Jacob Hernandez elected to College Park City Council
BY ELIZABETH SHIRLEY AND NANCY WELCH
On Nov. 5, Newcomer Jacob T. Hernandez was elected to College Park City Council for District 1 with 266 votes, according to preliminary results. Hernandez ran on a platform focused on family and community involvement, with a bilingual approach and a message of commitment to giving back to the local institutions which have helped him live the American dream.
In District 1, Councilmember Kate Kennedy chose not to run for reelection. Five candidates, including Hernandez and incumbent Alan Hew, ran in a highly competitive race for the district’s two seats. In preliminary results, 1,060 voters turned out from District 1, nearly 20% of about 5,500 voters in District 1.
Alan Hew was reelected in District 1 with 322 votes. A city resident for more than 30 years, Hew has served on the council and numerous committees as his way of giving back to the community. Hew campaigned for reelection while promoting his permaculture garden on the trolley trail. The garden is beneficial to pollinators and wildlife and offers up healthy snacks for children, along with the chance for them to see where food comes from.
Kamthorn G. Clay, Bryan Haddad, and Brian J. Roan lost the District 1 election, with 145, 167, and 160 votes respectively.
Incumbent Mayor Fazlul Kabir ran unopposed and was reelected with 1,217 votes, about 8% of College Park’s 14,428 registered voters.
District 3 also saw a competitive race, in which incumbent councilmembers Stuart M. Adams and John B. Rigg III beat out challenger A. Perez Abbott, who received 57 votes out of a total of 689 cast.
Adams was reelected with 305 votes. During his first term as councilmember, Adams advocated for the elderly property tax credit, the preservation of Guilford Woods and the closure of the slip lane in front of 7-Eleven. Moving forward, he is interested in working to implement a vacant-property tax and establish a program to provide rental assistance.
Rigg was reelected with 327 votes. Rigg has served on the council for six years and ran for reelection on the results he has garnered within the community. Rigg’s campaign looked to the future, focusing on issues including affordable housing and increased resources for aging in place.
Incumbent District 2 Councilmembers Llatetra Brown Esters and Susan L. Whitney, as well as District 4 Councilmembers Maria E. Mackie and Denise C. Mitchell ran unopposed and won their respective races.
Voters also answered a nonbinding question about term lengths for councilmembers; 710 voters supported changing to staggered 4-year terms, and 567 opposed the proposed change.
Mayor Kabir and the newly elected councilmembers will serve the city through 2025.