Scott Paul, Democratic challenger running for county commissioner

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

| 28 Oct 2021 | 03:14

I’m a longtime Sussex County resident, attending elementary school in Andover, and middle and high school in Newton. I’ve worked with Pass It Along, speaking with students around the county about following their passions and purpose.

People are always intrigued by my ability and desire to communicate with people from all backgrounds and political affiliations.

This year I founded the H3AL Coalition (Highlighting Equality and Equity through Education, Advocacy, and Love) with other stakeholders in the community. My profession is music, where I’m an artist and industry professional.

Three pressing issues in our county:

1. Lack of diversity in culture and perspective of our representatives. In the last 20 years, there have been 20 commissioners in Sussex County. Of those 20, it has been 20 white Republicans (17 men). This longtime one-party rule has led to complacency, corruption, and worse outcomes for all constituents. It has led to stagnation where there could’ve and should’ve been much more progress. This lack of diversity has also left marginalized people in this county without any voice or consideration.

2. Internet speed and access. Our county has notoriously terrible internet, although we have the capability to make faster internet more accessible to everyone in Sussex County.3. Failing Sussex County businesses. Many places throughout the county never recovered from the 2008 economic crash and this pandemic brings on a whole slew of new issues. Sussex County has been losing residents and closing businesses for a while now.

How I am addressing these problems:

1. I have already begun tackling the issue of diversity. My candidacy is an attempt at diversifying our commissioner board and bringing in new ideas. This year I helped launch the H3AL Coalition, specifically with the intention of spreading more understanding around various issues and making this area more welcoming for BIPOC.

2. I have already started meeting with the Sussex County based fiber-internet company Planet Networks to discuss ways to expand this throughout the county. The county already has the funding to bring high speed internet to every resident, so it is a matter of having people in position to make it happen. Once I’m in position, I will make sure it happens.

3. Better internet throughout the county will be an enormous boost for businesses, and that’s just the start to fixing this issue. I will work directly with the Chamber of Commerce to implement strategies to better promote our businesses and make sure they seize opportunities for funding.