Surprise Party

Dear Readers,


Adding drama to an already dramatic and surprise-filled nominating caucus, Terry Seamens, seen making the “Geez, I dunno” gesture in the photo, declined to decline one of the two nominations he received. He was nominated for mayor, AND he was nominated for Ward 4 councilmember. He must eventually decline one of the nominations. The nature and outcomes of two important election races hang on his decision.


Seamens, currently holding the Ward 4 council seat, said that though he had an inkling that his constituents were up to something, he was taken by surprise at the Sept 29 Nominating Caucus when they nominated him for mayor.

That they did, and then another bunch of constituents nominated him for his council seat as well. Both groups praised Seamens and his wife Joyce (seating next to Terry in the photo) for their selfless, extraordinary service to the ward’s poor, disenfranchised, and disabled – sort of the the Mother (and Father) Teresa of Takoma Park.

Seamens has until 5:00 pm Friday, Oct. 2 to decline one of the nominations. City Clerk Jessie Carpenter informed him of this fact just before the close of the meeting and asked if he’d like to announce a decision then. Seamens said he’d rather think it over.

Your Gilbert imagines Boss Seamens in his smoke-filled room, flicking his cigar ashes as he extorts concessions out of a teeth-gnashing Mayor Williams. We’ll see who is pulling who in the rickshaw at the next Fourth of July parade!

Seamens’ nomination was the second surprise of the mayoral nominations. The first was the nomination of Roger Schlegel. Schlegel’s campaign slogan seems to be “we can do better!,” judging from the repeated use of that phrase in the nominating speech. Schlegel is from Ward 3.

Mayor Bruce Williams is also running again. His nominator and seconders were the typical incumbent’s lineup of respected activist residents, each representing influential groups and areas. Clearly, he has the vital constituencies behind him and would be tough to beat.

So, depending on Terry Seamen’s decision, it could be a three-way contest. We might get to use that Instant Runoff Vote system, Dear Readers!

Ward Races

There will be two other election contests. Two candidates emerged from Ward 6: Frederick Schultz, whose nominator said would fight for the “forgotten ward”, and Navid Nasr, whose nominator said would fight for the “forgotten part of the forgotten ward.”

In your Gilbert’s opinion that was the best line of the night. Nasr’s nominators also get style points from Gilbert for passion, citing examples of how their neighborhood to the east of New Hampshire Avenue has been neglected.

In Ward 4, Terry Seamens, if he declines the mayoral nomination will face Eric Mendoza. Mendoza was described as Seamen’s protégé. We suspect therefor that he is an “insurance candidate” in case Seamens decides to run for mayor.

Incumbents in other wards have no contests this time, though they each had a lineup of respected personages to nominate and second them. Biggest name was perhaps State Senator Jamie Raskin who spoke for Josh Wright. Former city councilmembers State Delegate Heather MIzeur and County Councilmember Marc Elrich were apparently washing their hair Tuesday night, neither showed up to nominate anyone.

– Gilbert


About the Author

Gilbert is the pseudonym of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, long-time Takoma Park resident who maintains the granolapark blog. Gilbert and William L. Brown — Granola Park's mild-mannered chief of staff, researcher, and drink pourer — have never been seen in the same place at the same time.

1 Comment on "Surprise Party"

  1. The question is why Bruce Williams bothering to run and what does he plan to accomplish?. This is the man who has a long experience on the City Council and, last time, ran on a platform of using this experience to have the Council undertake a serious review of the management and operations of each City department. Now, after the rule of Kathy Porter, that platform suggested a new direction for the management of the City. Alas, after a cursory review of the Recreation department in June 08 that suggested serious problems (that were supposedly dealt with less than transparently through some ad-hoc committee), no further reviews of any City department has been forthcoming since then despite the Mayor controlling the City Council agenda. Is there any reason to believe that Bruce Williams is going to do any better if he gets another term? Not in my opinion as Bruce Williams has largely shown himself over the years to be a man with no other objective than to get along just to get along So why does he want to be Mayor? To get more opportunities to be photographed in silly outfits?
    Given Bruce William’s record as Council member and as Mayor over the years, it is certainly worth having a serious look at what the other candidates propose and maybe take a chance on one of them.

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