State Delegate District 18 (three seats) | Bethesda Magazine

State Delegate District 18 (three seats)

 

Republican

 

Linda Willard

Where you live: Chevy Chase

Date of birth: April 26, 1969

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Attorney. Currently a consultant with TCH Group, a government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Past: Attorney with Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand; counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Filed as a candidate for delegate to the Republican National Convention (endorsed by Gov. Jeb Bush) in Congressional District 8. After Bush withdrew, ran as a delegate endorsed by Gov. John Kasich. Elected in June to Montgomery County Republican Central Committee for District 18.

Campaign information:

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

I am running to bring balance to our county’s representation in Annapolis. Montgomery County’s State delegation is comprised solely of 32 Democrats, even though Democrats make up only 60 percent of registered voters. Most races are decided in a closed Democrat primary, denying representation to Independents and Republicans. All voices matter. I am running as a Republican and reaching out to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.

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

Montgomery County is growing faster than any other county in the State, putting a tremendous burden on our schools, transportation system and environment. Currently, the County’s residents contribute substantially more in corporate and personal income taxes to the state budget than the county ever receives back. I will fight for our county to ensure we get a fair return on our investment by: (1) bringing State funds back to our schools that reflect our growing student population; (2) ensuring smart investment in transportation that actually reduces congestion; and (3) advancing policies that create jobs and grow our county’s tax base.

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

The Montgomery County Delegation of the House of Delegates has done little to promote economic growth or job creation. They have supported borrowing and spending without paying any heed to expanding our tax base. Governor Larry Hogan won with a platform that focused on jobs and the economy, and he has delivered on his promises, in spite of our delegation. If elected, I will support legislation to put an end to Montgomery County’s liquor monopoly, and I will fight to ensure we create more jobs and opportunities and eliminate red tape and burdensome regulations without increasing taxes.

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

As a public policy lawyer, I have drafted federal legislation on transportation policy, environmental protection and infrastructure investment. I also have brought together business interests, environmental groups, government agencies, and citizens’ groups to find innovative solutions. I am proud to have worked as a Senate staffer to protect the Chesapeake Bay, and if elected, I will work with regional and federal partners to ensure full funding for the Bay and fight against drilling off Maryland’s shores. I look forward to bringing together agriculture, business and environmental groups to fight the runoff and air pollution that harm the Bay.

 

 

Democrat

 

Al Carr (incumbent)

Where you live: Kensington

Date of birth: Nov. 2, 1965

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Full-time legislator. Former sales engineer for Verizon.

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Appointed to Maryland House of Delegates in December 2007. Elected in 2010 and in 2014. Candidate for delegate in 2006. Elected to Town of Kensington Council in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Appointed mayor pro tem, Town of Kensington, in 2006 and 2007.

Campaign information:

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

I have been endorsed for re-election by the Teachers (Apple Ballot), Sierra Club, Senator Van Hollen, Congressman Raskin, Volunteer Firefighters, healthcare workers (SEIU 1199), and NARAL Pro Choice Maryland. It is an honor to represent District 18 in the House of Delegates. We have made progress but much remains to be done. I am running to continue the work of supporting world class schools and improving the quality of life in our communities.

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

Transportation. I am proud to have supported a historic Metro funding agreement. I oppose Hogan’s plan to widen the beltway with private toll lanes. Instead we must improve transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. I will push to upgrade MARC commuter rail with all-day, two-way service, weekend service and run-through service to Virginia. I support bus improvements like smart signals to move people efficiently and avoid paving green spaces. I will continue my leadership on “don’t block the box” legislation for safe and efficient intersections. I will keep working to make transportation agencies consumer friendly and end predatory toll collection policies.

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

I would like to see the Maryland General Assembly take stronger action to improve voting rights, campaign finance laws and government transparency. I have worked with Congressman Jamie Raskin to introduce legislation to reform the process of drawing congressional districts. I am proud to have supported legislation to allow public financing of county offices but we need to expand public financing. I would also improve the disclosure rules for campaign contributions and ban corporate donations as many states have done.

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

As your Delegate, I have successfully championed passage of over 30 bills into law. I have earned a reputation as an accessible, friendly and effective representative. My engineering degree and analytical skills make me a good problem solver. 20 years of private sector experience gives me customer service skills and insights into economic development needs. Before serving as a Delegate, I served three terms as a Kensington councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem. I have a deep understanding and appreciation of municipal government which is important because District 18 has 9 municipalities — more than any district in Montgomery County.

