East County Times: Nawrocki announces bid for Sixth District council seat

The field in the race for the Sixth District County Council seat got more crowded Oct. 10 as Middle River resident Ryan Nawrocki declared his intent to run.

Nawrocki, a Republican, last ran in 2010 but lost in a close contest to current Councilwoman Cathy Bevins (D).

“I’m running for County Council because eastern Baltimore County residents deserve a real voice and a different direction. For too long, we’ve had crumbling schools, a lack of focus on creating good paying jobs and a County Councilperson that hasn’t fought for the hard-working residents of our district,” Nawrocki said in a release sent out early Tuesday morning.

Nawrocki is currently working on his master’s degree in public management at Johns Hopkins, and he recently opened a communications and marketing firm. He was previously the senior director in the communications branch of the Maryland Transit Authority, and his résumé includes a role in former Governor Bob Ehrlich’s administration as well as communications director for Congressman Andy Harris.

The Middle River resident, who is vying for the Republican nomination alongside Parkville resident Glen Geelhaar and Rosedale resident Deb Sullivan, touted his résumé as unique.

“I think having a good understanding of how federal laws and state laws work is an asset,” Nawrocki told the East County Times. “Everything now is intertwined. A lot of the county’s funding comes from the state or federal level. Having learned the different ways the state agencies interact and knowing some of the key players inside of [Gov. Hogan’s] administration... I think those are important assets to bring to the area to navigate through the different processes.”

Nawrocki lamented the fact that Kamenetz and Hogan have often had heated battles in the media, with the Republican candidate noting that a good working relationship with the governor can only be beneficial to the county. Nawrocki referred to the public spats as a “disservice to the county.”

As far as what his plans are if elected, Nawrocki’s main focus is on economic issues. Nawrocki pointed to the most recent unemployment numbers for the State of Maryland, which has Baltimore County with an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent - the highest rate of any county in the Baltimore metropolitan region, which also includes Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.

“I think that we’ve had a lack of a focus in this county on creating good paying jobs,” Nawrocki said, “in this area in particular but the county as a whole, and I think that’s wholly unacceptable. We have an unemployment rate like that and we have a county executive who doesn’t think it’s worth it to go after companies like Under Armour, for example.”

Along with economic issues, Nawrocki is also focusing on the public school system. While upgrades have been made to schools in the area, Nawrocki, a father of three young children, noted that more work needs to be done on the construction front. He also pointed to standardized test scores which show area students falling behind in both math and English, which he chalks up to a “lack of investment.”

Nawrocki’s entrance into the race represents serious intent by the Republican party to flip the Council seat from blue to red. As reported in the Dec. 15, 2016, issue of the East County Times, recent voting patterns in the Sixth District and eastern Baltimore County as a whole have the Republican party feeling hopeful.

It’s also not a stretch of the imagination to think Hogan will get behind Nawrocki, considering the Middle River resident’s work within the Hogan administration and Hogan’s endorsement of Al Redmer in his run for County Executive.

When Nawrocki and Bevins met in the 2010 election, the Democrat only won her seat by one percentage point, indicating another potentially tight race in the Sixth District.

Still, Nawrocki has a lot of work to do if he wants to unseat an incumbent who has garnered a reputation for constituent service. Bevins and her staff recently announced that they have surpassed 5,000 constituent service complaints solved since she took office.

In 2010, Nawrocki knocked on over 10,000 doors in the district, he said. He knows he’ll have to be out on the trail knocking on more doors and attending more meetings if he wants to flip the Sixth District. He’s also planning on hitting social media hard.

“Things have changed since the last time I ran,” said Nawrocki. “Social media existed but it wasn’t what it is today.”

All in all, Nawrocki’s message boils down to it being time for a change.

“I think that the past seven years we have needed a real voice in this district, and we have not had that voice. And I think it’s time we take a different direction and work together to change some of these things that are chronically underperforming, together as a district and as a county,” Nawrocki said.

**Originally Published by the East County Times - Patrick Taylor (https://eastcountytimesonline.com/current-news)**

Ryan Nawrocki for Baltimore County Council