Hyattsville Elem. PTA Head Enters Ward 1 Race
Bart Lawrence files to run for seat currently held by Eric Wingard (Ward 1)
Hyattsville voters in Ward 1 could have a race on their hands. Earlier today, Bart Lawrence, of 612 42nd Avenue, filed paperwork to campaign for the seat currently held incumbent Councilor Eric Wingard (Ward 1). It is expected that Lawrence will have to best Wingard, who earlier told Hyattsville Patch that he intends to run for re-election, but as of 4:50 p.m. on Feb. 26, Wingard had yet to file with the city clerk's office.
Lawrence is already well known among city residents for the active role he has taken in the Hyattsville Elementary School Parent Teacher Association. He has been president of the school's PTA for the last two years, serving alongside Councilor Candace Hollingsworth (Ward 1), vice president of the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA.
Hyattsville's municipal election is scheduled for May 7, 2013. More than half of the city council will be up for election, one from each of the city's five wards, plus an additional special election to replace recently resigned Councilor Nicole Hinds Mofor. So far, by the close of the second day of candidate registration, only two other candidates had registered to run; incumbent City Council Vice President David Hiles (Ward 2) and local political newcomer Patrick Paschall, from Ward 3.
When asked, Lawrence had to take a minute to gather the words to describe why he decided to run for office. Upon gathering his thoughts, Lawrence cited concerns about the city's current or impending administrative vacancies, a desire to better manage capital improvement projects across the city, and using the power of government to create an atmosphere conducive to arts, entertainment and cultural activities.
"I think the role of the council is to make sure the government runs well," said Lawrence in an interview. "What comes along with that are things like moving projects along, like the arcade building and street projects, but there's also ensuring that the police function well and are supported…and to make sure that there's entertainment opportunities in our city."
Lawrence was born in Utica, NY, and spent most of his childhood in Clinton, NY. His father worked in a bank advertising office, his mother was a travel agent.
In 1995, He graduated from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY with a degree in literature. In 2000, He earned a masters degree in English from Clemson University.
Lawrence is married to Kathleen Geldard. They have two daughters, Anna and Molly, both enrolled at Hyattsville Elementary School. Lawrence and his wife have lived in Hyattsville since 2007. Before that, the family lived in College Park.
Lawrence currently works as a proposal manager for ICF International, a large government consulting agency.
Lawrence has also been an active contributor to a number of local forums, including the HOPE listserv. In past elections he has composed candidate questionnaires to help local voters.