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Craig Interview: County Executive Defends Record, Challenges Opponents's Claims

Harford County Executive David Craig speaks with Bel Air Patch about Tuesday's primary election. His record, as well as accusations from his opponents, are both discussed.

A mailer from Robert Wagner, Republican candidate for Harford County Executive, reads: "Do we need 4 more years of the same?"

Incumbent County Executive David Craig says yes.

(See video for interview.)

Craig is being challenged by Wagner and one other Republican in Tuesday's primary election in a county where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats for the first time.

Craig said the challenges from other Republicans is not a reflection of his party's dissatisfaction with his performance.  

"There are certain individuals that always challenge you. It's usually a personal issue that that person might have with you or with government in general. And that's what it is with both of these people," Craig says.

In the mailer, Wagner pleads for voters to "STOP THE CRAIG SPENDING SPREE!" and writes that the Craig Administration "has increased your property tax 40 percent" and "increased our debt approaching $1 billion."

Craig, however, says that those claims are false.

"I don't respond to attacks like that that are ridiculous and don't have any foundation," Craig says. "The fact is, [Wagner] was on the County Council for 16 years and probably doubled the size of taxes for individuals."

Craig also has some choice words for his other challenger, Fred Silva.

"[He] just likes to run periodically, usually gets a low percentage of the votes, puts his name out there," Craig says.

The incumbent claims that his administration has successfully shrunk local government and saved citizens millions of dollars.

"[We] lowered the size of government, made it smaller, more efficient," Craig says. "[We] reduced the number of people from 1,500 to 1,200. This year we cut by $24 million the amount of money we collected in property taxes out of people's pockets."

Craig also has plans for a new term, if he's reelected.  

"This is an excellent time to build for government because contractors need jobs, they're bidding low … so now's the best time to get that infrastructure under control," Craig says. "We're continually trying to make government more efficient and operate better for the citizens, but still provide the services they want."

The winner of Tuesday's primary will face Mark Fisher of the Constitution Party in the general election.

Voicemails left to both Silva and Wagner on Sunday were not immediately returned.

Neal Anderson June 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM
I will vote for anyone but Craig, I'm tired of his political aspirations coming ahead of county employee needs. Or has he forgotten, we are voters too.

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