Now into his fourth year as a District 24 delegate, Darren Swain said his experience participating in the legislative process has prepared him to make a bid for the Senate in District 47.
"I see this as an opportunity to further my progression of political involvement by taking what I've learned in my private and political life and use those skills to take the district to the next level," Swain said.
District 47 includes the towns of Adelphi, Langley Park, Ridgecrest, Bladensburg, Cheverly, Landover Hills, parts of New Carrollton and West Lanham. Redistricting has placed some of Swain's former District 24 constituent base Brentwood, Chillum, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Mount Rainier and North Brentwood into the new district.
Swain has moved from Bowie to New Carrollton so he could reside in his electoral district.
He said he has secured funds for the Brentwood Veterans Memorial Park, the Cottage City Town Hall renovation and the Mount Rainier police station and street improvement program.
He said he has also supported North Brentwood on various bond bills.
Swain's familiarity with the Port Towns would give him an advantage with area voters used to seeing him in the community said Bladensburg Mayor David Harrington.
"Darren's current district overlaps the Port Towns and is to me, someone who has developed a good reputation in the General Assembly," Harrington said. "He is an up and comer. It's going to be a great competitive race."
Swain, a business analyst with the Minority Business Development Division of Prince George's County, said his platform revolves around several important issues that will determine how far the county will evolve. Providing stability and increasing funding opportunities are vital for county schools, he said.
Swain and delegates from Baltimore City, Baltimore and Montgomery counties secured $1.2 million in state funds for a pilot program aimed at reducing class sizes that has produced interesting results.
"We used it in different programs throughout the districts," he said. "We found the test scores in reading and math improved."
Revitalization and of older communities is key for economic development, Swain said.
"Efforts like the Gateway arts district and the Port Towns are a good example of what will be a priority," he said.
Development, Swain said, should take advantage of the various Metro stations located in the district, which in turn could create job opportunities for residents. Public safety is another issue Swain said he plans to focus on for his platform.
"It's important that we make sure our officers are keeping the community safe and not creating any apprehension," Swain said. "We have to focus on addressing juvenile delinquency and arrests and see if we can involve more churches and community groups to work with the youth."
Edward Clement, president of the Columbia Park Civic Association, said Swain is a positive representative for the community and a good example to the youth as to what they can do when they focus on the positive. Swain faces Gwendolyn Britt, Tommie Broadwater, Allieu Kallay, Malinda Miles, David Otero and Kay Young in the District 47 Senate race.
Swain said he respects the work people like former state senator Broadwater have done for the county in the past, he added it is time for more progressive leadership.