By Joe Murchison

Two new candidates have filed to run for Laurel mayor: Sophady Uong, 54, a project manager for the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation, and Seeta Deonauth, 25. 

Two new mayor candidates
Sophady Uong
Courtesy of Sophady Uong

Uong grew up in Florida and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Florida in 1995. He came to Maryland in 1999 and worked for the Maryland Department of Transportation and a private construction company before joining the county’s department. He moved to Laurel in 2006.

One of Uong’s projects for the county involved improvements to Bowie Road. He said his work projects have given him the chance to navigate various levels of government, from local to federal, and also connect with homeowner associations.

When asked why he is running, Uong said, “I want to give back to my community. I live in Prince George’s County, I work in Prince George’s County, so I’m passionate and proud of Prince George’s County.”

He said he was particularly interested in public safety: “to make sure everybody feels safe walking around and shopping in the city of Laurel … I believe there should be more funds for the police.”

Deonauth did not respond to numerous calls, texts and emails.

The filing period ended on July 21, and five individuals are  running for the mayoral seat. Three city councilmembers had previously announced their campaigns for mayor: Martin Mitchell, Brencis Smith and Keith Sydnor.