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Sunday, January 12, 2014
Roger Wilson, a Democrat, had already had a long day when he met with me early Saturday evening. A member of the Frederick Community College board of trustees, he had come from a full day meeting on the budget.
A senior consultant with IBM, Roger, his wife and three daughters have lived in Frederick for the last fifteen years. All of the girls are in public schools and his wife is a counselor at the Jefferson School.
With three daughters in the public school system, Wilson told me he is committed to see Frederick County receives its fair share of school construction dollars from the state.
Since, relocating to Frederick from Virginia, the 41 year old has been busy volunteering in the community. Roger spoke highly of the class “Leadership Frederick” that he completed years ago and said it exposed him to the challenges facing Frederick County.
Wilson informed me he also served on The City of Frederick Planning Commission and served two terms on the Fair Housing Commission.
He feels his business experience and public service has prepared him well for Maryland state delegate and has put together an impressive team to help him. Former City of Frederick attorney Debra Borden is his Treasurer and his co-chairs are Jim Racheff, a local businessman and chair of The City of Frederick zoning board of appeals and Theresa Harrison.
Wilson informed me he had filed a statement of organization with the state which allows him to raise funds and will determine within the next few weeks if his candidacy is viable.
He lives in district 3-a where incumbent state delegates Galen Clagett(D) and Patrick Hogan(R) have both announced they will not be running for reelection.
When I asked him if he had a platform, he immediately mentioned the economy and jobs, higher education and affordable housing for seniors. He added the themes in his campaign would be leadership, integrity and service.
In regard to job creation, he would support establishing a tax free zone for ten years to encourage businesses to relocate in Frederick County. Focusing on where growth is taking place such as in cyber security and production of electric automobiles is also what Wilson would like to see.
The closing of BP Solar in Frederick was a disappointment to Roger and he said he would be a delegate championing these types of businesses.
I brought up the recent local discussion on how to pay for needed infrastructure with the proposal by Frederick County board of county commissioners Blaine Young (R) to increase the transfer tax on the sale of homes and delegate Galen Clagett’s (D) proposal to increase the personal income tax.
Wilson said he opposed both proposals and was okay with the impact fee that was currently in use.
I also asked him about the current effort underway to raise the state minimum wage and how he felt about Prince Georges County and Montgomery County already raising the minimum wage. He said he believed in local control and would not oppose what counties did and would support the state of Maryland tying the increase of the minimum wage to the cost of living.
The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 state of Maryland elections is February 25. The primary election will be held on June 24 and the general election will take place on November 4.
The candidates who have filed so far for delegate in district 3-a are Republican Paul Smith, a member of the Frederick board of county commissioners, Republican Chris Huckenpoehler and Democrat and former City of Frederick alderman Carol Krimm.
Former City of Frederick alderman and mayoral candidate Karen Young (D) informed me she is also exploring a run for delegate and filed a statement of organization on January 9.