Spinnler to run for county seat

March 10, 2006|by TARA REILLY

As a teenager, Mike Spinnler used to run with the late U.S. Rep. Goodloe Byron.

It was then that Spinnler decided someday he also would like to take a run at politics.

"It's my first attempt, but I've been thinking about this for 30 years," said Spinnler, president of the Cumberland Valley Athletic Club.

Spinnler, 47, has filed to run for a Washington County Commissioners seat.

All five seats are open in the upcoming election. Candidates have until July 3 to file. The primary will be Sept. 12; the general election is Nov. 7.

As of Thursday, four other men have filed to run for County Commissioner. They are former Commissioner Paul L. Swartz, former county employee John Weller, Edward L. Knepper and Nathan A. Green.


Spinnler, a Democrat and director of the annual JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon, said he considered running four years ago, but the time wasn't right because of the age of his children.

Now that they're a little older and in school full time, Spinnler said the time is right.

"I really believe, on the local level, it's time for me to do a little something for this county," Spinnler said.

He and his wife, Maria, live in Hagerstown with their children, Willie, 9, and Jimmy, 7.

Spinnler moved to Washington County in 1974 and graduated from North Hagerstown High School in 1976. He is a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church and volunteers at St. Mary Catholic School.

He was an athlete at Hagerstown Community College and is an active booster there, he said.

Spinnler said he would like a county that provides a safe and fun environment for children and seniors. The county is generally that way now, but he said it can improve.

In particular, Spinnler said he would like the county to increase its recreational activities, and events and arts programs that are "family-friendly and drug- and alcohol-free."

"I think that can help create a better atmosphere," Spinnler said.

Spinnler believes he can help the county by pushing for tax relief for seniors and students just out of college.

"I'm a firm believer in looking out for the most vulnerable of our society," he said.

The younger population is in debt with student loans almost as soon as they graduate from college, and seniors no longer can keep up with the county's rising cost of living, he said.

"My generation, just out of school, we weren't saddled with debt," Spinnler said. "They're riddled with debt out of college right away."

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