David Blair, Potomac resident and businessman, launched his campaign for Montgomery County Executive on Wednesday.
He ran against County Executive Marc Elrich in 2018 and lost the Democratic primary by 77 votes. Elrich said he plans to seek reelection during the 2022 race.
Blair founded and chairs the Council for Advocacy and Policy Solutions (CAPS), a non-profit public policy organization based in the county. He told MyMCM his top priorities include executive leadership, financial discipline and creating jobs.
He said Montgomery County is a talented community, as can be seen through non-profit and faith-based leaders, businesses and the county council.
“Being a leader is working with these groups to move the ball forward. And with our current County Executive, I see a lot of activity but no progress,” Blair said. He believes Elrich has mismanaged the county’s budget.
Blair said Montgomery County needs a new vision.
Budget management ties into creating jobs, Blair said. He said there are fewer private sector jobs in the county today than 15 years ago. He said the county’s losing high-paying jobs at a disproportionate rate.
“We’ve lost 35% of our Information Technology jobs over the last 10 years, which is crazy,” he said. Blair said local income tax is the second-biggest revenue generator for the county, so fewer jobs means less revenue.
“Clearly, we need a vision for Montgomery County. Montgomery County has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years, and so what does that new vision look like? A lot of it has to do with embracing our diversity,” Blair said.
“And there are so many inequities in our county that haven’t been fundamentally addressed– and they’ve only been exacerbated by COVID[-19]. And so whether it’s healthcare, education, even housing are things that I would address as the County Executive.”
Blair said his leadership will bring a fresh perspective to the county.
“I will bring the leadership to get things done and I have decades of experience of empowering and collaborating and working in teams to make meaningful changes,” he said.
“And then also I will bring the financial discipline to properly manage our budget so that we can enjoy everything that we should as county residents, and create jobs. Once COVID[-19] ends, we don’t want to go back to the same gridlocked traffic, the same overcrowded schools. So I will move the county forward so it’s a better place for all.”