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Congratulations to Mayor and Council Members for not having to spend time and money on a campaign. [September 2013]

Several recent city elections were expensive and nasty. A great deal of effort was put into the campaigns with some charges that were either foolish or misleading. We speculated that there might not be challengers on this occasion as a result of the success/effort correlation.  That proved to be correct.

There are three reasons for running for election:

  1. You feel that the incumbent is doing a poor job and you have to run to make a change.

  2. You have background and experience above other candidates and you want to contribute.

  3. You are a "Me" person, and you want to be "It." You want the attention and the limelight.

Me candidates have to invent a cause for running. In order to get on the merry-go-round, they have to push someone off. They have to invent grounds that the other guy is the bad guy. They have to make up issues and try to convince the electorate that the issues are real. Me candidates create a lot of distraction as time and energy have to be diverted from the job at hand to working to continue the job at hand. They are, however, a necessary fallout from the democratic process. Those who feel that they are much better than the sitting office holders are obligated to run for posts for which they are qualified. It may be difficult for candidates to determine whether they want to run for egocentric or altruistic reasons.

This time there were no Me challengers.

On September 25, 2013 the Board of Supervisors of Elections certified the candidacy of Sidney A. Katz for the position of Mayor and Henry Marraffa, Jr. and Michael A. Sesma for the two City Council positions up for election in the City of Gaithersburg on November 5, 2013.  Although this is an uncontested election, voter participation is encouraged as the candidates must be elected by popular vote.

City residents who are registered to vote in Montgomery County are automatically registered to vote in the City election. To confirm registration, contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections at 240-777-VOTE.  The last day to register to vote is Monday, October 21, 2013.

If voters will not be in town on Election Day, or if it is simply more convenient, there are options other than going to the polls on November 5.  This year Gaithersburg is hosting two early voting days at City Hall, 31 South Summit Avenue in Olde Towne Gaithersburg. Early voting will take place on Sunday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturday, November 2 from Noon to 5 p.m.

Gaithersburg also provides absentee voting.  Applications will be available as of October 4 and can be downloaded online, picked up at City Hall, or requested by mail by calling 301-258-6310.  Mail or drop the application off at City Hall and, once approved, a ballot will be mailed.  Note that absentee ballots will not be mailed out after October 30, but can be picked up in person at City Hall.  All ballots must be received either by mail or by in-person delivery to City Hall no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 5.

Residents will receive a City of Gaithersburg Voters Guide in mid-October.  It will contain election information and statements from the candidates.  Candidate statements will also be aired on Gaithersburg TV, which can be found on Comcast and RCN Channels 13 or FiOS Channel 25 in the City limits, and will be available for viewing online at in mid-October.  A sample ballot will be mailed to all registered voters in the City in late October.

For complete election information please contact Elections Clerk, Lauren Klingler, in the office of the City Attorney at 301-258-6310 x2172 or visit the Citys website at





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