 

Emily Shetty

Where you live: Kensington

Date of birth: Jan. 11, 1984

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Democratic health care and technology federal government relations strategist for the Stanton Park Group. Former job: senior director for federal legislative affairs at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Vice chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (current); advocacy committee co-chair and member of the board of directors of the Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County. Ran for District 18 delegate in 2014.

Campaign information:

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

I am running for Delegate because I believe local and state government must be the back-stop to the harmful policies of the Trump Administration. As an attorney who has spent 10 years working to advance progressive policies at the federal, state and local level, I am hoping to bring my policymaking experience to serve as a strong advocate for my community in Annapolis.

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

Healthcare. While the ACA has undoubtedly provided an incredible benefit to many families throughout the state, many who are enrolled in plans through the Maryland Exchange have seen premiums skyrocket. I support establishing a single-payer system to ensure universal access to healthcare. I also support policies that will make prescription drugs more accessible — namely, I would like to see an affirmative disclosure requirement that would require pharmacists to disclose the cash price vs co-pay/co-insurance price for any prescription a patient seeks to fill, as well as the cost of any generic options that they may wish to consider.

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

Gerrymandered districts have resulted in power being taken from the voters. However, in the 21 states that have currently enacted redistricting commissions, many of them are currently set up to give the majority party more seats on the commission, which results in control of the process. I support the formation of an independent commission that limits the direct participation of elected officials.

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

I am an attorney, and have spent the last decade working to advance progressive policies at the federal, state and local level. Professionally, I fight to ensure access to high quality healthcare for patients with kidney disease, rare diseases and cancer. Locally, I have served on numerous boards of local community groups and am the current Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. This experience has allowed me to advocate for numerous policies locally, while establishing strong relationships with local elected officials.

 

Jared Solomon

Where you live: Chevy Chase, Rock Creek Forest neighborhood

Date of birth: April 3, 1985

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Legislative assistant, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), May 2014 to September 2017. Assistant vice president, Bose Washington Partners, starting January 2018.

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): No prior public office held. Political director, Montgomery County Young Democrats (2014-16); Democratic precinct chair (2014-present); member of the Democratic Central Committee Ballot Initiative Review Committee (Spring 2014-Summer 2014)

Campaign information:

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

I’ve been an advocate in Maryland since moving to Baltimore to teach. I decided to run because I was frustrated we weren’t making progress at the Federal level and in Maryland, we have a Governor promoting policies I believe are bad for the state, particularly on education, infrastructure, and the environment. I want to show that in Maryland we can care for our most vulnerable, create high-quality schools, protect our environment, all while still prospering.

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

I think the most important issue in this race is education, particularly the quality and accessibility of our programming, the condition of our school buildings, and the equitable distribution of resources. If elected, I would prioritize a new funding formula that increases funding statewide and brings more resources to our county for our school programming and school construction, particularly in the areas where it’s most needed. I will also push for universal child care & early learning opportunities and better career & technical education pathways so students have choices beyond a 4-year degree.

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

I believe one issue major issue that has been handled poorly is gerrymandering and the redistricting process. I support creating a nonpartisan committee to draw our congressional & legislative district lines. When the legislature controls the process, it is subject to inherent bias that disenfranchises voters and undermines the public’s faith in fair elections. Voters should pick their elected officials, not the other way around.

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

My whole career has been in public service and education — as a high school teacher in Baltimore City, a school system administrator for D.C. Public Schools, and policy advisor in the U.S. Senate. I know how to implement policy and how to write and pass laws improving our community. In Maryland, I’ve worked across the state for progressive policies like the Dream Act, earned paid leave, and gun safety. I helped found Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence and chaired the “Educators for Van Hollen” group. In Annapolis, I will have the knowledge and experience to effectively represent Montgomery County.

 

 

Green

 

Jon Cook

Where you live: Silver Spring

Date of birth: Aug. 22, 1976

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Area manager, Capitol Petroleum Group LLC

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): This is my first attempt at any elected office.

Campaign information:

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

I am running for this office because I believe the people of District 18 and Maryland at large are not getting the progressive representation and political outlook that they want and settling for the representation they are told they can have.

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

The most important issue in this race is public school funding and construction. If elected, I would make it my first priority to clearly explain to voters why our schools are in the shape they are in, and ensure our schools get the help they need via casino profits immediately.

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

The current House has handled the school funding issue poorly. Montgomery County has a severe school construction crisis and both executive and legislative state government are at fault. I would have never agreed to this “rainy day fund” half solution nor do I think that best serves the voters in this district or state.

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

I am a long-term resident, taxpayer, homeowner and parent of two public school-going students in District 18 and Montgomery County. I have been actively involved with the organization of our county and state Green Party for the last five years. We need a change in government on all levels, and the Green Party best represents that change and therefore I am ready to make it happen.

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