Six candidates are running in contested races for La Plata town council seats in the May 4 town election.

The candidates were asked why they should be elected. Their responses are below. In addition, a new candidate in an uncontested race, Evalyne Bryant-Ward, was asked why she is running. Mayor Jeannine James is unchallenged and will be re-elected.

Ward 1

Jim Goldsmith

Age: 75

Occupation: real estate agent

Like you, I want to be informed about what is happening in my town, and I don’t want to hear about important decisions after they have been made. As a former La Plata council member, I am well aware of the policies and procedures that come with this important position. I am at a stage in my life where I think it is important to give something back to my community. Therefore, I feel I could serve you well as your Ward 1 representative.

Matt Simpson (incumbent)

Age: 36

Occupation: private practice attorney

Now more than ever, we need to ask, “Where do we go from here?” I have a proven record of supporting the entire community. I ran as someone who could bridge the dual roles of businessman and conservationist. I remain committed to using both to build our community with measured growth that makes sense. I have four years working for the residents to build a more complete, modern community without further taxing our residents or infrastructure.

Ward 2

Jonathan Norris

Age: 21

Occupation: legislative staffer, Maryland General Assembly

My main objective is to increase our town’s walkability and to enroll the La Plata Police Department in the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System. My job, along with being a lifelong La Plata resident, uniquely enables me to effectively advocate for our town as we move into the future. Please visit to learn more about my goals for La Plata, and remember to vote May 4.

Matt Trollinger

Age: 37

Occupation: attorney

My wife, three kids and I live in Kings Grant, where I have been a homeowner since 2012. I am a trial attorney and owner of Trollinger Law, a small business in Waldorf. I hope to work hard for La Plata residents with my educational, professional and community experience. Email me for further information or questions at or check out our campaign on Facebook at TrollingerforLaPlata.

Ward 3

Evalyne Bryant-Ward

Age: 57

Occupation: director of operations, UM Charles Regional Medical Group

I want to be a part of the conversations and efforts to facilitate growth while maintaining our unique beauty. We are still classified rural, but have outgrown that designation and need to prepare for what growth means for us. I am confident in the efforts of the past town council, and want to contribute to the framework that has been established. I never intended to just live here, but I wanted to serve as well.

Ward 4

Amy Posey

Age: 48

Occupation: judiciary clerk, Charles County District Court

I am not a politician. I am an average person with a skill for listening and adapting into this new experience. I have listened and processed people’s ideas. Those conversations and ideas have made an impact on me. I might not be the first one to answer or be the loudest voice, but I am willing to work hard and vote my conscience for La Plata and its citizens. Remember to vote on May 4.

David Jenkins

Age: 72

Occupation: retired town planning director

I bring a unique perspective to town council. This includes planning/community/economic development work experience (and education) in the private sector (consulting firms) and in government at the local, regional and state levels. I know how government works. I want to bring these experiences and passion to the town council decision-making process to continue La Plata’s progress. This is an opportunity to serve and give back to La Plata, my home since 1986.

Twitter: @CalebSoMdNews

Twitter: @CalebSoMdNews