Mike Bowersox never aspired to run for office.

A longtime businessman — he is part owner of Ben Lewis Plumbing in Clarksburg — the 62-year-old Frederick resident preferred to spend his non-working hours playing golf and enjoying the company of his wife, children and grandchildren. But he also wants to ensure the quality of life he has enjoyed in Frederick for the last 40-plus years would continue, for his family and others.

Which is why, after refusing encouragement from fellow members of the Republican Central Committee and family and friends to run for office for nearly a year, he at last acquiesced. He will vie to represent District 3A in Maryland’s House of Delegates after accepting the central committee’s nomination.

Although initially hesitant to join the political fray, Bowersox was firm in his conviction that, if elected, he would not conform to the traditional stereotype of a politician.

“I’m a businessman,” he said in a recent interview.

His professional experience also informed his views on the reforms he hoped to bring to state and local politics of elected. Chief among his priorities was increasing government efficiency while reducing taxes.

“In business, we can’t just raise our prices whenever we want,” he said. “The way you solve a problem in business is by finding efficiencies. Government should do the same.”

Bowersox named state income and city property taxes as examples of taxes he hoped to help reduce. Asked how to make government more efficient, he did not have a detailed plan but said government employees could be saving their departments money by eliminating red tape.

He went on to highlight how reducing regulation and fees could in turn benefit populations in need. For example, cutting some of the permitting fees and other expenses charged to housing developers would in turn allow those developers to offer more affordable housing options that benefit low-income and senior residents, he said.

As a member of the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals, Bowersox also called for reform to county zoning processes. He pointed to a new county ordinance that limited the size and location of solar arrays on agricultural land as evidence of unfairness and infringement on property rights.

Bowersox will not be affected by state legislation that would expand county ethics laws, including requiring members of the Board of Zoning Appeals to step down within 48 hours of declaring candidacy. His term on the appeals board expires in June, ahead of when the bill, if passed, would become law on July 1.

A self-proclaimed conservative on both fiscal and social issues, Bowersox acknowledged the need to work across the political aisle to make progress in a decidedly blue state. His primary goal, to improve and protect qualify of life for local and state residents, was not a Republican or Democrat issue, he said.

“I think everybody wants to see the right thing done, and that’s not a partisan goal,” he said.

He added that his votes would likely align with conservative values, but that they would be decisions made “for the betterment of all people of Maryland.”

As one of two Republicans running for the two open seats in District 3A — he is joined by University of Baltimore law student James Dvorak — Bowersox will advance automatically to the general election. The Democratic candidates in the race include the two incumbents, delegates Carol Krimm and Karen Lewis Young, and Ryan Trout, the former chief of staff for state Sen. Ron Young (D).

District 3A includes the city of Frederick and surrounding areas. Delegates serve four-year terms and earn $50,330 annually.

The 2018 primary election is June 26, and the general election follows on Nov. 6.

Follow Nancy Lavin on Twitter: @NancyKLavin.

Nancy Lavin covers social services, demographics and religion for The Frederick News-Post.

(17) comments

rpkrauss

I don’t know how much “red tape” is used in public service but if we can significantly reduce govt spending by eliminating it by all means let’s use tape of a different color.

richardlyons

Please explain how, if elected to the House of Delegates, you would reduce City of Frederick taxes. Inquiring minds want to know.

elymus43

He is better than Ron. and Karen Young and Carol Krimm.................

hayduke2

And you know this because....

Tigerzord

hayduke2, wasn't he a part of either the planning commission or the appeals for Landsdale or Monrovia Town Center? No wonder he was for it all, if my memory serves me correctly.

hayduke2

He was and I recall he was very dismissive of any argument against the development..

stjohn42

Cutting taxes and services is not policy; it is a cop out. We need more than tired bullet points from Ronald Reagan's old speeches.

Mickey7

[thumbup] The Acting President Demented One left a terrible legacy on our democracy it is called Corporate Fascism!

Dwasserba

Nice guy.

hayduke2

Seems like more of the same talking points. Being a business person makes him no more capable than being a teacher or any other occupation. Want to appeal to a certain base, bring up the evil "taxes" as something you will work to curb - of course, the same base will complain about lack of services, repair, parks, etc. that those taxes support.

BstD59

We already have a 'businessman' in the White House. that hasn't worked out, so why would anyone vote for someone who boasts he is a businessman, not a politician?

The tax cutting is a joke. People demand services from their government, they want good schools, safe communities, strong infrastructures, these things cannot be provided without taxes to pay for them. We can't have it both ways. Mr. Bowersox is just another wannabe who says what he thinks the voters want to hear but has no clue on how to deliver on his hollow promises.

public-redux

If you want to reduce city property taxes, you should run for a city office. I'll never understand why candidates bring up issues that aren't in the purview of the office they are running for. It always looks like cheap virtue signaling.

Titanman123

Do you comment every time a Democrat comments on a federal issue or president trump? Not in their purview

hayduke2

Titan - exactly what part of public's statement is false? This is a comment page.

public-redux

I mostly focus on trying to keep my fellow Republicans in line. I've noticed that there is no shortage of Republicans who like to criticize Democrats for their obvious flaws. I don't see much point in piling on.

Now, as to the substance, do you agree with me that city taxes are not in the purview of a state delegate? If you disagree, help me understand why.

stjohn42

Because if he strikes a cord with the voters, they will support him without realizing it is something that he will have no control over when elected.

public-redux

yes, that is what I meant by cheap virtue signally.

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