Primary Election Endorsements – Part 1
For long time Frederick County, Maryland residents, Tuesday, June 24th represents a new era in local politics. With the new Charter Home Rule form of government adopted in 2012, voters will see a different format on their ballot when completing their ballots for county government.
Being the political junkie that I am, and one who has given his time and money to the Frederick community to countless charitable causes over the last four decades, I thought I'd offer a few endorsements (for what that is worth) of a few of the candidates on both the Democratic and Republican ballots next month.
Since there are so many hopefuls, I'm only offering up a few at a time for voters of both parties to consider.
So, in this week's Part 1, I ask that voter consider the following six, each of whom I believe, if elected will place our community's welfare without personal agendas and rabid single issues:
David Brinkley, incumbent Maryland state senator, Republican, District 4, Frederick and Carroll counties.
Senator Brinkley has served our community in Annapolis since 1994 – first as a member of the House of Delegates and then as a state senator. I have personally known David for all those years, and he has a very strong and proven track record of being able to collaborate with the other side of the aisle, while keeping Frederick and Carroll counties his priorities. He knows how to get things done. While I have been a supporter of his opponent in his election to the House of Delegates, I feel strongly that Senator Brinkley should remain in the Senate for years to come.
Anthony Chmelik, Republican Candidate for County Council – District 2.
I got to know Tony during his unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Frederick County Board of Education. He is an independent businessman who has been married for 23 years and a father of 11 (yes, e-l-e-v-e-n) children. I have worked with Tony on a number of issues, including educational causes. His takes a very collaborative approach to problem solving, which is what is needed as the new Charter form of government will require serious team work to add structure and process during the early transition years.
The Urbana/Monrovia region has experienced a lot of tension as new development projects have met resistance over the last few years. Tony's style is not confrontational, but he knows how to apply a firm hand when needed to stand up for the concerns of a community, especially when it appears that too much happens too soon.
Linda Norris-Waldt, Democratic candidate for County Council – At Large.
If I was a registered Democrat, I'd cast my vote for Linda in the primary. I've gotten to know her over the last five years as she campaigned for a seat on the Board of County Commissioners during the 2010 race. She has experience working in county government and currently provides professional services in the field of communications, writing, research, public relations and marketing. Linda understands how business works, but is also very conscientious in her process of making decisions. She is thoughtful and listens to and researches all sides of the issue. There are no hidden agendas with her.
Judge Danny O'Connor, incumbent, Circuit Court of Frederick County.
I have known Danny (Oops, Judge O'Connor), for over 24 years. When he was in private practice, he was one of the first lawyers I called upon when complex legal challenges arose.
Judge O'Connor was appointed to his position in 2013 after a very thorough vetting process that began with the Frederick County Bar Association. Unfortunately his opponent never made the cut in a similar process of his peers in his bid for the position.
It is his very deliberative process of making decisions that makes Danny O'Connor the excellent judge that he has already proven to be. He exudes trust with this style, and voters can trust that he has no greater ambition than to serve the citizens of Frederick County in this way.
Judge O'Connor has been a lifelong Democrat, but since this is a non-partisan election process for his position, both he and his opponent will appear on both the Democratic and Republican primary ballots. If he is fortunate enough to better his opponent in the primaries of both parties, he will be the sole candidate for Circuit Court Judge on the ballot in November.
Dwaine Robbins, Democratic candidate for County Council – District 3.
If elected, Mr. Robbins will bring a wealth of experience to the new Charter form of government. He has served on the Planning Commissions of both the City of Frederick and the county governments. He is a humble independent business person, who has shown a practice of being very conscientious and deliberative in his decision making process (can you see the theme here?).
District 3 basically comprises of all of the City of Frederick, west of Market Street. It includes a diverse part of the city that will require a representative who will listen to all of his constituents and craft his decisions accordingly.
Mr. Robbins is a graduate of Frederick High School and understands the educational needs of his community, but education is not the only issue from which he has built his campaign platform. With his intimate knowledge of both city and county planning and zoning processes, he will work to ensure that the relationship between these two governments will remain collaborative – unlike explosive relationships that festered up until just 4 years ago.
I have known Dwaine and his family for a number of years and found him to be a well-rounded and thoughtful leader, whom the citizens of District 3 will be proud of.
Bud Otis, Republican candidate for County Council – At Large.
Harold "Bud" Otis served the citizens of Frederick County on Capitol Hill for a number of years as the chief of staff for former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. His background in this arena alone is one of the primary reasons I believe that Bud is ideally suited for a seat on the County Council. As has been written in the pages of my personal blog several weeks ago, Charter Home Rule brings a different kind of structure to the processes of government than our county has ever known. His experience has been to work through and collaborate with the legislative and executive levels of government.
Having known and worked with Otis over the years, I have found him to be a strong, but quiet leader who knows how to get things done. He listens … really listens to what his constituents have to say. I find this to be a unique quality among candidates for office, as more often than not, they are spouting off their platform positions before taking the time to understand the person to whom they are "talking to" (verses "talking with").
Bud is trustworthy, fiscally responsible and balanced in his approach to addressing controversial issues such as growth, development, educational and public safety needs.
These are my views on the above candidates, what do you think? Who are your choices in the June 24th primary?