Darrin Smith has always considered himself a political junkie. But for the first time, he’s parlaying those interests into a campaign of his own, vying for one of three seats representing District 4 in the Maryland House of Delegates. “I just realized there are so many different issues here but there’s not enough political influence,” said Smith, who moved to Libertytown from Baltimore about seven years ago. “People in Frederick County should have the opportunity to be at the table.” The Democratic candidate joins six others who have filed or announced their candidacies in the 2018 race as of Tuesday, including incumbent Republican Barrie Ciliberti. Currently, all three District 4 representatives are members of the Republican Party, including Delegate Kathy Afzali, who announced that she will leave the House to run for county executive this year.

Smith framed himself as an alternative candidate for the historically Republican district and one with strong historical ties to the area. His entire family, including his grandparents and great-grandparents, are all from Frederick County, Smith said. He also touted his history of advocacy for underrepresented members of the community. Smith currently works as a high school English teacher at the Maryland School for the Deaf and helped to found the Baltimore Black Deaf Advocates, a chapter of the National Black Deaf Advocates organization.

Darrin R. Smith smiling toward camera.

The group has worked to represent the interests of black deaf and hard-of-hearing residents in Baltimore and surrounding areas of Maryland, Smith said. His involvement also informed his decision to run for office when he realized he wanted to bring his diverse background to a rapidly evolving community. “That comes with being deaf, being black, being gay,” Smith said. “Frederick County is changing, and we are a diverse community now. I care about what’s going on around me, and I realized, ‘I’ve gotta look at home. I’m looking down the road, but I’ve gotta be looking on at what’s going on here.’”

While this will be Smith’s first bid for elected office, he cited his experience with advocacy work and his work as an intern in the office of former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). He also plans to host town hall meetings for residents of Frederick County to get their take on important issues. “That’s something I think is important — meeting and talking with the community,” Smith said. “When I started to think about campaigning, I realized I had never once met my Republican representatives. And I think Republicans have taken Frederick County for granted.” Some of his core platforms include expanding transportation options in the county, such as local shuttle buses, and encouraging the Maryland General Assembly to prioritize local growth.

Smith said he was disappointed to hear that Frederick, unlike Montgomery County, is not being considered as a possible site for a second Amazon headquarters, despite all the area has to offer. “Let’s look at Frederick County,” he said. “Frederick County is prime time. To me, the whole thing was a huge disappointment, especially when there are so many opportunities to build up our area. I’d like to fight to ensure we have a place at the table.”

Reducing property taxes also topped his list of campaign issues, which Smith suggested could be accomplished through raising the gas tax or opening toll roads. While not opposed to taxes, Smith said more could be done to protect

middle-class homeowners like many members of his own family, who also encouraged him to run for office. “My family always said, ‘If you’re going to do it, really do it,’” Smith said. “They encouraged me to get to know my community. This has really been kind of like a call back to a home type of thing.” District 4 covers parts of Frederick and Carroll counties, including Libertytown, Thurmont, Brunswick, and Middletown.

The 2018 primary election is June 26, and the general election follows on Nov. 6.

(Article from Frederick NewPost)

 

Quote of the Week

The words of one of the most prolific poet, Edgar Albert Guest echoes...

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done 
But he with a chuckle replied 
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one 
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried. 
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin 
On his face. If he worried he hid it. 
He started to sing as he tackled the thing 
That couldn’t be done, and he did it! 

 

By the Authority of the Darrin R. Smith for Maryland Committee

Aubrey P. Moorman, Treasurer for Darrin R. Smith for Maryland

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By the Authority of the Darrin R. Smith for Maryland Committee Aubrey P. Moorman, Treasurer for Darrin R. Smith for Maryland
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