Democrat Don DeArmon Running to Improve I-270

Photo | Submitted by Don DeArmon

Don DeArmon campaigned this summer in Urbana, telling residents of his plans to ease gridlock on I-270 and sustain the superiority of the state’s public schools.

Frederick resident Don DeArmon is placing his entire campaign on just one issue.

DeArmon, a Democrat, is fortunate that it is an issue on the minds of Urbana residents and also those residents in Frederick who commute to jobs every day in Germantown, Gaithersburg and beyond.

“I’m running for the State Senate because I want to fix I-270, and I believe we need someone in Annapolis who will make this his single-minded priority in order to push a solution, which will involve construction of additional bus transit and express toll lanes,” he said.

Local residents who travel to Montgomery County and beyond are becoming more vocal about their frustrations over the length of time they are forced to sit in traffic on the roadway.

Razaq Ferhadi of Buckeystown said traffic tie-ups are the reason he will go to the polls to vote in September.

“My wife is always delayed on that portion of 270 because it is so congested,” Ferhadi said.

Fixing I-270, the interstate DeArmon calls “the state’s most-congested artery,” is the candidate’s main priority.

“It will grow by 60,000 vehicles in the next 20 years,” he said.

Ironically for DeArmon, he is fighting for a seat in a town notorious for its own form of gridlock. He’s dismayed that a 2009 state study of the interstate took 15 years to complete.

“The urgency level for current lawmakers is it is not urgent at all,” he said.

DeArmon has spent 28 years working on Capital Hill as a legislative assistant and director to several members of Congress. Most recently, he has spent time as a federal lobbyist representing non-profit organizations and municipalities.

He ran, only to lose twice, for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 6th District in 2000 and 2002.

DeArmon also wants to improve MARC Train Service, on which he’s been a 30-year commuter, by providing more express service and keeping costs down. “And we need to use up-to-date highway technologies to help with the congestion on I-270,” he said.

He said he looks forward to working with local lawmakers such as those members of the next BOCC to bring more business headquarters to Frederick, but he believes good transportation corridors are the key to the city’s success.

“This is my priority. That is the difference I can make,” he said. “No other elected official is stepping up to go to Annapolis and be single-minded. I believe we can make progress.”

Sustaining investments in Maryland’s public schools, which have been ranked number one in the country for the past two years, is another important issue for him. “Frederick County has excellent public schools, which my four children attended and where my wife teaches.”

The main reason as to why DeArmon wants to unseat current State Senator Alex Mooney is that he feels Mooney has proven himself ineffective in Annapolis. “Alex Mooney has a very poor record of working with the [BOCC] and the Board of Education to pursue resources for our public school system,” he said.

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