HYATTSVILLE – Mayor Candace Hollingsworth received over 89 percent of votes to be re-elected in her role for the City of Hyattsville on May 7.
Hollingsworth, who was first elected in 2015, defeated Angela Kenny, who is active in the city as a member of the Police and Public Safety Committee. Kenny was only able to accumulate 206 votes while 37 voters put in write-in votes.
In her four years as Hyattsville’s mayor, she has worked toward building a more viable community and is looking to continue the same efforts in her second term. According to Hollingsworth, starting the construction phases of a new public works building and police and public safety headquarters as well as adding more support for school construction projects in Hyattsville Elementary and Middle Schools will be a focus for her moving forward following Election Day.
“Thank you, Hyattsville, for the faith you have placed in us to lead the city for the next four years,” Hollingsworth said on a Facebook statement. “I look forward to working with this council to address the concerns that each of them carries on your behalf to make our community stronger and our work ever more meaningful.”
Meanwhile, in the city council races, three seats will be filled in by new councilmembers.
First, in the three-candidate Ward Two race, Seattle native Danny Schaible edged out teacher Emily Strab by 63 votes to take over the open seat on the council left by Shani Warner. The third candidate Robert Poisson collected only 27 votes.
In Ward Three, volunteer reporter for the Hyattsville Life and Times Ben Simasek received 128 votes to defeat Matthew Fraterman to take over the open seat left by outgoing Councilmember Tom Wright.
On his campaign website, Simasek outlined four goals he would address if elected to the city council: environmental protections, smart development and affordability, youth programming and efficient and transparent use of tax dollars.
“I believe our city government should be civil, responsive, inclusive and transparent with every resident, so I intend to serve with those values,” Simasek said. “I welcome positive and negative feedback. While we may disagree on certain issues, I’m hopeful our disagreements will be expressed respectfully.”
Lastly, for the vacant seat in Ward Four, veteran public school educator Daniel Peabody received 88 of the 132 certified votes to defeat Jonathan Mueller. Peabody has taught in the Maryland school system for 14 years, including spending time at High Point High School. He is a member of Hyattsville‘s Education Advisory Committee.
During the City Election Candidate Forum on April 24, Peabody said his goal would be to bring residents together with the city as part of Hyattsville’s emergence into a more developed city.
“We should not displace existing communities,” Peabody said. “If we create the right conditions, it is my belief that all people can thrive in this city. That is my vision; I envision a thriving, safe and opportunity-filled Hyattsville for all people who live here.”
Incumbent Councilmembers Kevin Ward (Ward One) and Joseph Solomon (Ward Five) both won their re-election bids with large margins of victory. Ward accumulated 333 votes or 79.74 percent of the vote over his opponent Lukas Halim, who was the last candidate to register for the 2019 election season.
Solomon won a tighter race with a significant margin, collecting 78 of125 certified votes to be re-elected to his seat. His opponent Sophie M. Gorman Oriani amassed only 44 votes in a campaign where she pledged to work on school overcrowding and safety concerns.
This year, Soloman led the push for a bill to change the name of a local park named after William Pinkney Magruder due to his racist language at the time of donating the park. The bill unanimously passed the city council on March 18.
“From the residents I have heard from, I think it will mean a lot,” Solomon said. “I think we as a community have invested a lot in being a progressive city and demonstrating that we want to respect the values of our community and I don’t think racism and segregation are values that we want to recognize. So I think it will be something that is well-received within the community.”