Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Democrats endorse Duck, despite Dougherty’s run for Congress

E-mail this article \ Print this article

Andrew Duck, a Democratic candidate in the 6th District Congressional race, is touting a list of some well-known local politicians endorsing him to win the Feb. 12 primary election.

It seems a simple issue of timing means these endorsements would not go to Duck’s Democratic challenger, former Frederick Mayor Jennifer P. Doughtery.

‘‘I endorsed him a year ago,” said Frederick Alderman Donna Kuzemchak (D). ‘‘At the time I didn’t know anybody else that was running. The fact is, I endorsed Andrew and I think he will do a good job.”

Several of Duck’s endorsements come from officials who served alongside Dougherty, when she was mayor of the city from 2002-2006.

Several of those endorsing Duck said they lent him their support in 2006, almost immediately after he lost to U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Dist. 6) of Buckeystown in the November election. At the time, Duck immediately announced his intention to run again.

Those endorsing him say they cannot endorse Dougherty because that would mean pulling their endorsement from Duck. Dougherty announced her bid to run for Congress in November, a full year after Duck made his intentions known.

Kuzemchak wanted to be clear this week that if Dougherty wins, she is confident the former mayor will also do a good job in Congress.

‘‘It would be disloyal to pull away my endorsement, but part of me also feels disloyal to Jennifer,” She said.

Kuzemchak said she plans to talk with Jennifer about the endorsement.

Frederick Alderman Marcia Hall (D) has the same reasoning for her endorsement of Duck instead of her former colleague.

‘‘Actually [my endorsement] is no reflection on any other candidate,” Hall said. ‘‘I have a great deal of respect for Jennifer. I served with her for four years. She is certainly a hard worker, however, Andrew Duck approached me first, almost immediately after the election. He lost to Bartlett and I made a decision to endorse him. I supported him the first time [in 2006] and I will support him again.”

Both Kuzemchak and Hall said they have every intention of supporting Dougherty in the November General Election, if she wins the primary.

Dougherty said she understands the reasons behind their endorsements.

‘‘He did start over a year ago,” she said. ‘‘He started when Roscoe won. I haven’t specifically asked for anyone’s endorsement. My job is to talk to the voters. I respect everyone mentioned and I know it can be uncomfortable. It puts people in an uncomfortable position.”

Dougherty said she endorsed Duck in his 2006 campaign, but did not endorse him when he announced his bid for 2008.

Dougherty also believes not everyone who endorses a candidate votes for that candidate.

Frederick County Board President Jan H. Gardner (D), who is also endorsing Duck, said her decision was also made a year ago.

‘‘Most of the elected officials made their decision months ago,” she said. ‘‘It appears everybody is maintaining their endorsements.”

For Duck’s part, he is just pleased to have the endorsements.

‘‘It is an honor and a privilege to have the support and confidence of these great Democrats,” he said in a press release. ‘‘I look forward to their help throughout the campaign as we work together to defeat Roscoe Bartlett and return the 6th District to its citizens.”