Jackie Gregory, Patriots Leader, to Run for Cecil County Council in District 5– Hodge Seat

November 3, 2015
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Jackie Gregory, a former teacher and a leader of the Cecil County Patriots’ tea party group, announced Tuesday that she will run in the Republican primary for the County Council in District 5, a seat currently held by County Council President Robert Hodge, also a Republican.

“We need local representatives with strong conservative values, common sense, and a commitment to building a community that is a welcoming environment for both families and businesses. It is vital that local leaders cultivate an economic climate where local businesses can grow and individuals have opportunities to thrive economically. Local representatives must also protect Constitutional rights,” Gregory said in announcing her candidacy.

Gregory, a mother of three children and a former teacher, was often a fixture at county government meetings and active on social media with observations about Cecil County government and federal Constitutional issues in the past few years, although her public profile has been less visible for the past year or so. But her public comments usually reflected substantive research and thoughtful analysis, while avoiding the name-calling and partisan attacks that often characterize online political discussions.

But she is also an untested quantity, with no elected office experience, no business leadership background, and no demonstrable expertise in economic development matters— issues she addresses in her candidacy announcement and which are key questions for the county’s future.

Hodge, who has held the District 5 seat for two terms, has not yet decided if he will run for re-election, he told Cecil Times. “It’s still premature for me to make my decision,” Hodge said. He has held a seat on the old Board of Commissioners and the successor County Council under the shift to Charter government for nearly eight years. His Council seat is at stake in the 2016 election.

“I’m going to take a little more time to make a decision,” Hodge said. “I enjoy the job,” he said, and “I think I’ve made a difference.” But, as a businessman with other duties on top of the part-time County Council responsibilities, Hodge said he still needed to evaluate his options.

He said he hasn’t been able to find time to take a vacation in well over a year, but he was pleased that the current County Council membership was working together smoothly and in a positive fashion—unlike the old divisive “Three Amigos” rule of the Commissioners’ board on which Hodge sat and the vestiges of the drama-laden “Two Amigos” on the County Council until those members were ousted in the 2014 elections.

Hodge has been a strong advocate of the business community and, as Council president, took the lead this year in substantial cuts to the budget proposed by County Executive Tari Moore—who proposed a significant increase in property tax rates. Hodge led the council to review the nooks and crannies of the county budget and came up with enough spending reductions to continue a freeze on the property tax rate.

Moore recently announced she would not be a candidate for re-election in 2016.

Meanwhile, Jackie Gregory told Cecil Times that if elected to the County Council she would be a strong advocate for listening to local residents and the business community. “I’m not going in there with the attitude that I know it all,” she said. And on the budget, she said she would “not support tax increases” and would like to see a repeal of Moore’s recent increase in the property transfer tax.

Gregory also said in her candidacy announcement that she would use her County Council position to advance “Liberty” positions. She and other members of the local Patriots group have in the past been at odds with the “Cecil County Campaign for Liberty” group that has attacked most county government officials on a wide variety of grounds, often distorting officials’ records in online forums and robocalls.

However, Gregory took a softened stance regarding the local “Campaign for Liberty” group in an interview with Cecil Times. While not affiliated with the local C4L group, she said she had some “shared principles” with the group even if there were disagreements on “tactical” matters.

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5 Responses to Jackie Gregory, Patriots Leader, to Run for Cecil County Council in District 5– Hodge Seat

  1. Ron Lobos on November 4, 2015 at 7:07 am

    This is a great day for the citizens of Cecil County. Jackie epitomizes everything you could possibly look for in a fair minded, honest and genuine candidate. She is truly the voice of reason. While I’ve never known her to have any political ambitions, the has worked hard to help many others to get elected. I guess we’ll see now how many of them return the favor and help her to get elected. I have worked with Jackie to support many elected candidates only to be disappointed by them with broken promises after they got elected.

    You say that she has no elected office experience, but then again , 4 out of 5 of our Council people fell into that same category when they ran. I’ll tell you what she does have. She does more research into county initiatives (much like Cecil Times itself) than almost any of the current elected officials by looking at all ends of the issue including financial, feasibility, financial, priority and government over reach.

    She has spent countless hours educating the public on the issues at hand in her Patriot meetings and at the same time, giving them every opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns. I, for one, am looking forward to her election and am looking forward to working with her in the future. A refreshing choice.

    • Brian Arellazano on November 4, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Sounds an awful lot like what you said about Diana Broomell. How did that work out for you?

      • Harold McCanick on November 5, 2015 at 8:34 am

        Diana Broomell was a Trojan horse– with teeth. The only similarity between Ms. Gregory and the aforementioned horse’s patoot is they both walk on two feet. Any other likeliness is imaginary.

      • Ron Lobos on November 5, 2015 at 5:32 pm

        Sorry Brian but you don’t know what you are talking about. I never supported Broomell nor did I ever work on her campaign. You must be thinking about someone else.

  2. Mary Rodgers on November 4, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I agree with every word Ron. Well stated.

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