2022 | Politics

Nonprofit executive running to be voice for East County on council

Fairland resident Chris Bolton seeking to represent District 5

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Chris Bolton, a local nonprofit official and Fairland resident, is running for District 5, a new County Council district in East County.

Photo from Chris Bolton

This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. Jan. 14, 2022, to include Kristin Mink, another candidate in the District 5.

A local nonprofit leader and longtime East County resident is joining a crowded race for a new County Council district seat.

Under the finalized new County Council map, Chris Bolton, 39, of Fairland, is running in District 5. That is a new district in East County that spans from White Oak up to Spencerville, and from Burtonsville to parts of Leisure World.

Bolton, a Democrat who is married and a father of five children, said in an interview Thursday that he is running to be a voice for a part of the county long neglected.

He works as a food service director, helping run a free and reduced meals program for The Children’s Guild, among other duties. The Children’s Guild is a local nonprofit that focuses on serving school children with special emotional, intellectual and social needs.

Bolton served in the Navy from 2001 to 2005. 

A lifelong Montgomery County resident, Bolton said he has lived in East County for 27 years.

He identified three major issues on which he’s focused on for this campaign:

  • improving the permitting process for new businesses
  • restoring trust between local police forces and the public
  • bettering opportunities for youth in his district — with more afterschool programs, sports teams, mentorship opportunities or similar ventures.

Bolton said that if elected, he would do his best to represent middle- to lower-income families in his district. He said he would likely not use the county’s public financing system.

He believes it is more important to listen to constituents and meet their needs, versus fundraising or using a County Council seat to further one’s political or financial ambitions. 

“I’m not running for office to tell people what they need. I’m running for County Council to be able to listen and formulate a consensus, should I win,” Bolton said. “I feel like with all the money in politics, [people] feel like their legislative process is bought and paid for, and I want to be the stop to that.”

Bolton joins the following candidates, all Democrats, running for the new District 5:

  • Brian Anleu, a Hillandale area resident and chief of staff to the Montgomery County Planning Board
  • Fatmata Barrie, a White Oak resident and attorney
  • William “Chip” Montier, a Fairland resident who works as a paralegal for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Daniel Koroma, a White Oak resident, community organizer and county official
  • Kristin Mink, a Silver Spring resident, former MCPS teacher and nonprofit leader
  • Jeremiah Pope, a Hillandale resident, fundraising consultant and chief of staff for Del. Charlotte Crutchfield

The new County Council map expands the council from five to seven districts, and keeps four at-large seats that represent the entire county. That brings the total membership to 11 people.

The filing deadline for this year’s elections is Feb. 22. The primary election is scheduled for June 28, and the general election is set for Nov. 8.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com