A Rewarding Time on the Campaign Trail
On March 9, 2013, I held my campaign kickoff at Salerno's in Eldersburg. Having never run for office, I only knew that I felt strongly that I wanted to bring new leadership to the criminal prosecution of cases in the county. Frankly, I had no idea how many others shared my belief. I soon came to see that I was not alone in my belief as I was joined by a very enthusiastic crowd that not only encouraged me to pursue this path, but offered to help me deliver my message to the citizens of the county.
Since that time, I have been working very hard to speak with citizens all over the county. I have had the chance to visit various community groups and business organizations, and hear their concerns regarding the increases in crime and drug use in the county. I have spoken to many in law enforcement about the obstacles they see to addressing these issues, and learned of the changes they would welcome in the State's Attorney's Office in order to help them more effectively safeguard the county. I have taken time to meet with those on the "front line," our jail personnel and treatment providers, to fully understand the scope of the problems we face and how to best confront them. I have also had the chance to speak to various political organizations and elected officials, and convey the ideas and passion I will bring to the role of State's Attorney. While this process has been a very busy one, and can be tiring, I have found the experience very rewarding and encouraging as I find that there are many who share my vision for new leadership.
In August, I held my Bull Roast/Crab Feast Fundraiser at Winfield Fire Department, and did not know how many would actually take their time and money to support my effort. I was so overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of support as court personnel, attorneys, business owners, law enforcement, fire personnel, elected officials, and concerned citizens all came to enjoy great food and show that my message of needed change was believed by many. As I visited the many carnivals this summer put on by our fire departments, and participated in their parades, I saw more signs of encouragement. Starting in the beginning of the summer with just a few volunteers walking in the parades, by the fall we had a very large group who took the time to come out, put on our shirts, and help get the message out that it is time for new leadership.
One of the most special moments I have had is when I was asked to speak on Veteran's Day at the American Legion in Taneytown (picture to the right). I had the opportunity to talk about my father, a Vietnam Veteran who was heavily exposed to Agent Orange while stationed in Tailand, and was found to have cancerous tumors when he was only in his 20s. After being discharged after surgery in Tailand, he was sent home to battle cancer the rest of his life until he ultimately died in the VA Hospital in Baltimore while only in his 40s. Of course, he endured all of this while he, like many Vietnam Veterans, were upon his return incredibly made to feel his service to our country was something for which he should feel ashamed. I was so honored to have the chance to not only publicly tell his story of sacrifice for our country, but also thank ALL veterans and their families that have endured hardships to ensure that our freedoms are protected. Having many veterans come up to me afterward, and tell me my speech was a great tribute and really moved them is the highest and most humbling compliment I could possibly have received.
This is why, as we all prepare to have Thanksgiving with our families, I wanted to take this time to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the support I have received. Whether it was joining me in a parade, asking for a sign to put in your yard, making a needed contribution, or simply giving words of encouragement, I can tell you that I am grateful for everything as it provides tremendous "fuel" for me to keep working hard.
I wish all of you, and your families, a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail in the coming months!