SEABROOK – Several candidates for Prince George’s county executive filed with the county board of elections days – and, in some instances, hours – before the 9 p.m. Feb. 27 deadline.
Sam Bogley, III, Billy Bridges, Tommie Thompson and Jerry Mathis all filed between Feb. 26 and 27.
These late-filers joined Prince George’s County state’s attorney Angela Alsobrooks, former congresswoman Donna Edwards, former Obama administration official Paul Monteiro, state Sen. Anthony Muse and political neophytes Lewis Johnson and Kennedy Michael in the running for the executive position.
Jonathan White filed for candidacy in January but has since withdrawn.
Current County Executive Rushern Baker, III is term-limited and running for governor.
Alsobrooks currently leads the field in donations.
The primary election will take place on June 26. As Prince George’s is a heavily Democratic county, the winner of the primary typically also wins the general election on November 6, but Mathis hopes to buck that trend.
Mathis is the only Republican running for Prince George’s county executive. He is a former member of the Prince George’s Community College Board of Trustees and has previously run for the Maryland House of Delegates and Prince George’s County Council.
He describes himself as an activist. He said he opposed the D.C. United stadium coming to the county, because he did not believe it would benefit county residents and helped promote county jobs at National Harbor.
Mathis switched parties two years ago after becoming disillusioned with the Democrats, which he said control the county.
“What this county needs is a two-party system,” Mathis said.
His focus as a candidate is attaining “self-sufficiency” for the county.
“My priorities first and foremost is to get people to realize that they need to have self-sufficiency. All the other things we’re asked about, jobs and education, you can’t do anything with that unless you get rid of root problem, and that is the control of this county by people who don’t have their interest in mind,” Mathis said. “My priority is to teach an to educate and to advocate for us to take back our county. Once we do that, if we’re in control, and not (Maryland Sen. President Thomas) Mike Miller, then we can start talking about how we’re going to change education. We can start talking about how we’re going to change the unemployment rate.
“When people send me these questionnaires about specific things, I don’t want to talk about specifics. Don’t ask me about education. Ask me about why for the last 20 years and 10 elections you keep asking for the same thing, which indicates to me that you never got what you were looking for.”
He previously filed a case against Muse and other Maryland public officials for “violating (his) constitutional rights by interfering with his efforts to distribute a sample ballot in connection with the 2010 Maryland Democratic primary,” according to the lawsuit. Mathis said the Court of Appeals struck the other plaintiffs from the case but retained Muse. In 2016, a district judge granted Muse a summary judgment, which Mathis said he has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mathis explained that although he decided early he wanted to run for county executive, he wanted to wait until the last minute to file because people who oppose him might have filed as a Republican as well.
“The reason I waited until the last minute is because the machine is well aware…that Jerry Mathis has the ability, the mentality, the mindset, the wherewithal to be one that attacks them, and what they can’t subdue easily,” Mathis said. “If I had gone in and filed early, they would have found somebody, some kind of way to plant in there, to have them change their affiliation just to be able to challenge me.”
Bogley, who also filed close to the deadline, previously served as lieutenant governor 1978 through 1982 under then-Gov. Harry Hughes.
Bogley unsuccessfully challenged Hughes in the primary for the 1982 election after Hughes chose another running mate.
A Bowie resident, Bogley also served as Zoning Enforcement Officer in 1964, Chief Clerk of the People’s Court (now the District Court) 1965 through 1968 and County Commissioner and Councilman 1970 through 1978. In 1988, then-President Ronald Reagan appointed him as a Democratic member of the Federal Merit System Protection Board.
“Before, while representing the first county council as chairman of the Prince George’s Board of Social Service, I was taken by the county’s taxpayers’ benevolence toward those needing financial assistance,” Bogley wrote in an email. “My concern was that government was removing the ‘face’ of those actually doing the giving (the taxpayers).
“Now, with the federal squeeze put upon the state, the county, and its 28 municipalities, we must protect and keep our current taxpayers while adding to their number and increasing the tax base.”
Bogley said his concerns for the county include education and taxation.
“Tutors, using the curricula developed by our home-schooling parents, could greatly enhance our high school students’ chances of getting a good paying job, advancing to college-level courses (and) starting a career,” he said.
He said he believes his expertise will help him administer the county’s budget.
“Trusting that President Miller and (Maryland House) Speaker (Michael) Busch working with Gov. (Larry) Hogan will reduce the state taxes and also burden our taxpayers; and keeping in mind that only $10,000 of state, county, municipal and property taxes can be deducted on our federal tax return at this time being critical, I humbly offer my services to the taxpayers of Prince George’s County, Maryland, for the office of county executive in order to have oversight over the county’s budget, tax rate and tax base,” Bogley said.
Bridges and Thompson did not respond to requests for interview by the time of publication.