by a good person. Best wishes and stay involved.

m21701m

Randy only did that hoping there are cameras there.

BstD59

m21701m you are correct. Randy never met a photo op he didn't like.

des21

What a ridiculous thing for you both to assert. I can count on two hands the number of time Randy was in the paper the past 8 years. Now O'Conner- you better get used to seeing him. He and Fitzwater have delusions of grandeur.

elymus43

Wait till the happy voters from last night see their tax bills?? Will they be happy then?? There are approx. 2100 motel/hotel rooms in the Frederick area now, and they want to a new hotel convention center

DMSchobel

Politics aside, I would love to see Randy go back to making bagels. Those were really good and I haven't found anything comparable locally since his place closed.

mikec

Funny, I thought the same thing.

phydeaux994

The taste of grapes is awfully sour on this forum for some of the commenters this morning. They are lousy winners and really bad losers.

DickD

It would be nice to know how much Trump influenced the outcome of this election. We will never know, but there surely is some indication it did. Personally, from what I was hearing, outside of Frederick, Randy was toast anyways.

rbtdt5

I doubt Trump had much to do with this election. Dems out number the R's 2;1 in the city. The only reason Randy won the last two terms was infight in the Democratic party. But who knows, I guess Trump didn't have any weight with how I voted, can't speak for anyone else though.

KellyAlzan

who cares. moving forward.

gorillagusto

If reasonable, moderate Republicans are rejected for no real good reason, what kind of candidates are you going to get more of? This is a bad result for everyone...even if they don't realize it yet.

joelp77440

Nooooooooooooooo!!!! Randy, I'll miss you and this comes from a lifelong democrat. On the positive side, at least it was not Jennifer.

riccicc

[thumbup][thumbup]

Ruthcf

It's time for a change.
Good Luck to ALL of you

elymus43

What kind of power salute was that on the FNP front page??? Chaney, Duke and Hayden should to be on the BOA. The senior citizens will be thrown under the bus and higher property taxes and water rates will probably be going up?? The builders, developers, and realtors should be HAPPY.

rbtdt5

Well, now that this is over the real circus begins with the county elections. I'm happy for all those that won last night. I'm also happy they all support the downtown hotel, so we should be getting that. Knowing Mike, we should be getting an aquatics center out on 40 so that's good too.

DickD

But Rabbit, weren't you supporting McClement?

rbtdt5

I voted for Randy but wouldn't say I was supporting him, I really don't see much difference between the two. I like Mike so no issues there. Randy hasn't raised my taxes in the past 8 years so that's why I voted for him. I preferred Jennifer over both Randy and Mike but I'm happy to see what Mike does.

threecents

Jennifer is too liberal for me.[huh]

rbtdt5

I'm not arguing that Three but she got things done. She would get people talking. I feel like the city has gone stale and needs some fire in the belly. The Hotel will be a big step and lets see how Mike does with the aquatic center and what else he might have in mind. I'm excited for him. Hope he does well.

benedictus

I was in the same boat. We had two good candidates. I'd rather have seen a bit more diversity of belief on the alderman race though.

Dwasserba

If you know "Mike" then you know he's...Michael.

riccicc

Well, it's easy to see Frederick is slowly becoming another Baltimore. haha And if O'Connor is the way peeps have been saying he is, Frederick is in for another Democratic horror like it was in the 2000-2004 period. haha

JILLLOLLI

YEP

JILLLOLLI

Poor VIrginia (New Governor) as well.

duffy5x

Ahh, sad little republicans....aren't you precious.

DeplorableLocalVeteran

Frederick is worse than Baltimore higher housing, more opioid deaths per thousand and more traffic.

