Earl Robbins admits he is no career politician, and his campaign for Frederick County executive has been a unique one.
“I have to do it differently. I have to do it as an independent, and that was interesting and empowering experience. I have found there is some power in being an independent [candidate],” explained Robbins.
After decades as a democrat, Robbins turned away from the party, he says, after seeing members turn against one another.
Now, he’s running as a third-party independent, which means Robbins had to collect 1,794 signatures to make it onto the ballot.
“We’re required to get one-percent [of the Frederick County population] of the registered voters. We got around 2,200 signatures, and I still have 75 that haven’t been turned in just in case,” Robbins said.
Robbins has lived in Frederick County for more than 40 years.
He says he’s gained leadership and managerial skills while serving for multiple organizations like the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce and others.
“I’ve served on the [Frederick County] Board of Education from 1986 to 1996. From a business and community standpoint, I’ve been involved in a lot of organizations. I was on the board of United Way for about 10,12 years,” said Robbins.
Transportation is one of the top issues for Robbins, and not just improving traffic on I-270, but creating more opportunities on mass transit like the MARC train.
“The basic infrastructure is already there so if we can get more [train] cars and have more service, I think that would help,” Robbins explained.
Robbins is also focused on providing adequate funding for school resources and training.
“First, I know that all students can learn but they don’t necessarily have a level playing field here in Frederick County,” Robbins said.
As an independent, Robbins says he feels more free to garner ideas and support from democrats and republicans both.
WDVM News will have a report on democratic opponent, Jan Gardner, and republican challenger, Kathy Afzali later this week.