Jason Miller believes a platform needs to be addressed in Frederick County government, and with a run for an at-large seat on the County Council next year, he hopes to be the man to make happen.
“It boils down to two things really, which are effective county policy and efficient county spending,” the 38-year-old former military intelligence analyst said of why he is running for office during a campaign kickoff event Saturday.
Miller recently resigned from the Frederick County Republican Central Committee, a position he was appointed to in July 2015, to pursue his County Council campaign. He also ran for state Senate in 2015, but ended up withdrawing when now Sen. Michael Hough entered the race.
He is now putting all his efforts into representing the people of Frederick County as a self-proclaimed “rock solid conservative” who wants to strike a balance between standing by his principles and compromising for the good of his constituents.
“If you really want a county government that works you’ve got to be willing to work with the other side, but you have to be willing to be true to yourself and what you truly believe,” he said. “We need more Republicans that will have their principles rooted in conservatism and grounded in common sense.”
Miller also said he hopes to squash the misconception that the Republican Party is “the party of the rich” and be the voice of the Frederick Countians who are far from fitting that demographic.
“Everyone in Fredrick County knows there are Republicans that don’t live in McMansions, they don’t drive Mercedes, and for the most part they are living paycheck to paycheck, but it’s not by their choice,” Miller said.
The desire to represent all facets of the county is what prompted Miller to make a run for an at-large seat instead of running in District 2 where he lives.
“You have the ability to help more people,” he said of the choice. “I like the idea..that anybody that wants to call me, I’m willing to listen. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, I don’t care if you’re a Republican, I don’t care if you’re an Independent, I care that you actually have a voice in your government.”
Miller’s early career was spent in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence analyst. He then went to work as a government contractor. When his contract expired, he opted to take advantage of the GI Bill and went back to school at McDaniel College, where he is studying political science, with a specific emphasis on public policy.
“I consider myself a political academe,” he said. “And that means when you look at policies you have to ask the right questions to see if they are working. And most of the textbook questions that you need to ask, some people aren’t asking on the County Council and you’ve got to do that.”
It ultimately comes down to smart spending, he continued.
“Nobody wants to hack and slash the budget…you want basically go in there and say, where are we spending too much money, where aren’t we spending enough money,” Miller explained. “You promote more efficient and effective programs that help and if you’ve got a program that’s failing you basically have to address it so you can push the money where it does the best for the citizens.”
Several issues Miller hopes to address within his platform include striving for a better county business environment, opposing a sanctuary Frederick County, prioritizing Frederick County Public School budgeting, listening to county farmers, and increasing oversight of Frederick County tax dollars, among others.
An Indiana native, Miller and his wife, Amanda, have lived in Mount Airy on what he classified as a 6-acre “farmette,” since 2010.
“I’ve heard some people say, well, you know, you didn’t grow up here, you weren’t born here and I’m certain there are people who will have that as some sort of an issue,” Miller said. “But I could have chosen to live anywhere I wanted to go. I chose here. Because I like Frederick County, heck, I love Frederick County, I love the people of Frederick County.”
The County Council consists of seven members, five elected based on geographic districts and two at-large. They serve four-year terms and currently earn $22,500 annually.
The 2018 primary election is June 26 and the general election is Nov. 6.