“It’s time for a change.”
Those that know me, know that I follow politics. I have enjoyed frequent debate with people on both sides of the aisle over the years. In the last twenty years or so, I have watched as the two major parties have all but refused to work together. It’s time for a change. Change is needed at all levels of government.
We all have a choice or we can sit back and complain or we can do something about it. I for one have had enough and I intend on doing something about it. After much discussion with my very supportive wife, I am announcing that I am running for Anne Arundel County Executive.
We have almost two years until the next election cycle, but it is time to start putting the work in. I will begin by putting together a nonpartisan committee to work with me generating a platform works best for everyone. The committee will consist of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. My intention is to represent everyone, not just one side.
Over the upcoming days, weeks, and months ahead, I will be announcing my stances on various issues. As I do so, I believe that many people will be shocked at the nonpartisan ideas that I would like to implement as County Executive. We need someone who can build a bridge between the two sides and find a way to come together.
“I am your average, middle-class husband, and father.”
A Little About Me
Who is Chris Jahn? I am your average, middle-class husband, and father. The guy next door that enjoys a fire in his small backyard, listening to music, chatting with neighbors and friends, while enjoying an adult beverage. For the past 30 years, I have been in business management. However, I did not grow up with the upper-class elite. I grew up in Baltimore County, in a middle-class household with a stay-at-home mom, and a father that worked three jobs to make sure it stayed that way.
At the age of fifteen, I began working as a dishwasher for a local catering company. I worked hard, showed some leadership abilities and I quickly worked my way up the ladder into a management position. Getting into management at the age of eighteen was a challenge. But, I learned a lot those early years in management. Overseeing people twice your age will teach you quickly how to work with and be respectful of others while still leading them. I fully intend on working with both sides of the aisle as County Executive.
Like many of us, I spent many years as a divorced parent. Co-parenting as a single parent can be a challenge but is also a life lesson. Over the years, my ex-wife and I have co parented well together and we have two wonderful sons to show for it. Many people believe that an ex-wife and an ex-husband cannot get along, like Democrats and Republicans cannot get along. That is nonsense.
In fact, my ex-wife was one of the first people to follow my social media pages and she has agreed to help advise me as she has a working knowledge of an area that I intend on making a part of my platform (although I am not fully prepared to announce that yet).
To those of you in a single parent situation, please take a lesson from my ex-wife and I. Children need both parents in their lives. So, put aside your differences and allow each other to play a major role in the growth and development of your children. You don’t have to remain together to co-parent together.
My Business Experience
Early on in my management career, I was in catering and my boss Dominic gave me a piece of advice that I use every day and I hope to continue to use as I venture into politics. He told me that there are not two sides to every story, there are three. There is side A, side B and the truth that lies somewhere in the middle.
While at the time he was giving me that advice to handle employee issues, the same advice holds true in politics. Then there was Joe. Joe taught me when to roll my sleeves up to help to get the job done, and when to manage and direct people. There are times when a leader needs to be willing and able to do both. Knowing the difference is key.
I worked for a small company cell phone retail company for a few years as well focusing on management and legal compliance. Working for Tom and Karl, I learned two big things from them that I will never forget. From Tom, it was that he was driven to succeed. Nothing was going to stand in his way. He pushed operations from the ground level and even as an owner was very hands on.
Tom led operations by example. Not only getting the job done but teaching others as he did so. Karl taught me that as you lead people, it is not only your team that is looking at you for leadership and guidance, but their spouses and children as well. As you lead, you not only have your team looking to you for that paycheck, but their families rely on that check as well. That is a tough burden to carry. The same holds true in politics, just on a larger scale.
Now for the past thirteen years, I have worked for an automotive retail company. I will leave the company’s name, as well as individual names out of this only because I am a current employee, and my company is a national franchise that does not endorse political candidates. With this organization, I have managed an individual retail location for several years as well as worked as an area manager, overseeing the operations of as many as twelve locations.
Eight years as an area manager leads me to where I am today, the corporate recruiter. I have learned countless lessons from the company that I currently work for. Live your value system and you will prosper for one. Train and develop your team. Doing so will ingrain loyalty and the team will gladly follow would be another.
How I Ended Up in Anne Arundel County
I may be a middle-class father and husband, but I know what it is like to struggle. Thirteen years ago, I had a first date with a wonderful woman, Dawn, who I would ultimately marry. I remember picking her up at her home (now our home) in Glen Burnie in my old beat-up Oldsmobile with the headliner stapled to the roof and a plastic bag over the window because I could not afford to replace the window. I must have done something right because she agreed to a second date, then a third.
After dating for a few months, I was evicted from my modest apartment and found a place to live thanks to the help of family. Even after being evicted, Dawn stood by my side. She is in large part responsible for the man that I have become today. I have taken my lumps over the years both personally and professionally and Dawn continues to stand by my side. She makes me a better person.
My Political Leanings
Politically, I am conservative. Over the last 20 years or so, I have watched as Republicans and Democrats have continued to widen the gap between what they fundamentally believe in. Politics has become a machine from both sides of the aisle. We need someone that can build a bridge between the two sides and find a way to come together. Someone that is not a part of the political machine.
Remembering what my old boss, mentor and friend Dominic taught me, I intend on reaching out to family and friends from both sides of the aisle to help advise me and guide me as I begin to develop my political platform. I have already begun to reach out to a few people for help, but I need a few more. I am looking people that know me well enough to call me out privately and say hey Chris, you are way off base.
Anyone can surround themselves with like-minded thinkers. “Yes” men and women. However, that gets nothing accomplished. I am starting at the campaign level, surrounding myself with people of all ages, genders, races, sexual orientations, and political beliefs to help mold my political platform.
Once elected, I will continue with the same mindset. Not getting rid of all the Democrats, just because they are Democrats, and replacing them with Republicans. I will surround myself with people from both sides of the aisle so that we put ourselves in the position truly move Anne Arundel County forward.