Lev928

Congratulations, Frederick City ... you are now another step closer to becoming the next Gaithersburg. Ironically, it's quite probable that the democrats and liberals that have moved from Montgomery County into Frederick City have become the voting majority ... and have cast their ballots in their new home. Up next, Frederick County is on the way to becoming the next Montgomery County as the MoCo "tax refugees" flee north and west. Good luck! Build the wall! :)

riccicc

Lev928 Right! You'd think the liberal transplants that came here would have learned from the way they tore up Montgomery Co.! But, noooo, they come up here doing the same ol same ol thinking like a liberal that the same old methods will produce different results. haha (Nothing like new housing developments for them to conveniently move into...and lot cheaper than Mont. Co, too!)

awteam2000

Riccicc, if you have a beef with all the new home devolopment without infrastructure and the burden on the current residents, you need to take that up with the previuous Blaine Young BOCC (Blaine, Shreve, Kirby & Smith).

riccicc

awteam2000 I already have! But thanks for your suggestion anyway! [beam]

mikec

awteam is correct. The chaning demographics of the county voter (and don't forget all the traffic too), is courtesy of the Blaine board.

rbtdt5

I think it started before the Blaine board and is still continuing, but I will say that there was a spike during the Blaine years.

shiftless88

There are about 70,000 people in Frederick so let's just say half are voting eligible. So out of 35,000 voters the two candidates split about 8,000 votes. If you think that the City of Frederick is so doomed then get your fellow republicans out to vote. It's your own d*** fault.

FrederickFan

I agree 100%. Voter apathy in Frederick City and all across our County is a huge problem in both parties. Down the road 45 miles, DT is an epic disaster. But it looks like he has motivated a few Democrats to get off the couch.

KellyAlzan

Yes. Frederick county is becoming a democratic county. Thanks to Ba'Lane, Kirbie, and Billie, for bringing the influx of new housing that only metropolitans can afford.

threecents

Wrong. We Montgomery County transplants have generally been against new development because we don't want Frederick to look like what we escaped! We voted against Blaine and his boys from the start.

mrnatural1

[thumbup]

BstD59

I am happy by the results, especially that O'Conner won over Randy. I'm pleased by the rest of the winners too, I think they will work hard for the residents of the City. If I have anything negative to say it is the pathetically low turn out, lower even than in 2013. Shame on every one of you who didn't cast a ballot.

Titanman123

The happiest people today are the folks at O’Connor’s church—they are glad to be getting rid of him!

Dwasserba

Oh stop. Not true.

Titanman123

It’s common knowledge they are glad he is leaving. Seen as very unfriendly and only nice during election time!

Dwasserba

Whaaaat I go there. Do you? Oh right you're anonymous.

duffy5x

That's a very christian attitude.

Titanman123

You are anonymous too...been going to that church since before it split off.

Dwasserba

I'm not anonymous. I am Deb Wasserbach. I got this moniker on my email in 94 when my name was too long (Answering your comment below). As recently as this week I signed my full name under Topchik's column too. I was at St. John's 20 years before SKD. So what?

riccicc

What makes the people at his church think he'll be leaving? He's gotta have someplace to tout off all his soon-to-be accomplishments that he made "for the people!"[yawn]

des21

I'm PRETTY sure you don't need to stop going to church- even if you are elected to the commanding heights of the political world like the mayoralty of Frederick City!

Separation of church and state has not gone that far. Yet![beam]

Dwasserba

Lol And actually I think he could handle both. I hope there is a greater appreciation for his self-contained unassuming personality.

threecents

Thank you to all who ran, including those who lost in the primaries!

threecents

This reminds of the county elections when the Tea Party was at its height, and we voted in all republicans, including Blaine and his three guys.

KellyAlzan

Did kirbie get CE?

Dwasserba

Not that election. City.

shiftless88

Are you really that out of it?

FrederickFan

Did you vote for kirbie last night? If so, I'd like to have a pound of whatever your're smoking! Ha ha.

You seem to have absolutely no idea what is actually going on. Not only has your boy Delauter not even declared or even registered for any actual race (that's "straight" talk for you), but the Frederick County Executive election, like the state wide elections, aren't until next November, one year from now.

Voter ignorance is a huge problem in our Country. Wow. Just wow.

KellyAlzan

I typed a (5) word sentence. And you ran with it. With presumptions.

I believe you are in need of a vacation and a little fun in your life........

DisabledFrederickVeteran

This election night was bad news for the confederacy and nazi sympathizers.

That Guy Garcon

Yay! Lets go MS13 and sanctuary cities and more violence on Rt. 40... Yay!

