Bryan “Puff” Barthelme, 62, of Mechanicsville filed Friday as a Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates. He is seeking the job now held by Del. John F. Wood Jr. (D-St. Mary’s, Charles.)
Wood has represented District 29A since January 1987 and hasn’t filed for re-election yet for the seat that will represent northern St. Mary’s County.
Barthelme retired after working for a wine distributor and is now an advertising consultant, he said this week.
“I’ve always had a way of working with people,” he said Monday. “Me going to Annapolis, I do have a way of working with everybody. I’m not going up there to fight with anybody. I think it’s very important to be able to sit down with everyone and talk it out.”
In letter announcing his candidacy, he wrote: “One of the most important obstacles to families has been the ever-increasing tax burden imposed by the Democratic-controlled Maryland General Assembly and Gov. Martin O’Malley. These higher taxes and fees strip money out of the pockets of families and threaten the economic security of folks who are trying to educate their children, assist older family members with health issues and plan their own retirements. I will not ever vote to increase any tax or fee and will work hard to find ways to lower taxes and attempt to retain businesses in Maryland.”
“Until we get some [Republican] seats we’re going to get the same” in Annapolis, he said. Instead of one-party rule, “we should have a debate in Annapolis,” he said.
Barthelme also said he disagrees with fees on septic systems. He said his septic system dates back to 1987 and works just fine. “I haven’t seen any nitrogen jump in the Chesapeake Bay from my house,” he said.
And with more than 108,000 people now living in St. Mary’s, “at this point, the only smart growth is no growth,” he wrote.
Barthelme attended then-Ryken High School, but graduated from Towson High School and then joined the U.S. Army.