Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles of candidates running for office in the April 3 primary election.
After reading that it appeared Hagerstown incumbent Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II would have no opponent in the Republican primary, Brian D. Caron thought about writing a letter to the editor urging someone to step forward as a challenger.
Then Caron, a lifelong Hagerstown resident, decided to take a stab at public service himself, filing to run for a four-year mayoral term just before the Nov. 11 deadline to declare candidacy.
“I know a lot of people and the ins and outs of the city,” he said. “I feel I’m an advocate. I’m dedicated. And I like to see new projects spearheaded and followed through; just have a more hands-on approach toward the betterment of things I’d like to see happen in the city.”
Caron, 40, of 609 Sunset Ave., will face Bruchey in the April 3 primary. The top vote-getter will face Democrat David S. Gysberts in the Nov. 6 general election.
City finances, employment and the state of the downtown area are big issues facing Hagerstown, “but it seems like it’s coming to a head now that the Municipal Stadium and the Hagerstown Suns are going to be an issue,” Caron said.
Caron acknowledged the economy has played a role, but said he would like to work to improve the city center.
“You can’t just wave your magic wand and we’ve transformed downtown into the shopping metropolis that it was in the ’50s, or something like that,” he said. “But it can’t be empty buildings downtown. That’s going nowhere.”
Caron said he wants to keep the Suns and the current stadium, possibly converting it into a multipurpose venue that could host more community activities.
“Last season, they started doing more of that with concerts and extracurricular stuff that wasn’t just baseball,” he said. “It gets people out and about doing stuff, and that’s what that whole stadium should be, whether we have the Suns ... or another organization.
“But I’d hate to see them repurpose that whole area because of the loss of a team,” Caron said.
A 1990 South Hagerstown High School graduate and press operator for Tri-State Printing on Bester Street in Hagerstown, Caron oversees Hagerstown BMX, a volunteer organization that he helped establish, and its facility at Fairgrounds Park that opened in 1999.
The mayor of Hagerstown serves a four-year term, receives an annual salary of $28,000 and is eligible for city health benefits.
Name: Brian D. Caron
Date of birth: Jan. 17, 1972
Address: 609 Sunset Ave., Hagerstown
Education: 1990 graduate of South Hagerstown High School; took courses at Hagerstown Community College.
Occupation: Press operator for Tri-State Printing
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: None