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Blair runs for County Commissioner

July 10, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

For most of his adult life, Washington County Commissioner candidate William C. Blair has been enforcing the law - in the U.S. Army, in Williamsport and for the past 19 years for the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Now the Downsville resident said he would like to serve his community by holding an office in county government.

A Democrat, Blair, 44, has never sought political office. But he said he believes he is ready and able to give the job his full attention.

Although Blair could continue to be a police officer if elected, he said he doesn't know how he could do either job justice that way.

Both are full-time jobs, Blair said, noting that if elected, he would become a full-time commissioner.

"I won't be just showing up for a vote, I will be doing my homework," Blair said.

Blair said the water-sewer crisis is one reason he is running for office. The department has a $53 million debt and the county commissioners say they have to subsidize the financially troubled department with general fund dollars.

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"I don't want the current water and sewer debt to be left with my grandchildren ... it's already being left to my kids," Blair said.

A lifelong resident of Washington County, Blair said the water and sewer problem must be addressed.

"My grandparents left me a debt-free county. ... There was a tremendous surplus then," Blair said.

Despite his inexperience and eagerness to get at the debt problem, Blair knows the problem won't be solved in a day. "It took a lot to get it where it is and it will take a lot to get it fixed," he said.

Experience in police work will be a valuable asset, Blair said. "There are always two sides to every issue," he said.

Blair plans to attend fund-raisers and campaign door-to-door.

"I'm looking for supporters, people I've met during my career as a police officer," Blair said.

The son of Mary Blair and the late Paul Blair, he is a graduate of Williamsport High School. After a stint in Germany as a military police officer with the U.S. Army, Blair came back to Williamsport where he was on the police force there for three years.

He and his wife, Judy, have two children, ages 17 and 22.

The Blairs are part owners of the Downsville General Store.

Blair said he will be dedicated to look out for the youth and the seniors of the community.

"It's our turn now," Blair said.

The job pays $20,000. The primary election is Sept. 15, where the field will be narrowed from 29 to the top five vote-getters from each party and the independent for the general election on Nov. 3.

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