Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

City Elections Held in Prince George’s County

Election Day arrived Tuesday in College Park, Maryland, with nearly two dozen candidates for mayor and city council on the ballot — many of them spurred to run by a failed amendment to give undocumented residents the right to vote in local elections.

Including incumbent Patrick L. Wojahn, there are four contestants in the mayoral race — the most in city history. Seventeen candidates seek eight seats to represent the city’s four districts.

Councilman Robert W. Day, who represents District 3 and seeking a fourth two-year term, acknowledged the large number of people on this year’s ballot was due in part to the noncitizen amendment.

“It is a very hot issue which caused a lot of people to run this time in this election,” said Day, who voted against the measure in September. “I think there are other ways we can solve this problem. We have bigger issues we have to solve here in College Park.”

Down the road in Greenbelt, 13 candidates are battling eight at-large seats for city council.

City of Greenbelt candidates Colin Byrd (right) and Brandon R. Gordon stand in the rain outside a polling center waiting to chat with prospective voters on Election Day, Nov. 7. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
City of Greenbelt candidates Colin Byrd (right) and Brandon R. Gordon stand in the rain outside a polling center waiting to chat with prospective voters on Election Day, Nov. 7. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

All seven incumbents, including Mayor Emmett V. Jordan, are seeking re-election. The council chooses the mayor and mayor pro tem.

Voters in the city home to Goddard Space Center will also decide on two referendum questions: whether to decrease the voting age from 18 to 16 and borrow $2.5 million to repair the Greenbelt Lake Dam.

Further north, residents in the city of Laurel will choose five people to represent city council for two-year terms.

Nine candidates seek voter approval to represent two seats for Wards 1 and 2 and an at-large member for the fifth seat.

According to a sample ballot, Councilwoman Donna L. Cary of Ward 2 will be the only incumbent to not seek re-election.

Polls in all three cities will remain open until 8 p.m.

Sample ballots, list and summaries of the candidates in each city:

• College Park: http://www.collegeparkmd.gov/document_center/Admin/Municipal/October%20Elections%20MS%202017.pdf

• Greenbelt: http://www.greenbeltmd.gov/index.aspx?NID=679

• Laurel: https://www.cityoflaurel.org/clerk/elections-and-voter-registration/2017-general-election

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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