Cole aims to ‘get back to ba­sics’ in tack­ling is­sues

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CH­ERYL MATTIX


— A long­time Ce­cil County vol­un­teer, Thomas J. Cole Jr. is now seek­ing pub­lic of­fice.

Cole faces Bob Mef­fley in a win­ner-take-all Repub­li­can pri­mary race. Who­ever emerges as the nom­i­nee ul­ti­mately be­comes the next coun­cil­man since no Demo­crat has of­fered com­pe­ti­tion in the Gen­eral Elec­tion Nov. 8. The District 1 seat is cur­rently held by out­go­ing


Coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Alan McCarthy.

Cole, an Elk­ton-area res­i­dent, is re­tired from Del­mar va Power af­ter 37 years of em­ploy­ment there. When he filed for the coun­cil seat, Cole said he wanted to give vot­ers a choice.

He de­scribes him­self as a fis­cal con­ser­va­tive, but has more mod­er­ate views on so­cial is­sues. If elected, Cole said he will work to im­prove pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, law en­force­ment and the ex­ten­sion of in­fras­truc­ture in key ar­eas.

Cole, who has lived in Ce­cil County for the last 20 years, has vol­un­teered for or­ga­ni­za­tions in the com­mu­nity, such as the Boys & Girls Club of Ce­cil County, where he was a board mem­ber for 10 years and is a past pres­i­dent. He also is a past pres­i­dent of Elk For­est Civic As­so­ci­a­tion and past board mem­ber of Ma­sonic Char­i­ties of Mary­land.

He re­cently re­signed his po­si­tion as vice pres­i­dent of the Ce­cil County Repub­li­can Club so he could file for of­fice. Although he’s had an in­ter­est in pol­i­tics for a long time, Cole said he didn’t con­sider se­ri­ously run­ning for of­fice un­til McCarthy an­nounced he wouldn’t seek a sec­ond term and de­cided to run for county ex­ec­u­tive.

Cole said he be­lieves in tack­ling prob­lems fac­ing the county with a team ap­proach.

“You can’t do any­thing alone,” he said. “I’m a con­sen­sus builder, that’s what I do.”

Cole sees sup­port for law en­force­ment and re­duc­tion of sub­stance abuse, along with ed­u­ca­tion and in­fras­truc­ture, as top pri­or­i­ties for county govern­ment.

“My ed­u­ca­tion and my busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence have given me the skills needed to be an ef­fec­tive mem­ber of the county coun­cil,” he said.

He de­scribed him­self as a good lis­tener and a res­i­dent who wants to im­prove the qual­ity of life in Ce­cil County.

“I be­lieve in get­ting back to ba­sics,” said Cole, who also sup­ports fund­ing for first re­spon­ders. “I have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in bring­ing peo­ple to­gether on is­sues.”

While work­ing for Del­marva Power, Cole started as a la­borer and worked his way up the lad­der to be­come a re­gional ac­count man­ager when he re­tired seven years ago. He has a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in busi­ness man­age­ment from Wi­dener Univer­sity, which he re­ceived in 1984.


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