As we approach the end of County Executive Jan Gardner’s eight years of term-limited governance, we Frederick Countians are asking a simple question: Will the socialist ideas of leftists such as AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] ruin the future of Frederick County or will there be leadership that preserves our freedom; you know, things like lower taxes, roads you can drive on, businesses, schools and kids’ sports that are open and thriving, and attending church without threats of arrest for singing or sitting 5.5 feet from your family member?
I believe the answer depends in large part on the upcoming election for County Executive, the other state and local elections, the persistence of long-term county resident conservatives and small businesses, and the grace of God.
Presently, we have to choose from two County Council members for County Executive: Democrats Kai Hagen and Jessica Fitzwater.
Mr. Hagen, among other things, is overactive on his position that climate change is an “emergency” so he banned balloon releases and set up a “Climate Emergency Workgroup” to see whether to burden our businesses and families with more regulations. Can you imagine COVID-style lockdowns perpetually mandated because of a County Executive Hagen worried about climate change? Not the type of guy I want in the executive’s office with the power of fines and even arresting of county residents and students whose masks fall off their nose.
Ms. Fitzwater sadly supports Elizabeth Warren’s tax increase proposal and helps lead the Hagen “Climate Emergency Workgroup.” Not to be outdone by the overzealous Hagen, she also voted to keep Frederick restaurants and small businesses locked down, and voted to ban dancing at weddings during COVID-19, even after Governor Hogan relaxed restrictions and over 40 small businesses showed up virtually at the council meeting to beg to follow the governor’s guidance to return to normality and not go bankrupt while following CDC protocols.
And both of these representatives voted against the Republican amendment to the 2021 budget to lower our property tax rates during a pandemic to the constant yield tax rate of $1.0344 per $100 of assessed value. Instead, with assessments going up, Frederick County residents are now paying up to thousands more in property taxes each year to pay for the ballooning spending the Democrat-led County Executive and Council are enacting.
They also voted to burden our sheriff and the 287(g) program that keeps us safe from thousands of criminal gang members and illegal-alien violent criminals with an audit and a promise — at least for Ms. Fitzwater — that she will be looking at defunding and even replacing our Constitutional sheriff with a county police force that the executive would control rather than the people of Frederick.
Frederick County residents and businesses want more of the “protect my freedom and way of life” from our leaders and we as Republicans intend to ensure just that.
The nine or so Frederick socialists and their liberal friends who read this and decide to attack me because, “Oh, that’s Delegate Cox, the Capitol Hill insurrectionist…” or “isn’t he a ‘Q-anon’ supporter” fall far short of the truth. None of those things printed about me are true — they were printed because I do my work “over the target.” I try hard to ask questions about bills and issues to expose the radical agendas of the Left, killing bills in the state house along the way that would impinge our freedom. My greatest regret is that I haven’t been able to kill more horrible bills, like this years’ “defund the police” agenda, even while we as Republicans did strip out some of its worst parts before passage.
So where does this leave us locals who have lived here all or most of our lives and who truly want a Frederick County that is lower in taxation, higher in freedom and attractive in our heritage and history so that our kids and our families can actually live, work and retire here?
It means we must do better with our candidates for County Executive and County Council, as well as increasing our Republican candidates in other races such as for the state house and Frederick County Board of Education, which incidentally has broad authority to spend nearly half of our entire county’s $700+ million annual budget.
I intend to continue to work hard for Frederick as I have tried to do in the Legislature these past three years and will be looking carefully at, and helping, whichever Republican conservative who loves our county enough to say “enough is enough” — steps forward and says “let’s fix these issues and bring Frederick back from the brink of socialist destruction and into the freedom and wealth of liberty.”
Delegate Dan Cox represents District 4 (Frederick and Carroll counties) and sits on the House Judiciary Committee where they hear from citizens on a wide variety of legislative issues. He is a Mount St. Mary’s College and University of Maryland alumnus, and received his law degree from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach. Raised near Emmitsburg, he and his wife have nine children and reside on a small farm in Frederick County.