Comptroller | Bethesda Magazine

Comptroller

 

Republican

 

Anjali Reed Phukan

Where you live: Ocean City

Date of birth: 1978

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Auditor for Maryland Licensing and Gaming

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Ran for comptroller in 2014 as independent write-in

Campaign information:

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

I will update processes and systems to better serve all Marylanders. I will promote eliminating taxes on things like retirement income and Energy Star purchases, as well as revamp the offer-in-compromise program. For roads and infrastructure, I will make sure spending is more equitable across Maryland, for all to enjoy its amazing beauty.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

Increasing efficiency and transparency is my top priority. I will bring transparency across the comptroller’s office, not just in the general ledger, but also in how the state audits and comes to final resolution with taxpayers. This will also include updating information systems for integration with other agencies and even within the department; usability for employees, businesses, and citizens; and security of the networks and data.

3 – What is one major issue the current comptroller has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

While I do not like to talk badly about others, from 2010 to 2014, Franchot’s office miscategorized 14,000 tax returns and sent $8.7 million to wrong towns. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many nonpartisan negative Maryland report cards for transparency, audits, and ethics. It starts with having educated and experienced real accountants lead the state’s top accounting office. We need to update our accounting ways across the board in Maryland. Learn more at MsComptroller.com.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

I believe the top tax collector, auditor & maintainer of the public general ledger should be proficient in accounting. I am a certified public accountant, legally licensed to practice public accounting in Maryland. I also have an MBA in finance & another master’s degree in information systems. I have private, federal & state work experience in financial management systems, tax, accounting & audit. Thank you for your consideration.

Democrat

 

Peter Franchot (incumbent)

Where you live: Takoma Park

Date of birth: Nov. 25, 1947

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Comptroller of Maryland

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Comptroller of Maryland, 2007-present; Member, Maryland House of Delegates, 20th Legislative District, 1987-2007; 1988 Democratic Nominee, 8th Congressional District of Maryland.

Campaign information:

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

While I am extremely proud of the results that I have been able to deliver during my tenure as Comptroller, there is much more work to do. If elected to another four-year term, I will continue to prioritize respectful, responsive, and results-oriented customer service; advocate for much-needed reforms in our procurement system; protect Marylanders from tax fraud and identity theft; and be an independent voice for Maryland taxpayers.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

The one critical issue that continues to challenge tax administrators and law enforcement officials alike is combatting the threats posed by tax fraud and identity theft. As financial criminals continue to utilize more sophisticated tools to compromise the financial security of hardworking Marylanders, my agency continues to employ award-winning and innovative strategies to safeguard taxpayers’ personal information and bring these criminals to justice. I will continue to work with legislators, partners in law enforcement, and peers across the nation to identify ways to bolster our existing efforts to combat this crime epidemic.

3 – What is one criticism you have received while in office and what is your response? (100 words max)

It is no secret that I have had disagreements with leaders of my own party, and they have never been shy to question my loyalty to my party. I’m a lifelong Democrat and have an extensive record that highlights my allegiance to the core principles of the Democratic Party. However, I also strongly believe that it is critical for both parties to put down the partisan swords and find ways to work together, and deliver results for the people we serve. I am proud of my strong record as a Democrat, but even more proud of my record of bipartisanship.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

Over the last 11 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving as your comptroller. I’m proud of the results I’ve been able to deliver; from processing tax returns in less than 3 business days, to combatting tax fraud, to my efforts to reform our broken procurement system. I also served 20 years in the Maryland House of Delegates representing Montgomery County, where I served on the Appropriations Committee and chaired the Transportation subcommittee. I believe my record of achievement serves as a testament to my skills and ability to continue serving in this position.

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