Candidate Survey: Erik Lofstad for Baltimore County Council, District 6
Office Sought and District
Baltimore County Council: 6th Councilmanic
BS- Technical Writing, Towson University, MS- Computer Science, Loyola University Maryland
I’m currently a Business Systems Analyst
Baltimore County Republican Central Committee Member and volunteer for several campaigns
Social Media Accounts
Why are you running for office?
The county and town is where our Founding Fathers initially envisioned the most political power to be in our Republic- closest and most accountable to the people, and yet today we see the complete opposite. Corruption and contempt for the people is the norm in Baltimore County. My goal is to provide complete transparency and accountability to county government and eliminate the cronyism that runs rampant. I plan on donating a large portion of my salary to groups that need help and not use a county issued vehicle. If someone complains on a community Facebook group about something that is county owned or maintained I’ll go out and fix it myself and not wait around like there is nothing I can do. I’ve also been beating the debt drum for years that is now getting attention and I want to be the line in the sand on tax increases. I also believe there is a way to incentivise county workers to find savings and get rewarded for it. The idea that nothing can be cut is absurd and any rank and file worker could tell you 20 ways we could save money.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Rand Paul. He is consistent in his beliefs no matter who is President. He’s worked closely with Trump on some ideas and praised him for them, but also criticized moves he disagrees with. I believe in calling balls and strikes based on your principles for all of our elected officials, even the ones in your party.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Political: The Federalist Papers, because it provides first hand insight into the thinking behind the founding document of our Republic. Economic (because that is inseparable from politics unfortunately): Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.
What will be your top priority in elected to this position?
Being the all important and deciding 4th vote on the County Council. Whether the next County Executive is a Republican or a Democrat I plan on holding everyone accountable and moving the Overton window toward ideas that advance individual liberty and responsible development.
What is the biggest issue facing your county?
Many will say crime and safety and as a recent victim of crime I largely agree, but the coming tsunami of debt issues, deferred maintenance and predictable calls for tax hikes will cause an economic black hole bigger than a few thousand Towson Rows and suck every taxpayer in with it.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
There are over 3000 counties in the United States, and one of them is the best at something a county could be expected to do from a cost to benefit perspective for every service, so there are plenty of examples. I’d like to find ways to save money before considering cutting taxes. I don’t believe in debt financed tax cuts forcing the government’s hand in the future to suddenly cut spending. Often it’s done by screwing over retirees, cutting services AND increasing taxes and I don’t want that.
What is your position on a county tax cap?
I think in a situation where the State is constantly subsidizing a County or City like it is with Baltimore City, it’s in the best interest of the people in that City and for the entire State to save that area from itself politically with a tax cap. Crime is a huge issue in the city- but the property tax rate is more than double anywhere else in the State. It’s punitive to anyone who’d want to invest there.
What is your position on land use issues?
I believe in property rights- if you want to build a 1000 ft pink skyscraper at the end of a residential cul-de-sac that is your right. But in a truly free market no one would do that because that is incredibly stupid. Where would all of the traffic go and what are the regional implications? Where would all of the sewage go? Are the utilities at the street capable of supporting such a structure? Where would all of the kids go to school? In a free market- the building owner would have to address all of these issues in order to make a profit, but we don’t have that in Baltimore County. We have a system where the building owner makes contributions to a Councilwoman and suddenly its the taxpayers on the hook for upgrading services or WORSE- just dumping a development in an already overdeveloped and overcrowded area and the previous citizens and their kids suffer the consequences. I’d work with property owners to help realize their goals- but you can’t stuff 10lbs of you know what into a 5lb sack, and I’d direct them to other properties that would work better or right size their vision.
What is your position on public safety?
I believe our police force needs all of the tools at their disposal to constitutionally catch and prosecute criminals. I also believe the best defense against crime starts right in the home. I’d love an explicit castle doctrine to be passed at the state level, but would work to see what could be done at the County level. I also believe in professionalizing and funding neighborhood watches so that they can document crimes and aid in police investigations. Further, I’d love to implement a one time $500 tax credit for owners in strategic locations to have outside cameras and security systems.