By Joe Murchison
Laurel Councilmember Brencis Smith (Ward 2), currently council president, is running for mayor. He is the third candidate to announce, joining fellow councilmembers Martin Mitchell (At large) and Keith Sydnor (Ward 2).
The filing deadline is July 21, and the election will be on Nov. 7.
Smith, 34, has served on the council since 2019 and is the only current councilmember to serve two terms as council president.
A native of Hartford, Conn., Smith came to Maryland in 2012 to attend Washington Adventist University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management. He has been working in finance and accounting for 10 years and is currently a financial analyst for a D.C.-based engineering firm. He moved to Laurel in 2015.
Smith is an avid musician who sings and plays piano, tenor saxophone and drums. He was minister of music at his hometown church, and is director of the children’s choir at his church in the District.
He said his vision for the city is to enhance public safety, spur economic development, improve infrastructure and initiate new recreational programming.
As for public safety, the Laurel police “already do a great job,” he said, but he hopes to enhance their outreach and rapport with the public. “When no one feels uncomfortable talking to police,” crime is dampened, he said.