Ward 5 Race Gets Warmer With Second Filing
Jefferson Street resident Clayton Williams registers campaign for Hyattsville City Council seat.
Ward 5 residents have one more city council candidate to consider, 3611 Jefferson Street resident Clayton Williams, in the race to fill the ward's two council seats up for grabs in this May's Hyattsville council elections.
Williams, who registered on Thursday afternoon, will be running against fellow ward resident Joseph Solomon, though how dire the stakes are for either candidate depends on if another soul decides to enter the Ward 5 race. This is because Ward 5 residents will be casting ballots for two candidates, one to fill the four year vacancy left by the impending retirement of longtime ward representative Ruth Ann Frazier, the second to fill the two years remaining on the now vacant term of former Ward 5 Councilor Nicole Hinds Mofor, who resigned earlier this month to focus on raising her newborn child. The Ward 5 candidate who receives the most votes takes Frazier's four year term. The runner up will inherit Mofor's remaining term and will have to face re-election again in 2015 to secure a full four year term.
Without a third candidate in Ward 5 to face the prospect of an actual empty-handed loss, the race between Williams and Solomon would in essence be a race to see who gets the longer term.
Williams outlined a broad three point policy platform, centered on infrastructure improvements, engaging constituents and attracting development to his ward.
"I want to make sure that infrastructure and improvement projects benefit the community as a whole, including Ward 5," said Williams. "We also need representatives who feel comfortable getting suggestions and complaints from citizens."
Williams also said that the city needed to make strides to improve West Hyattsville's image by encouraging development and business in the area.
"For Ward 5, there's a contradiction between the perception and the reality when it comes to crime. Our crime numbers have been going down year after year." said Williams. "I feel perfectly safe walking through West Hyattsville, but at the same time there are a lot of anecdotes out there, which–to be sure–crime does happen in West Hyattsville, but over the next couple of years, the area needs to make incremental improvements to reflect the reality that it's not a high crime area."
Williams, who has lived in Hyattsville since October 2011, has been a regular fixture at Hyattsville city council meetings since last September, using his attendance to mingle with city council members and municipal activists.
Williams, age 33, was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. After graduating from Myers Park High School in 1997, Williams went on to earn a degree in English and journalism in 2001 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
After graduation, Williams worked as a loan processor at Chase Manhattan in Charlotte, then took a job at the Center for Health Care Quality managing a satellite office in Chapel Hill.
Williams in married to Lonna Hays, and the two have a son, George, age 15 months.
In 2008, Williams began studying law at the Georgetown University Law Center, earning his law degree with a masters in taxation in 2011 and passed the Bar exam in Virginia. He now works for BloombergBNA constructing online learning materials for tax professionals.