By Josh Kurtz
Jessica Haire, a lawyer and civil engineer who is married to Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire, is running for a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council.
Haire held a campaign kickoff event Wednesday night at Mike’s Crab House in Riva.
“I am running for Anne Arundel County Council because we need tax relief, safer streets, and better schools,” Haire said in a statement. “I am frustrated that the current Council has failed to support County Executive [Steve] Schuh’s property tax. I will vote to cut your property taxes.”
Haire instantly becomes the establishment favorite to succeed Councilmember Jerry Walker (R), who is term limited and running for the House of Delegates in 2018. Jonathan Boniface, a well-known activist in the Crofton area who has pushed for construction of a new high school, has also declared for the Republican primary. Michelle Corkadel, an aide to Schuh, had been gearing up to run for Council but now seems more likely to seek a seat on the school board.
Haire, who lives with her husband and children in Edgewater, close to Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) home, will should have easy access to campaign funds. That will serve as a contrast to Walker, who has run afoul of Schuh and many Republican insiders – and was recently the target of attack mailers put out by state House Republicans.
In a brief video on her campaign Facebook page, Haire is referred to as “a mother, a leader, a fiscal conservative.”
“As a mom, I know we must do more to protect our residents – and especially our children and young adults – from the opioid crisis and the crime that goes with it,” Haire said in her statement. “Specifically, in Council District 7, we need to fund more police officers to adequately cover the large geographic area of the District. I will do that. And we must have better, newer, and smaller schools. As a civil engineer and lawyer who becomes involved with school construction and ways to finance that construction, I am confident I can work with County Executive Schuh and the Council to leverage funding for more, smaller schools that will promote learning and achievement without increasing the burden on taxpayers.”
Haire is an associate at Fox Rothschild LLP, the same Washington, D.C., law firm where her husband is a partner. She practices federal contract law, using her experience as an engineer to handle cases dealing with job site conditions, lengths of contracts, and bid protests.
Haire has also been a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates, a group that advocates for neglected children who need permanent homes. She was also appointed by Schuh to serve on the Anne Arundel County Women’s Commission.
The 7th District takes in the southern part of Anne Arundel County. James Kitchin, a former high school teacher who is getting a public policy Ph.D from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is seeking the Democratic nomination.