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Correction to This Article
A Sept. 4 Metro article included incorrect information about past offices held by Ronald Young, a candidate for mayor of Frederick. Young was deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and he was deputy secretary and acting secretary of the state Department of Planning.

In Mayoral Showdown, Ill Will Enters the Race

Mayor Jennifer Dougherty, left, all but called her rival Young, right, a liar during a televised forum. Center, Malgo Schmidt and Wilbur Ford.
Mayor Jennifer Dougherty, left, all but called her rival Young, right, a liar during a televised forum. Center, Malgo Schmidt and Wilbur Ford. (Photos By Katherine Frey For The Washington Post)

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By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 4, 2005

Four years ago, former Frederick mayor Ronald N. Young threw his name and support behind an energetic newcomer, appearing in advertisements and rounding up friends to help elect Jennifer P. Dougherty as the city's first female chief executive.

Last week, amid an increasingly embittered campaign for the Sept. 13 primary, the two mayoral candidates could not even seem to agree on whether they ever liked one another.

During a televised forum on Adelphia Cable's "NewsMaker 10" program, Dougherty all but called Young a liar over whether her style of leadership led to the firing or dismissal of staff members at an arts center.

"I just have to say, 'There she goes again,' " Young said at another point, saying Dougherty had distorted his record on managing growth. "I just have to chuckle a little bit when somebody looks back 17 years and says, 'Oh, you didn't do this.' "

Hours after taping the forum, the ill will reached a new level as Dougherty linked Young to the notorious "black book," a pile of records detailing a convicted madam's prostitution ring.

Dougherty did not mention Young specifically or say that his name would be found in the records kept by convicted madam Angelika Potter. But with Young in the audience, she challenged unnamed public officials to "come clean" on their involvement in the episode.

"Ask him," Dougherty replied when she was asked immediately afterward whether she was implying that Young was in the black book.

Suddenly, the four-year-old scandal was thrust into the campaign. Young responded angrily.

"I think Jennifer thinks she won the election four years ago on the black book, and I guess she's desperate and thinks she can win reelection on it," Young said.

Young acknowledged that an alleged prostitute, Sherry Lynn Nolan, during a taped interview with police, raised his name and that of former mayor James S. Grimes while describing how the madam would drag down some prominent people if she were raided.

Republicans, meanwhile, make no efforts to hide their schadenfreude.

"I hope it continues to degrade, because I frankly think it helps the Republicans' chances," Del. Richard B. Weldon Jr. (R-Frederick) said last week. "For one thing, it's the most compelling show in town."

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© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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