All of College Park City Council’s incumbent candidates reelected
Voters cast their ballots in College Park's election for mayor and city council. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)
By Rina Torchinsky, Carmen Molina Acosta, Shreeya Agarwal and Jillian Atelsek
All of College Park’s incumbent city council candidates were reelected Tuesday night. Here’s a rundown of what happened in each district.
District 1 council members Fazlul Kabir and Kate Kennedy — who both ran uncontested — will continue their roles.
Kabir will serve his fifth term, while Kennedy will serve her second. They earned 745 and 496 votes, respectively.
“I’m really surprised that so many people actually came from District 1 and expressed their support for me,” Kabir said. “I am very much humbled.”
Since joining the council, Kennedy said she is most proud of her work on the Committee for Committees. She centered her campaign on creating relationships in the city, saying she wants to “build community, and genuine community, amongst my neighbors.”
Kabir, meanwhile, has said he wants to focus on completing development projects in the city such as Duvall Field and a new dog park in the Hollywood neighborhood.
Both candidates said they were excited to continue working alongside their colleagues on the council.
“There’s a lot happening in College Park, a lot going on,” Kennedy said. “So I’m excited to be working with them and moving forward.”
District 2 council members P.J. Brennan and Monroe Dennis were reelected.
Brennan earned 247 votes and Dennis earned 223 votes. They defeated resident Oscar Gregory, who had 104 votes.
Brennan was elected to his fourth term on College Park City Council. The University of Maryland alumnus voted in favor of banning “unruly social gatherings” in September and supported the addition of polling places in the Stamp Student Union and Ritchie Coliseum.
Brennan’s 2019 campaign platform echoed his priorities in 2017: community engagement, “smart growth” and quality of life. He’s excited to have the opportunity to serve his community again.
“Hopefully a lot of student residents and non-student residents see there’s a lot of change happening in our city right now,” he said. “We need a professional, proactive group of people leading the city.”
Dennis’ victory will mark the beginning of his fifth term on the council. His campaign included a focus on improving the quality of life of College Park residents. One way to do that, he said, is through the enhancement of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, which offers a transportation option for senior citizens, among other services.
It was a long day, Dennis said, joking that he couldn’t think anymore. Still, he said he’s looking forward to serving his next term.
“I never thought I’d be here this long and frankly, sometimes, I thought, ‘Well, it’s time for me to take a step back,’ but people in my neighborhood and in our community and in our district keep saying ‘Well, yes, we’ll support you,’” he said. “So, here I am again, looking forward to it.”
Gregory lost council elections in 2015 and 2017. After moving around some, he landed in District 2’s Berwyn neighborhood.
This year, he prioritized tax reductions, public safety and the environment. Gregory emphasized community engagement and prioritized neighborhoods in his latest run.
“I’m more disappointed because the incumbents — they’re all back again,” he said Tuesday night. “And one of the things we’re trying to do is have a different direction”
Voters reelected District 3 council members Robert Day and John Rigg to their seats Tuesday night.
Day received 424 votes, while Rigg received 451 votes. They defeated resident Mark Mullauer, who received 110 votes.
“I think everybody worked hard, both winners and losers,” Day said. “I’m just glad that I came out a winner this time.”
Day, who has already served four terms on the council, has said he wants to develop affordable housing, attract businesses and improve communication with residents. Other campaign goals included improving traffic, public safety and schools.
Rigg, who will sit on the council for a second term, also focused his campaign on attracting and supporting new businesses, with the goal of bringing more year-round residents to the city. Developing affordable housing for students and reducing city waste were two other priorities.
His wife and two sons were by his side when the results came in.
“It was an enjoyable campaign,” Rigg said. “It’s always nice to get out and meet residents of District 3.”
Resident Mark Mullauer, who has lived in the city since 2007, felt motivated to run to bring a fresh face to City Council. It was his first time running for a council position, and he told The Diamondback he got involved with local government after the city drastically raised his parking fees.
Mullauer’s campaign focused mainly on safety, as well as reunifying the city after the gatherings ordinance.
He said he learned a lot during the race, even though it can be hard to break through as a newcomer.
“I want to hang around,” Mullauer said. “I’m definitely going to run again in two years.”
Denise Mitchell and Maria Mackie won the District 4 race Tuesday night, beating out Micheal Emmanuel.
Mitchell won with the highest number of votes, 237. She wants to address issues such as improving the city’s internship program and seeing through the development of a new community center in College Park Woods.
“I am elated, humbled, excited, tired,” Mitchell said. “I look forward to serving with Maria Mackie.”
Mackie came in second with 225 votes, while Emmanuel came in third with 54.
A longtime resident and first-time candidate, Mackie focused her election efforts on affordable housing and resident safety. She previously served as the District 4 Board of Elections supervisor and said she would like to improve communication between residents and the council.
She will succeed current Councilwoman Dustyn Kujawa, who did not seek reelection. Kujawa is in her second term on the council, and was first elected in 2015.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to serve and work with the council to make College Park a better place for everyone,” Mackie said.
Emmanuel, a University of Maryland alumnus, ran for City Council for the first time with a focus on education and public safety. As a former student, Emmanuel said he believed the council failed to listen to students as much as it should.
“It’s life,” he said Tuesday night. “It doesn’t matter who wins. We’re all working to make the city better.”