On Saturday, December 9 from 2 to 4 PM you will get a chance to meet the new candidate for County Executive, Stuart Pittman. I got a little head start by meeting with him for several hours and throwing him a bunch of tough questions.
Can he win? Some time ago a relatively unknown person named Janet Owens decided to run for County Executive despite what seemed to be an impossible fight against a Republican incumbent. She won by a huge margin because she was saying what the people knew and wanted to hear: that development needs to slow down, and we need do better at taking care of existing people and infrastructure before recruiting more folks to live here. Pittman is saying this, and more.
Can he govern? Pittman is a practical businessman who has worked hard to reduce unnecessary regulation, but has solid credentials in social justice, the environment, and caring for the disadvantaged. This could win powerful support from voters on both sides of the aisle, and his return-to-basics ideas should play well with independents.
With the invaluable support of popular South County figure, former Maryland Delegate Virginia Clagett, he stands to win support not only there, but also with many in the small business community, who will be impressed by his proven ability to work with county officials to reduce burdensome regulations while maintaining a good working relationship with agencies tasked to preserve the environment.
Will he shake things up? Pittman believes that there are plenty of good county personnel who will serve the people effectively in an administration sensitive to the real needs of its constituents. This attitude will serve him well to win the support of county workers, teachers, firefighters, and police, not just in the election, but also to effectively implement those personnel changes that are truly needed.
Will he turn things around? To broaden his own understanding of what the people in this county really want and need, Pittman will spend the first few months of his meeting with as many groups as possible, presenting a very short description of his candidacy, then sitting back and listening to what people really think is important.
“Our slogan is ‘Putting Communities First’”, he explains. “To me, that means getting into every neighborhood of this county and hearing what they want to look like in twenty years. I don’t care what their political philosophy or party affiliation is. I want to hear their vision for the future and I want their community leadership to have a seat at the table.”
With the depth of knowledge and hard-earned support gained from that campaign, he will build new coalitions to support the agenda of his administration.
What about a challenger from within? Pittman checked in with party leadership and likely Democratic candidates before committing his own name to the race. He already has a plan to show early strength, starting with his December 9 launch.
What about 287G, the immigration issue? Definitely against the program.
Phew, tough questions over.
I was impressed. This is a candidate who will give us powerful new thinking of his own, bring communities back to the table, and attract a lot of energetic, caring people into his administration.
Charisma is a key campaign asset. Pittman’s charisma springs from a deeply caring and powerful intellect firmly focused on the needs of family and community. He speaks and writes well, with the confidence of a man who has accomplished much in his own life and has a solid and open vision for what can be done to improve ours. He is also a down-home Marylander. He is inviting everyone in the country to come on down to his family farm on Saturday, December 9, and have a little old-time country fun, meet him and learn more about his candidacy.
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