Erik Lof­s­tad en­ters District 6 County Coun­cil race

The Avenue News - - NEWS - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

Re­pub­li­can Erik Lof­s­tad has an­nounced his in­ten­tions to run for the Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil’s 6th district seat, now in­hab­ited by Coun­cil­woman Cathy Bevins (D).

The for­mer IT busi­ness an­a­lyst from Rosedale said he will use his tech­no­log­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences and ex­per­tise to im­prove the county by re­duc­ing spend­ing in the County Bud­get, cre­at­ing jobs, and push­ing for “re­spon­si­ble” de­vel­op­ment.

“I see a lot of peo­ple who are cur­rently in of­fice that are lawyers or busi­ness own­ers, but you never re­ally see any­one with a tech­ni­cal back­ground and that makes it hard when you have to start reg­u­lat­ing the new in­dus­tries that are com­ing in,” said Lof­s­tad.

Lof­s­tad ran un­op­posed in the Mary­land State Sen­ate District 8 Re­pub­li­can pri­mary in 2014. He lost to in­cum­bent Kather­ine Klaus­meier (D), but this year will be dif­fer­ent, he said, be­cause he is run­ning a “well-funded and well run” cam­paign. Fundrais­ing since May, he has raised $10,000 out of his $100,000 goal and he ex­pects to knock on 10,000 doors in Es­sex, Rosedale, Mid­dle River and other District 6 homes.

“Th­ese may seem like large goals. I’ve been pre­par­ing for this run for years. It’s all about break­ing it down into smaller, achiev­able goals and us­ing data to work smarter.”

He added that his cam­paign will be uti­liz­ing tech­nol­ogy to find “Repub­li­cans that ac­tu­ally vote” and go­ing door-to-door and hav­ing open con­ver­sa­tions with res­i­dents about the is­sues they are most con­cerned about.

In the coun­cil, he said one of his big­gest goals will be mak­ing Bal­ti­more County a more hos­pitable place for lo­cal busi­ness own­ers to set up shop and do­ing so through smarter de­vel­op­ment, fewer reg­u­la­tions, and the cre­ation of a “freer mar­ket”.

“Open­ing a busi­ness in Mary­land is not the eas­i­est com­pared to other states.”

As an ex­am­ple, he crit­i­cized the han­dling of the pro­posed Paragon Out­lets, a 100-store re­tail cen­ter in White Marsh, that was not built af­ter the de­vel­op­ers pulled out of the project ear­lier this year.

He said, if brought to fruition, the out­lets would have been a “nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, both eco­nom­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally.” In­stead of big-name projects like this, he said the County should work to bring in higher pay­ing jobs from smaller, more lo­cal, busi­nesses and then let­ting the con­sumers and the free mar­ket de­cide which ones suc­ceed.

Lof­s­tad also stresses the trans­parency of his can­di­dacy, say­ing that all of his votes will be on record and ac­ces­si­ble to con­stituents, along with in­for­ma­tion on why he voted that way. He also will call for all of­fi­cial county meet­ings oc­cur­ring to oc­cur in the evening so more peo­ple can at­tend.

Also men­tioned was a tick­et­ing sys­tem that could bet­ter man­age res­i­dents com­plaints and feed­back.

“Any re­quests from con­stituents (via email, phone, let­ter, so­cial me­dia) would get a ticket num­ber and the time to res­o­lu­tion would get mea­sured,” ex­plains his cam­paign web­site.

He also be­lieves that the fed­eral pro­gram for Sec­tion 8 hous­ing needs an over­haul as its overuse is dam­ag­ing com­mu­ni­ties and op­poses mak­ing Bal­ti­more County a “sanc­tu­ary county.” He said he will sup­port and push for term lim­its, say­ing that be­ing elected of­fi­cial should not be a full-time ca­reer.

On the is­sue of pub­lic safety, he said he would make Bal­ti­more County safer by pro­fes­sion­al­iz­ing, fund­ing, equip­ping and train­ing neigh­bor­hood watches in higher crime ar­eas while pro­vid­ing tax cred­its to th­ese neigh­bor­hood watch­ers who re­ceive train­ing. One of his pro­pos­als in­cludes $500 prop­erty tax credit for the pur­chase of a home alarm sys­tem with an out­side fac­ing cam­era sys­tem for home­own­ers.

Lof­s­tad will be kick­ing off his can­di­dacy on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 29th at Light­house Gar­dens in Bow­leys Quar­ters.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Lof­s­tad and his cam­paign, visit www.ErikLof­s­tad.com.

The other Re­pub­li­can in the race is for­mer Ho­gan and Ehrlich Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial, Ryan Nawrocki, who an­nounced his can­di­dacy this week.

The Re­pub­li­can Pri­mary Elec­tion is Tues­day, June 26, 2018 and the Gen­eral Elec­tion is Tues­day, Nov. 6, 2018.

ERIK LOF­S­TAD

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