The field for the Frederick Board of Aldermen continues to grow with the Rev. Derek Shackelford — the first non-incumbent Democrat — filing to run for one of the five open seats in this year’s election.
Shackelford, 42, who was born in Frederick, holds a Master of Divinity degree and a doctorate in ministry and urban public policy from Wesley Theological Seminary, in Washington, D.C.
Shackelford currently works at Shiloh Christian Community Church, a non-denominational church, in Baltimore.
He said he decided to run because he loves Frederick and its residents and wants to be engaged in the city’s future.
“It’s an opportunity to serve people and engage people and help people who are not a part of the process — to re-engage them and present enthusiasm,” he said. “I hope this is a tremendous opportunity to serve the people and the city that I love.”
He said there wasn’t a particular cause or issue that prompted him to run. But if elected, Shackelford said he would work on the relationships between small businesses and the city as well as become involved with arts and culture in the community.
“Arts and culture are a big part of the quality of life,” he said.
He said he wasn’t opposed to the current board and its members but thinks he has the skills that would be useful as a lawmaker.
“How do we articulate a vision that’s clear and concise and one that engages our people collectively?” he asked. “The skills I bring to the table would allow that to happen. It’s nothing against the current board.”
In 2000, Shackelford founded City of Hope Ministry in Frederick, which formerly offered church services but now functions as a charitable organization with various outreach services, he said.
He has also been an assistant men’s basketball coach at Frederick Community College for 10 years and was previously head basketball coach at Frederick High School for eight years. He played college basketball at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
“My life has been built upon service, whether that be community service, whether that be athletics or whether it’s ministry,” he said. “The life I try to build is built on service and helping others.”
He also served on the Frederick County Human Relations Commission in 1996; the board of Big Brothers, Big Sisters in 1996; the Minority Affairs Advisory Committee for Frederick County Public Schools in 1995; the 4-H Advisory Committee from 1998 to 2000; the FCC College Diversity Committee in 1998; and as vice president of the Frederick chapter of the NAACP in 2000.
The current board of aldermen is composed of all first-term members, including Shelley Aloi (R), Carol Krimm (D), Michael O’Connor (D), Kelly Russell (D) and Karen Young (D).
O’Connor, Russell and Republican candidate Hayden Duke have filed to run for four-year terms on the board.
Aldermanic candidates run at-large in the general election with the top five vote-getters winning the seats.
On the mayoral side, incumbent Mayor Randy McClement, as well as Young and Del. Galen Clagett (D-Dist. 3A), have all filed to run for the $90,000-a-year job.
Several other current and former politicians also have been mentioned as possible mayoral candidates, including Aloi; county Commissioner Billy Shreve (R); and former city Mayor Jennifer Dougherty (D), who served between 2001-2005 and ran in 2009 but lost in the primary.
This year’s city primary elections will be Sept. 10, while the general election is Nov. 5.
Candidates who are registered Republicans or Democrats have until July 2 to file. Unaffiliated candidates must file by May 1. Third-party candidates must be nominated by Aug. 5.