On the latest episode of Frederick Uncut, Kirby Delauter (R), a county executive candidate, discusses his vision for Frederick County and opens up about how politics has changed him.
Delauter, a county councilman and former commissioner, said being in the public eye — and perhaps age — has taught him to be more patient.
He referenced unflattering coverage such as the 2015 #KirbyDelauter controversy in which he took to Facebook to threaten a Frederick News-Post reporter with legal action if she used his name without permission. The story gained national traction and generated mocking memes on social media.
Experiences like that, Delauter said, taught him to think a little longer before responding and to consider whether the action would be something he’d want his family to read about in the media.
In the conversation recorded last week, Delauter also addressed hiring Cameron Harris as his campaign manager. Harris lost his job as a legislative aide to Delegate David E. Vogt III (R) after The New York Times published an interview with Harris about how he profited from creating a fake news website during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Delauter said that he had discussed the situation with Harris and decided he deserved a second chance.
“He’s very good at what he does,” Delauter said.
Delauter’s top priorities for the county, he said, are building schools, moving forward with a proposed senior tax credit and supporting the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office in its 287(g) program, an agreement to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The county’s agreement allows deputies to screen for immigration status at the jail, flag outstanding immigration warrants and hold detainees for ICE. When asked if he would support immigration checks on the streets or employer raids, Delauter said he would not.
He said he saw spending as the biggest issue facing the county. The proposed fiscal 2019 budget is over $608 million, nearly $73 million more than fiscal 2016, county records show. That growth is about a 14 percent increase since the county transitioned to a charter government.
“I just don’t think you can sustain that,” Delauter said.
Delauter gained some practice with the budget by drafting his own each year. He said he presented his own budget because he owed it to voters “to not just rubber-stamp the budget.”
As a fun bonus, tune in to find out Delauter’s favorite flavor of ice cream.