But he will push for open primary elections in the city.
You can forget any speculation that Frederick businessman Gary Brooks is running for Mayor. He says he's not, but he will be devoting his efforts to getting open primary elections in the city of Frederick. "During the primary process, it's closed," he says. "It's called a closed primary where over 22% of the registered voters in the city of Frederick cannot cast ballots."
Brooks says he will be seeking signatures from citizens to have the question put on the ballot as to whether the city should have open primaries.
Under a closed primary, only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote in their respective party primaries. An open primary will allow all voters the opportunity to pick and chose among all the candidates. Residents who are registered as Democrats, Republicans or independents can pick all the candidates running in the primaries, and are not restricted to just picking the ones who are affiliated with the party to which they are registered. "You can still put a 'D' or an 'R' after your name, but it's just anybody and everybody can vote for you."
Brooks says he's recommended this idea to the Board of Aldermen in the past, but it seems they are not interested in doing that. "We've asked the Aldermen on several occasions to bring it up at workshops, and discuss it. And they will not do it. They keep coming with reason why not to," he says.
Brooks says he's working with the city's attorneys to come up with the proper wording for the referendum questions. He hopes to have that ready to put on a petition so the question can go before the voters at a future date.
He says 153 of Maryland's 157 municipalities have open primaries.
"Municipalities are not about ideological, philosophical issues. They're about running our cities on a day to day basis So we should be able to get the best persons to do that," says Brooks.