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