She collected more than enough signatures to get on the Nov. ballot.
Jennifer Dougherty has entered the race for Mayor of Frederick, and once again she's making history. Dougherty says this time she's running as an independent, the first time for the city of Frederick.
"Over the last ten weeks or so, a group of volunteers and I collected signatures for a petition campaign so I can run as an unaffiliated candidate for Mayor in November," she says. "And last Friday, the Board of Supervisors of Elections approved our signatures. And we are on the ballot in December. It's very exciting."
Dougherty collected 1,552 signatures on 368 pages, which is more than the required 1,097. The Board approved 1,406 names, which exceeds the 3% requirement.
"For me, I think it makes all the difference. Because as a business person and a resident, I don't see it strictly as a Democrat or some may have seen it as a Republican. I've always been in it for what's best for Frederick," Dougherty says.
Dougherty's election as Mayor in 2001 was historic because she was the first woman to hold that post. She was formally inaugurated in 2002, and served until 2006.
In a previous attempt to return as Mayor in 2009, Dougherty ran as a Democrat. But she is now unaffiliated with any party, and voters don't seem to mind. "They're definitely open to a third choice, knowing that party politics is not in the city's best interests. And second, they are supportive of my candidacy. They like the things that I did as Mayor, in many cases, not all cases, obviously. But they know I'm willing to stand up for Frederick."
If she's elected, Dougherty says she wants to put more police officers on the street, and finish the next phase of the Carroll Creek Project. "It's not about picking a fight at all. It's standing up and putting forth the idea and the energy to get Carroll Creek done. It's standing up for Frederick and saying 'we cannot afford to go without these police officers.' We're down from when I was in office. That's not what people want. That's not what they're hearing."
Dougherty joins three other candidates who have so far filed to run for Mayor. They are incumbent Republican Randy McClement, and Democratic Delegate Galen Clagett and Alderwoman Karen Young.
The Primary Election for candidates in the Mayoral and Aldermanic races is Tuesday, September 10th. As an independent, Dougherty's name won't be on that ballot. She can concentrate all her efforts in the General Election which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th.