Commissioner Swartz files for 2nd term

August 20, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

Washington County Commissioner Paul Swartz has become the first commissioner to file for re-election.

Swartz, 63, will formally announce his candidacy during a fund-raiser Saturday. He filed for re-election July 23.

The primary election is Sept. 10, 2002. The general election is Nov. 5, 2002. The filing deadline for the 2002 election is July 1, 2002.

By filing almost a year before the deadline, Swartz said he is giving voters more time to scrutinize his record.

"Some say that is dangerous. But I say it's fair," he said.

Swartz said he figures he needs to raise about $10,000 to run an effective re-election campaign. He said he thought it would be easier to raise that money if he does some fund-raising now and some later in the campaign.

The job pays $20,000 a year, but that could increase to $30,000 after the next election under a proposal before the commissioners.


Swartz was sworn in to a first term on the County Commission on Dec. 1, 1998.

Of the salary he has received as a commissioner, Swartz said he has given about $7,000 to groups such as Friends of the Clear Spring Library, Character Counts, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and the United Way of Washington County.

Swartz said he enjoys the job and working with the other four commissioners. He said he has always liked helping others.

Swartz said people should vote for him because he is honest and straightforward. He said he takes well-researched stands on issues and lets people know his position.

Swartz said he gets an average of six calls a day, and has been responsive to calls and problems.

"I have been 'Johnny on the spot,'" he said.

Issues that he said he is interested in seeing come to fruition include:

  • The extension of the Hagerstown Regional Airport runway extension.

  • The start of classes at the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center. Classes are scheduled to start in fall 2003.

  • Construction of a new stadium for the Hagerstown Suns.

  • Completion of the Hagerstown Arts and Entertainment District.

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