Three candidates with University of Maryland ties lost their respective races in Tuesday’s elections, but they remain proud of the campaigns they ran. Here’s a look at how they finished out.
Just under 11 percent of voters for District 23A voted for a write-in, but specific results for Ahmed have not yet been posted, according to the Maryland Board of Elections website.
She ran against incumbent Geraldine Valentino-Smith — who won with 74.8 percent of the vote — and Kathleen Kositzky-Crank, who got 14.5 percent of the vote.
Ahmed said she has accepted the election results.
“I didn’t know what to expect going in doing this, especially as a write-in,” she said. “My mentality was, ‘We’re going to do as much as we can, we’re going to work as hard as we can, and then what happens, happens.’”
She said she still had a feeling of hope that she would “make it through.”
“I’m still very, very grateful, and humbled that so many people had supported me in the primaries and then a lot of people had actually written me in too,” she said.
Ahmed chose to run in the general election after losing to Valentino-Smith, the Democratic incumbent, by only 42 votes in the primary.
“I felt like we needed more progressive leadership, and I don’t think that our current incumbent, you know, has that,” Ahmed said in October.
Ahmed ran on a progressive platform with a focus on education. She hoped to improve employee pay and school infrastructure and work to repeal legislation passed by the current delegate that gives the county executive greater power over the school system leadership.
“Education is a huge root in our community,” she said in October. “If we can nurture that, it would benefit the community in many different ways.”
Ahmed said she does not regret running and hopes to continue to serve her community and constituents “in any capacity that [she] can.”
“We really did build a sense of community,” she said. “There were things that the campaign was able to do in terms of like community engagement, community building that is going to last much longer than the duration of the campaign.”
Current university student Camden Raynor ran for Frederick County’s Board of Education. He received 26,123 votes — 9.9 percent of the vote.
While the loss was disappointing, Raynor said he doesn’t have any regrets.
“I ran with a phenomenal team of people, and it is disappointing, but I’m absolutely confident that this will not be my last election,” he said. “For a 20-year-old, first-time candidate who received 26,000 votes, I’ll take it.”
Raynor said he was recently approached by a young woman who told him that his campaign inspired her and she was looking forward to running for office herself.
“Those little comments make it all worth it for me,” he said.
Raynor’s mother said he’s always been interested in politics. He was the youngest person on the ballot for the Board.
“Being older doesn’t mean you’re wise. Wisdom doesn’t come with age," he said in September.
Raynor’s campaign focused on competitive pay for teachers, equitable school construction and inclusion of arts in STEM education. He and three other Board candidates — Brad Young, Karen Yoho and Jay Mason, who were all elected after receiving a collective 44.8 percent of the vote — were endorsed by the Frederick County Teachers Association.
They formed a slate that worked together to knock on doors and fundraise, and shared yard signs.
"It's just been a pleasure to get to know him and see a young person that's as sharp and energetic and interested as Camden running for the school board,” Young said in September.
Raynor does not believe it was his age that prevented him from being elected.
“I think it was a challenge of name recognition and being a first-time candidate,” he said. “So, I have a feeling if I ran in the future, I’d get more votes just by virtue of being on the ballot again.”
University chaplain Ray Ranker ran for the House of Delegates in Maryland’s 21st district.
Ranker, who ran as an independent, received 6,117 votes of 96,913 cast.
He said he was disappointed in the results because he was “out there to win it,” but there’s a lot to learn.
“We worked hard. We met a lot of people. We knew we were taking the road less traveled,” he said. “There’s plenty of stuff to build on and learn from and ways to continue being involved in the neighborhood.”
Ranker said if he could go back and do it again, he would still run, using what he has learned to do things a little differently. But he doesn’t regret his campaign.
“I ran because I think fundamentally we have a broken system,” he said. “And so we raised awareness, we showed that there’s other ways possible. We made a lot of inroads.”
A staple of Ranker’s campaign was his refusal to accept donations over $600 or donations from large corporations or special interest groups, which he said contributes to the dysfunction of modern politics.
“I’ve heard … from candidates who have said, ‘I respect what you’re doing, but you need to do what it takes to get to the table.’ Well, I’m not willing to do whatever needs to happen to get to the table‚” Ranker said in September. “We’ve already given too much influence to the big donors.”
Ranker ran against incumbent Democrats Joseline Peña-Melnyk and Ben Barnes, as well as Mary Lehman (D), Chike Anyanwu (R) and Richard Douglas (R).
Peña-Melnyk, Barnes and Lehman were elected — receiving more than 24,000 votes each — and Ranker said he wanted to congratulate them.
He’s not yet sure if he’ll run for office again.