Mansfield Throws Hat in Ring for QAC commissioner

Rob Mansfield of Church Hill has announced his candidacy for Queen Anne’s County Commissioner, saying that his campaign will focus on improving public safety in the county. The 45-year-old Mansfield will run as a Republican for the District 1 seat currently held by Courtney Billups, who has not yet filed to run in the 2010 election. The deadline for candidates to file with the Queen Anne’s County Board of Elections is July 6.

In a recent interview, Mansfield said a main issue of his campaign would be improving public safety in Queen Anne’s County. A member of the Church Hill Volunteer Fire Company, he wants to put more money into training emergency responders and to better utilize the volunteer fire departments in the county. Mansfield also wants to increase funding for the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, saying that deputies need more resources to serve such a large county. To pay for these increases, Mansfield said the area should leverage its geographic proximity to Philadelphia, Baltimore and other major cities to attract manufacturing plants for companies in those cities.

As for the proposed Foreign Affairs Security Training Center in Ruthsburg, Mansfield believes it would bring many good things to the county, but has been disappointed in the way the federal government has rolled out the project. Mansfield said that, while economic development should be a priority for the area, growth and development should be regulated so that open spaces and farmland are preserved. In particular, he views spot development areas where only a few houses are built in the middle of an open area as a problem, arguing that those developments create challenges for first responders to reach them quickly.

A county resident since 1972, Mansfield said he has run construction and restaurant businesses, served in the military and worked as a corporate chef for Marriott. He currently works for Total Engineering, running heavy equipment. He is husband to Edie and has four children, ranging in age from 26 to 16. Mansfield filed to run for county commissioner last December and said he will begin fundraising and campaigning near the end of March. While this is his first campaign for public office, he said his many years in the county will help him raise money and reach voters.