Aberdeen activist considers run for city government

Patrick McGrady, a local political activist who ran for state delegate two years ago, said he is open to the possibility of running for mayor or city council member in his hometown of Aberdeen.

"A lot of people have been talking about what I was going to run for," McGrady, who has been active with Campaign for Liberty and Republican groups, said Wednesday. "I'm open to a lot of stuff."

McGrady said he has been looking at how Mayor Mike Bennett and the council have run the city, and he has been disappointed with how they spend the city's money, noting the rising bills for city utilities.

McGrady said he would personally prefer not to run, but will if no one else steps up.

Bennett, who is the final year of his second two-year term, has said previously he plans to run for re-election. The mayor elected by city voters in November will serve a four-year term under changes made to the city charter since the last election.

"I want to see somebody in there who is going to have a vision for the city of Aberdeen. Aberdeen is in a perfect location geographically. I don't see why we have budget issues, I really don't," McGrady said. "We can't get along with the county and we can't get along with the proving ground."

Candidates must file personally with the city clerk between Sept. 9 and Oct. 7. Candidate packets will be available at city hall and online by Aug. 15. Aberdeen's election is Nov. 8.

About when he will make a decision, "with the election coming up shortly, it will have to be soon," McGrady said. "If I'm called to run, I guess I'll have to. I would rather support someone else…It's not something I need to do to be happy with life."

He said he knows a lot of business owners will support him, although he is not sure who else would.

"Some people want me to get out of politics altogether," he said. "It would be hard to say how I would do in the city election."

McGrady said although a lot of people in the city are qualified to be mayors, they do not want to run because they are scared of the process.

"There's a lot of people who live in Aberdeen who would be great mayors," he said. "We'll see what happens."

McGrady is a property manager for his family's Holly Circle Townhouses in the city, and has most recently been active in helping his father, Leonard McGrady, renovate the site of the original Grace Methodist Church on West Bel Air Avenue.

McGrady lost a bid for a seat in the House of Delegates in last fall's general election. He did win a seat on the Harford County Republican Central Committee.

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