Delegate William Folden, R-District 3B, formally kicked off his re-election bid last weekend with a fundraiser that attracted more than 200 people.

“There’s still more changing to do in Maryland. We’re not finished,” Folden said, borrowing the “Change Maryland” tag line from Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who attended the kickoff. “We just got started making Maryland better for the future.”

Folden, a Jefferson resident, said he’s seeking to represent District 3B for a second term to the House of Delegates to continue work on easing congestion on Interstate 270 and addressing the state’s heroin epidemic.

“We need to continue to aggressively attack that to eradicate it,” Folden, a Frederick police officer, said of the heroin epidemic. He sponsored legislation last year that increases access to naloxone, the opioid overdose-reversal drug, which was ultimately wrapped into a bipartisan bill that attracted near-unanimous support.

During his first year in office, Folden sponsored the Hero’s Highway Act, which lets Gold Star military families and relatives of emergency responders killed in the line of duty ask the Maryland Department of Transportation to dedicate a structure to their loved ones.

The delegate also pointed to his role in a tense floor debate in 2016 that ultimately led to a long-sought change in state law — spearheaded by then-Washington County Delegate Brett Wilson (R) and ultimately passed into law by an amendment from Charles County Delegate C.T. Wilson (D) — that now allows deadly child abusers to be charged with first-degree murder. The change in law, which was amended to the Justice Reinvestment Act reforms, had been floundering in the House Judiciary Committee for years before the successful floor fight that led to its passage. An initial vote on the amendment initial cut partly along partisan lines, with a number of Democrats voting against the measure (several lawmakers changed their votes later to support the provision).

“That was not a partisan issue,” Folden said. “It was a common-sense issue to protect kids.”

Folden said he also wants to stay in the Legislature for the next round of congressional redistricting that will begin after the 2020 census. Republicans say an increase in their numbers within the State House chambers and a redistricting process led by Hogan, if re-elected, could create better balance in political representation.

“We want make sure that we’re giving the voice to the citizenry that we represent and their desires. Maryland isn’t just Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore city,” Folden said. “It’s a very diverse state. They call Maryland ‘America in miniature’ for a reason.”

Folden said he would be a partner for Hogan in other areas, too, if both men are re-elected.

“The governor’s got a great vision and we’re headed in the right direction. We need to support him to get him re-elected,” Folden said.

Folden, 45, was first elected to the General Assembly in 2014.

Before joining Frederick police, he retired as a Frederick County sheriff’s deputy.

District 3B covers southwestern portions of Frederick County.

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

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

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