County Commissioner John O’Connor
LEXINGTON PARK, Md. — Following his second term in office, John O’Connor[R-District 3] has announced he will once again be seeking a seat as a St. Mary’s County Commissioner. But this time, acting in a new capacity.
After discovering that O’Connor had become the first 2022 candidate to file in St. Mary’s County as of May 5, TheBayNet.com contacted the commissioner for comment on the upcoming election.
“For me, it’s about leadership, and it’s about doing what’s best for the people,” O’Connor said. “As a commissioner president, there is a lot more that can be done because you are in more of a leadership role with county staff, and helping to craft the direction of the county versus the normal role of county commissioner.”
A former U.S. Army Military police officer, O’Connor moved from Long Island to St. Mary’s County 14 years ago. He currently serves as a member of the Seat Pleasant Police Department. His support of law enforcement and public servants is something he considers an accomplishment during his time in office.
“Getting the pay equality for the sheriff’s department was a massive thing. Ensuring that our teachers and the schools are funded the way they are supposed to be funded,” O’Connor said. “I’ve worked across the aisle on so many different topics and we have been able to advance our county, far above where we were.”
O’Connor was also the first incumbent candidate to file for his 2018 re-election campaign. However, it is still somewhat early to tell who else may enter the field.
County Commissioner Mike Hewitt
Commissioner Mike Hewitt[R-District 2] said that he likes the current dynamic with the current president. That may change if he decides to step down from that role.
“I want to keep my options open,” Hewitt said. He added that he wants to see how redistricting based on 2020 U.S. Census data may move district lines.
But much of the upcoming president’s race could depend on the incumbent. And current Commissioner President Randy Guy[R] said that he still has not decided whether he will seek a third and final term as a commissioner.
County Commissioner President Randy Guy
“It is way too early to make that decision,” Guy told TheBayNet.com. “I will probably remain uncommitted until it’s closer to the winter when we have more details [about the redistricting process].”
The current commissioner president also said that he purchased another home in North Carolina about six years ago, but that he and his wife had not decided if they want to move south yet. He did indicate that his wife recently retired.
Guy said he currently resides in Hewitt’s district but is near the border of O’Connor’s district. Hewitt said that he lives near the edge of District 4, which is held by Todd Morgan[R], who is in his final commissioner term.
After redistricting is finalized, the maps could tell a new story. Regardless, the commissioner president is elected at-large in St. Mary’s County, so those lines will not affect the seat.
“I’ve occupied that seat, but it’s not mine, it’s the people’s seat,” O’Connor said. “And they are going to decide what they want. I’ve had so many citizens come up to me and say, “You need to run for commissioner president.” They want to have that positive leadership, they want that person that’s going to speak their mind, that’s going to be straightforward… And that’s me.”
Back Row: Eric Colvin, John O’Connor, Mike Hewitt. Front Row: Todd Morgan, Randy Guy.
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