Fawned

You mad???? [lol]

riccicc

Yep, we pay out good money through our taxes to support those entering our country and county so many can join MS13, to have sanctuary city status and violence. Nothing like a good tax plan to provide us with all these services! haha

FrederickFan

I immediately reject any and all candidates who lie about their opponents by saying they support MS13 (no one does), Sanctuary Cities (when they don't and have never done anything in support of such a thing), and more violence (no one does). Like that creep Gillespe in Virginia. He lied in every ad. It was great to see him get crushed for it.

riccicc

Yeah, you're right. No one has to support these things now because in a lot of areas they're already well in place. And it's very hard to get enough votes in any legislative body these days to get a repeal...they just add another law that counters the first one. With the exception of california, they're still working on a "sanctuary state status" according to family I have living there. haha

shiftless88

The city has had a republican mayor for eight years and a republican sheriff for quite a while; so where is their accountability for these problems you point out?

riccicc

I believe if you reread the post you will see that it covers a much larger scope than Frederick City. For instance statements such as, "in a lot areas" and "With the exception of california." These words tend to indicate to the reader of speaking of a much wider area than the local. [beam]

TINAE

Don't forget more deaths from Assault weapons in the USA!!! SMH

des21

Yes, after going 0-4 since DT's election (a year ago today) the Dems won big yesterday. Other than an "I'm not him" message I'm not sure what they're running on but that may be enough. The GOP has one year to get their act together before the midterms. After wasting a year in which they've controlled all branches of government, I hope they will. I'm not optimistic (we do have DT as our "leader" after all) but I'm hopeful.

shiftless88

Actually, 1-4

des21

What Democratic win did I miss? I can't believe it, I would have thought the media would have seized on it as evidence of the impending death spiral of the Trump administration.[beam]

shiftless88

California. Like the other four it was the same party that retained the seat.

awteam2000

Didn’t the Democrats pickup 15 state seats in Virginia las night? And wasn’t that the biggest shift since 1899?

DickD

If the Republicans pass their tax plan, Dave, there will be a landslide Democrat victory, in 2018, in 2019, we will be rid of Trump. Every cloud has a silver lining![smile]

riccicc

Yep, until the lightning strikes and starts a fire. [beam]

threecents

Dang, the silver lining is lightning?

des21

If Trump fails to pass ANYTHING and continues to target Republicans for another year there definitely will be a Democratic landslide in '18! I swear, I'm beginning to think he's that Manchurian Candidate sent by the Democrats to destroy the Republican party! He's doing a darn good job!

Why your side doesn't thank their God-head every morning that he was delivered to you I'll never understand. Imagine if Kasich was in charge? Now there'd be some change we can believe in! Fiscal responsibility, ethics. bipartisanship, sigh, a man can dream right?

mrnatural1

Looks like the beginnings of a nationwide backlash against Donnie.

gomogirl

Fantastic! Add the Virginia and New Jersey wins, a good night for the Democrats. A sigh of relief and a glimmer of hope.

gdunn

All dems lol. Get ready for your taxes to skyrocket!

armillary

Why worry about city of Frederick taxes when you live in Brunswick, MD? Go ahead, be smug and enjoy your desolation.

Nicki

[thumbup] armillary!

riccicc

Actually, gdunn, you're right! Because whatever happens in Frederick, the infestation can spread elsewhere. Including the Baltimore model of high taxes, poor services and increased violence/crime.

duffy5x

Go ahead and explicit say what you mean by infestation. We'll wait....

gdunn

Nope, sure don't live in Brunswick.

DickD

They will for those that are in the middle class and under, IF the Republican tax bill passes. The average increase for them will be over $4,000.

riccicc

Good! Then the dems should be happy with that republican tax bill. The better off people will be paying more of their fair "shared responsibility" in taxes. [beam]

MisAul

Not a happy camper. Really didn't want either of them.

Dwasserba

Run for office.

srt126

Looks like a dems sweep [cool]

Nicki

Go Dems!!!

armillary

[thumbup]

lynnemezzo

[thumbup][thumbup]

TINAE

That party who loves hate and hate to love, Get Over it!!!!

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