|Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton|
addresses supporters after
winning reelection last night
|A jubilant Newton supporter|
celebrates as the Mayor's
big win is announced
Councilmember Beryl Feinberg bested all of the Team Rockville winners with 14.36% of the vote, and was the only independent Council candidate to win last night. The independent candidates were within winning distance though, with Richard Gottfried the top vote-getter among them at 10.25%. These election results are being termed "preliminary results" by the City.
|Newton's campaign manager|
and husband, Fred Newton,
welcomes the crowd
Council candidate Patrick Schoof (10.07%) managed to finish just behind Gottfried, despite being relegated to "Page 2" on the Early Voting machine ballot; how much his and Council candidate Clark Reed's (9.51%) vote totals were affected by that unfair circumstance remains to be determined.
The other two Council candidates, Brigitta Mullican (10.04%) and David Hill (9.83%) were not out of the running by any means. This was a fairly close election in the Council races.
|Newton arrives at her|
post-election party at
American Tap Room in
Rockville Town Square
But voters still chose a divided government, and Newton and Feinberg acknowledged in their victory speeches that all of the winners will have to work together to be successful.
|Beryl Feinberg accepts|
the microphone from Newton
after winning reelection
to her Council seat
"Two years ago, Beryl and I found out we were sisters," Newton told supporters at a post-election gathering at American Tap Room in Rockville Town Square. "We have found a way over the past two years to come together, to work together."
|Former Mayor Jim Coyle|
arrives at the party
In thanking her husband and campaign manager, Fred Newton, Bridget Newton promised this would be her last election in Rockville. Fred Newton found himself under attack from the Team Rockville slate in the final week of the campaign, an attack that culminated in an election-eve hit piece mailing that included false accusations against him, Bridget Newton, and Rockville Planning Commission chair Don Hadley.
|Fred Newton hands the|
microphone to Bridget Newton
after announcing the
election results to the crowd
Bridget Newton grew emotional as she described her husband's efforts as campaign manager while juggling an out-of-town work commitment, and the false charges lobbed by opponents. "He's been working his tail off," she said, "and probably of anybody, he's taken it the hardest. He's got my back."
Of the last-minute smear campaign, centered around a now-infamous mailing that carried an Osdoby authority line but also Team Rockville logos, Newton said, "The last 24 hours have been a low point, probably, in Rockville politics. I have never seen anything like what hit your and my mailboxes yesterday."
Pledging the controversy over that mailing is "not over," Newton said, "You cannot say those kind of things and not have anything happen." Hadley has already warned Osdoby and Seventh State blogger David Lublin that they may be responsible for damage to his professional name and reputation as an attorney.
"Don Hadley was maligned yesterday," Newton added. "I hope people realize that you cannot do that type of thing and just walk away."
Who all the players behind the mailing were is not yet clear, but Newton's supporters were anxious to find out. The hit mailing that arrived in voters' mailboxes Monday may also have impacted the results. Not only was Newton's win resounding, but the nasty mailing may have turned off some voters from voting at all.
|Feinberg was the top|
vote-getter on the Council
Of the 40,749 registered voters in Rockville, only 6,343 (15.57%) voted last night and during the Early Voting, or by absentee ballot. Turnout was actually higher in 2013 at 16.62%, and there was much hand-wringing after the election about that low number. Whatever efforts were made to address that have clearly failed.
|Newton and former|
Mayor Larry Giammo
Despite the negative political atmosphere, Newton pledged that "we are moving forward with the leadership of this city. We are going to move this city forward in a very positive way." In addition to thanking her staff and supporters, Newton also thanked the independent Council candidates.
|Coyle and fellow past|
Mayor Steven Van Grack
confer as they await
She also congratulated the winning Team Rockville candidates. "Together we can do this. We can make this a great, great leadership team," she vowed.
Feinberg agreed, telling Newton, "You and I found a fantastic way to work together." Referring to her legislative priorities, Feinberg said, "I have a laundry list at home, so I have to call Bridget probably tomorrow to talk about what I want to work on." Budget and purchasing issues would be at the top of that list, she predicted.
|County Councilmember Sid Katz|
Both Newton and Feinberg expressed interest in holding a Mayor and Council retreat as soon as possible, to foster a better working relationship among the incoming body, and set "rules of the road."
|Council candidate Patrick Schoof|
Councilmember Anne Robbins
Among a long list of independent candidates and VIPs at Newton's event were former Rockville mayors Jim Coyle, Steven Van Grack and Larry Giammo; former Gaithersburg Mayor (and current District 3 County Councilmember) Sid Katz; state delegate and 8th District Congressional candidate Kumar Barve; former City Councilmember Anne Robbins; City Council candidates Hill, Schoof, Gottfried, and Mullican; Hadley and Planning Commissioners Jack Leiderman, Charles Littlefield and Gail Sherman; former planning commissioner Dion Trahan; and former Montgomery County Public Schools administrator and County Council candidate Fred Evans.
|Council candidate Brigitta Mullican|
|Rockville Planning Commissioner|
and Council candidate David Hill
All of last night's winners made history, as they will be the first Mayor and Council to serve a four-year term. The new Mayor and Council will be sworn in during an inauguration ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 15 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, at 603 Edmonston Drive. Their first meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 16.