Jennifer Dougherty

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Jennifer P. Dougherty
Mayor of Frederick, Maryland
In office
January 12, 2002 (2002-01-12) – January 12, 2006 (2006-01-12)
Preceded byJames S. Grimes
Succeeded byWilliam J. Holtzinger
Personal details
Born (1961-04-13) April 13, 1961 (age 62)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Political party
Residence(s)Frederick, Maryland, U.S.
Alma materMount Saint Mary's University
OccupationSmall Business Owner, Realtor

Jennifer P. Dougherty (born April 13, 1961) was elected Frederick, Maryland's first female mayor in 2001. Dougherty defeated 2-term incumbent Republican Mayor James S. Grimes.[1]

Dougherty campaigned for re-election in 2005 but did not win the Democratic primary, losing to opponent Ron Young.[2] Dougherty and Young both ran bitter, negative campaigns in which each attacked the other.[3]

Dougherty was the Democratic nominee for Maryland's 6th congressional district in 2008.

Early life and education[edit]

Dougherty graduated from Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. She later graduated from Mount Saint Mary's University in 1983 with a BA in History, magna cum laude. While a student at The Mount, Dougherty was a 4-year varsity field hockey player. She is the only person in The Mount's Athletic Hall of Fame honored for field hockey. Dougherty also wrote for The Mountain Echo, The Mount's official campus-wide newspaper, for 4 years, serving as editor-in-chief in her senior year.


Dougherty operated Jennifer's Restaurant on West Patrick Street (opened 1987; closed 2008) and Dougherty's Irish Shop (1999–2006). She also served on the Board of Directors of Heartly House, the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce President (1999), and the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek. More recently in December 2009, Dougherty and partner Bruce Rhoderick opened Magoo's Pub and Eatery on West Second Street in Frederick.[4]

Mayor of Frederick[edit]

Accomplishments and challenges marked Dougherty's tenure in Frederick's City Hall. The focus on improving the relationship with the Frederick Police Department by hiring Chief of Police, Kim C. Dine, strengthened the community support for the police. Her tenure was marked by inciting divisiveness among her fellow politicians. A strong proponent of unions, she fought hard behind the scenes to get city workers to unionize. The workers finally voted against this initiative, and the labor support of Dougherty waned.

The creation of the Neighborhood Advisory Councils to better serve each neighborhood established a more effective communication link for the residents. Many saw her Neighborhood Advisory Committees (NACs) as a way to pander to select, influential neighborhood members who then fostered votes on her behalf. The city had resisted speed bumps for years, at the request of fire and rescue professionals. Speed bumps became commonplace in neighborhoods where there were NACs supportive to Dougherty.[citation needed]

During her tenure, the city faced serious water shortages due to decades of growth and poor management of water and sewer infrastructure. Innovative legislation created a process to track and allocate water to new development in the city. A million-dollar temporary, mobile water treatment plant was installed that never was able to produce potable water. The water produced created plumbing problems for surrounding neighborhoods.[citation needed]

The long-stalled Carroll Creek Linear Park was finally completed with the investment of public effort and investment. With the completion of the public improvements, the city sought private investment of more than $100 million in the first phase bringing needed tax revenue to the city.[citation needed]

The Dougherty Administration also addressed aging infrastructure by creating an incentive for mall owners to improve their properties. The Golden Mile Tax Credit District resulted in more than $50 million in private investment and 1000 new jobs. Dougherty was diversified in her hiring, placing more women in high positions. After a failed re-election bid Dougherty went to work for the mother of one of her previous subordinates in real estate.[citation needed]

Congressional campaign[edit]

On November 19, 2007, Dougherty filed to run for Maryland's 6th congressional district. She won the primary and was the Democratic candidate for congress in 2008 against 8-term Republican Roscoe Bartlett. Bartlett defeated Dougherty in the general election.

Subsequent mayoral campaigns[edit]

Dougherty announced in 2009 that she would again seek the office of mayor of the City of Frederick, but lost in the primary to newcomer Jason Judd. Dougherty has remained visible in Frederick politics and has recently filed a bid for the 2017 mayoral election.[5]

In 2013, Jennifer Dougherty announced that she was running for mayor of Frederick as an independent candidate.[6] The election was held on November 5. Dougherty lost, garnering 19.43 percent of the vote to Democratic nominee Karen Young's 31.59 percent and incumbent Republican Mayor Randy McClement's 48.75 percent.[7]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Office Election Winner Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2008 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 176,062 58.18 Jennifer Dougherty Democratic 116,455 38.48 Gary Hoover Libertarian 10,101 3.34
2009 Mayor of Frederick, Maryland Primary Jason Judd Democratic 1,672 58.65 Jennifer Dougherty Democratic 1003 35.18 Chris Simpson Democratic 176 6.17
2013 Mayor of Frederick, Maryland General Randy McClement Republican 3,714 48.75 Karen Young Democratic 2,407 31.59 Jennifer Dougherty Unaffiliated 1,480 19.43


  1. ^ Candidate looks to create opportunities Archived 2012-09-13 at, Kevin Spradlin, Cumberland Times-News, December 5, 2007. Accessed on line December 12, 2007.
  2. ^ Former mayor to run for Congress, Sherry Greenfield, November 21, 2007, (Maryland Community Newspapers Online). Accessed on line December 12, 2007.
  3. ^ In Mayoral Showdown, Ill Will Enters the Race, Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, September 4, 2005. Accessed on line December 12, 2007.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Panuska, Mallory (March 6, 2017). "McClement announces plans to run for re-election". Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Staff, Cara R. Anthony News-Post (April 13, 2013). "Jennifer Dougherty announces bid for mayor". Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  7. ^ Staff, Jen Bondeson News-Post (November 6, 2013). "Frederick re-elects Mayor Randy McClement". Retrieved October 30, 2018.

External links[edit]