A former state legislator says he has entered the County Council race to advance the transition to charter government he’s supported since the 1960s.

Galen Clagett, a Democrat who owns the property management firm Clagett Enterprises, filed to run for a County Council at-large seat, noting that he carried petitions for charter home rule decades ago.

“I’ve got a long history of involvement and commitment to charter home rule ... and this is an opportunity for me to see it work and get the Legislature in balance with the executive,” he said.

Clagett said that he saw the Frederick County Council, the legislative branch, as relatively weak compared with the executive. He considered that a normal part of the transition to charter government, he said, adding that he believed that situation played out in Howard County.

He was running for a seat on the council, he said, to help the legislative side expand its role as a separate branch of local government. If elected, he would serve one term and not seek re-election, he said.

While Clagett said his top priority is to “hone the machine” of government, he said he was also focused on environmental issues, education and economic development.

On education, he would like to ensure teacher salaries are well-funded and that public education remains public, as opposed to private schools operating under charter.

To boost economic development, Clagett said he would like to see the Economic Development Commission become a quasi-independent organization consisting mainly of people from the business community. That commission would work closely with county staff to promote business in Frederick County.

Clagett, a state delegate from 2003 to 2015 who served on the Appropriations Committee, said he would like to use his experience in Annapolis to benefit the county.

“I want to work hard to get more money for education,” he said, adding later, “I want to make sure that we’re doing everything that we can to maximize the return on everything we invest in.”

Clagett said his experience in the State House and 30 years in business set him apart from other at-large candidates and give him a broad perspective that he believed would be useful if elected to the council.

“Basically what we’re selling here is experience,” Clagett said.

Clagett will face off against several other Democrats in the primary: Kavonte Duckett, Kai Hagen, Susan Reeder Jessee and Mark Long.

The Republicans seeking the office are Philip Dacey, Danny Farrar, Justin Kiska and Jason Miller. Incumbent Bud Otis, a former Republican, has filed to run for re-election as an independent.

Council members serve four-year terms and currently earn $22,500 annually.

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

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiLoos.

(20) comments

elymus43

Too cozy to the developers, builders, and realtors for the position..................

marylandmirage

Aesop — ‘A man is known by the company he keeps’ ***** several posters have indicated that Mr. Clagett supported Blaine Young. To find out about character, go to The Frederick Chronicles Facebook”. Very interesting.

Jim Hartley

If Mr. Claggett does not respond with counterarguments, he certainly will not have my vote. Thank you commenters, you didn't call names, you were plain spoken and factual.

threecents

Really tired of candidates that stand to make money from development.

jerseygrl42

He who supported the $2 Billion plus trash incinerator now wants the folks to vote for him.....yeah right!

FrederickFan

This "Democrat" who endorsed and campaigned for Blaine Young in the 2014 County Executive race is a disgrace. He has failed (at least twice?) to secure the Democratic nomination for Frederick City Mayor.

Claggett has a long history of serving no one but himself. His only constituency is the residential building industry, where he has personal financial business interests. There is absolutely nothing in his past that would suggest he has any interest in supporting education except to mislead people in FNP candidacy announcement articles.

Hopefully the primary will once again rid Frederick County and the Democratic party of this embarrassment.

DickD

What I like about Clagett is his stated opposition to charter schools. What I don't like is his propensity to support developers and the conflict of interest that presents. And then there is the issue of supporting a host of bad Republican candidates.

jsklinelga

DickD
I remember our conversation about the good ole boys network and you thought they were Republican. Not in Maryland. I would assume GC at least knows some of Maryland's good ole boys. They are probably where he got his polling data to support a non business issue like charter vs. public schools. I'd actually lay a wager he does not really care. But the FCTA is one of the States most powerful political forces.

FrederickFan

Exactly.

DickD

I just don't like Claggett, but you are right about party too. Yet, most Democrats are of the same beliefs as I am.

Does Claggett really care about public schools? I don't know, but he states he doesn't support charter schools, that's bether than most Republicans that seek to destroy public schools.

FrederickFan

These candidate announcement articles certainly aren't "fact checked."

I might suggest a healthy skepticism of Mr. Claggett's apparent opposition to charter schools until you have had the opportunity to see if this statement bears even the slightest resemblance to his past behavior.

On the other hand, if Mr. Claggett were to announce new, lower prices on high quality Snake Oil, and I was running a little low on Snake Oil, I'd probably rely on that.

BstD59

Claggett was accused of electioneering inside of polling places during the Mayoral Primary in 2013. When challenged he arrogantly claimed he collecting numbers, which was argued by election judges who witnessed his behavior. He apparently thinks he's above the law and that the rules were written for the little people. He is not a viable candidate in my mind.

Frayou

More BIG money involved in local politics. Just concerned about business purse. This is the last thing we need.

lewisantq

His last-minute endorsement of Blaine young should disqualify him from running as democrat. If elected, he would be an automatic vote for any pro-developer legislation. Bob Lewis

Shemp

Clagett doesn’t like Jan so he’s likely running to make things tough for her. Time for him to remain retired and sip or guzzle his bourbon.

richardlyons

[beam][thumbup]

AdamUmak

Clagett (D) endorsed Randy McClement (R) for mayor after losing to Karen Young (D) after he lost to her in the the 2013 Primary.

Clagett (D) endorsed Blaine Young (R) instead of Jan Gardner (D) for County Executive in the 2018 General Election.

"Clagett Defends $30,000 in Contributions from Ausherman and Pleasants" - http://airitoutwithgeorge.blogspot.com/2013/08/clagett-defends-30000-in-contributions.html

Uh, why would a Democrat vote for him?

BigAl

Perhaps because he is an experienced legislator who accomplished a lot for a frederick when he was in Annapolis.

FrederickFan

I can't think of anything he ever did for Frederick, except he supported a bill that would allow people to hang their laundry outside even if their homeowner's association rules prohibited it.

FrederickFan

[thumbup]

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