State Delegate District 19 (three seats) | Bethesda Magazine

State Delegate District 19 (three seats)

 

Republican 

 

Helen Domenici

 

Has not responded

Campaign information:

did not respond to additional questions

 

Dave Pasti

Where you live: Derwood

Date of birth: May 15, 1960

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Attorney at Shure, Perez, O’Connor & Pasti. Baseball agent, Diakon Baseball Group LLC.

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): No previous experience

Campaign information:

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

Basically, I’m tired of complaining about the culture of divisiveness in politics. This is my first time running for political office and like Governor Hogan, that’s a good thing. We need more quality people from the outside who have no ties to any special interest groups. I have grown up in Montgomery County and I care about the same things as all of us: safety, education, affordable health care, and quality of life.

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

I believe the opioid crisis is at the top of the list. I believe we need to follow Governor Hogan’s four-prong approach of prevention, education, prevention, enforcement and treatment. We need to open more treatment centers in the State, especially in Montgomery County. There is some funding available. It’s a matter of implementation.

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

Distracted driving has become the main cause of accidents in our country and it is primarily due to cell phone use while driving. Many States have stiffer penalties. I believe we need to take the phones out of the driver’s hands by making it mandatory to have the phone mounted on the dashboard to prevent the driver from looking down at their phone or having it in their hand. Legislation was passed to increase the fine and assess 1 point, but it did not go far enough to force drivers to not have the phone in their hand while driving.

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

I have practiced law for 29 years in the area of criminal defense, personal injury and family law. That experience actually makes me the most qualified candidate to run for House of Delegates. I have learned to listen to both sides of an issue and I have earned a reputation as an honest lawyer. I have also lead teams of 25-50 people from our church on short-term mission trips to repair homes in a depressed area in West Virginia. I have also competed in triathlons so that I can handle the daily stress of the job.

 

Martha Schaerr

Where you live: Derwood

Date of birth: March 19, 1957

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Small-business owner/real estate manager, Enneas Enterprises; stay-at-home mom.

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, 2010-present. Unsuccessful candidate for Montgomery County Board of Education (2010) and District 19 delegate (2014).

Campaign information:

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

I am running to help Governor Hogan move Maryland forward in helping people through (1) increasing the number of good jobs here, (2) making government work better without raising taxes, and (3) ensuring that political boundaries are drawn fairly. I also want to protect Marylanders from increasing risks of drug addictions.

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

I believe redistricting is the most important issue in this race. I support Governor Hogan’s nonpartisan redistricting commission proposal to create reasonable political boundaries so that all voters have a real opportunity to be heard. This change will increase voter turnout for all political parties and will help reduce partisan bickering.

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

Their refusal to act on Governor’s proposal for a nonpartisan redistricting commission shows they are more concerned about political advantage than about the engagement of voters in the process. I supported Hogan’s proposal, and I’m running to support it when he brings it up again. The gerrymandered Congressional and state legislative districts have done more to depress voter engagement and turnout than can be rectified by costly measures like expanding Early Voting dates and locations, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration. Democrats calling Hogan’s commission “unilateral disarmament” is telling. Who are they arming against? Maryland voters!

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

I’ve been on the boards for PTA’s, church and youth organizations working to help children, adolescents, families and needy women. I currently serve as a consumer member of the Maryland Board of Physicians. I have a small business managing real estate investments, but I’ve spent a decade reaching out to voters as the LD19 chair of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee. Repeatedly Democrats and Republicans have said to me, “My vote doesn’t matter.” That’s the experience that makes me want to run. I want everyone’s vote to matter!

 

 

Democrat

 

Charlotte Crutchfield

Where you live: Silver Spring

Date of birth: Dec. 8, 1963

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

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Elected to Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, 2010-14; candidate for Maryland House of Delegates for District 19 in 2014

Campaign information:

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

I am running because I will be an effective Delegate for District 19.

Our current county executive, Ike Leggett, has said of me: “It is important to have someone who truly knows District 19 and the many issues that are vital to the entire community. Charlotte has raised and continues to raise her family in the District 19 community. Charlotte is highly respected, uniquely qualified and will be an effective Delegate.”

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

Education—increasing funding for Education; bringing back Education dollars to Montgomery County; and school safety

When residents are educated there is less crime, property values increase, employers want to hire local students and the overall local economy benefits.

We need to make sure that the casino money is directed to Education and make sure that Montgomery County gets its proper share of the money allocated for Education. This will increase the amount of money spent on Education. Pass effective enforceable laws that insure the safety of students, teachers and administrators.

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

The current District 19 delegation has not handled any issue poorly. However, what is needed in the District 19 delegation is a voice that has been missing — the views, the opinions, the ideas and the passion of a mother who has raised children in the Montgomery County Public School system. School safety is not theoretical for me — it is a reality. Every day when I send my son to school, I’m concerned about his safety while in school. No other candidate for delegate can bring that perspective to Annapolis. I can.

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

All of my life experiences have prepared me to hold this office. I am rooted in the District 19 Community — I have raised children in District 19; I was elected to be PTA president at my son’s school; I was elected to be on the board of my Homeowners Association; I was elected to represent District 19 on the MoCo Democratic Central Committee; and I recently completed my term as Chair of the MoCo Merit System Protection Board.

Most importantly, my experience as a military widow who has raised children who attended MCPS has uniquely prepared me for this office.

 

Bonnie Cullison (incumbent)

Where you live: Aspen Hill

Date of birth: March 24, 1954

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Consultant to the NEA Foundation (current); president of Montgomery County Education Association (2003-09); coordinator for Teacher Professional Growth System, Montgomery County Public Schools (2000-03); speech pathologist, MCPS (1981-2003)

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Delegate in Maryland General Assembly, elected 2010 and 2014; unsuccessful race for NEA Executive Committee (2009); president of MCEA (2003, 2006)

Campaign information:

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

As a retired career special educator and then a local union leader, I have committed myself to the service of improving the quality of life of others. I believe in the power of unified and diverse communities and in my 8 years thus far as a delegate, I have strived to support building that power through good policy-making. That belief drives my work for my constituents and helping others is genuinely rewarding to me.

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

While there are many important issues, health care costs rise to the level of the highest urgency. The lack of affordable health care has a negative impact, not only on people, but also on our entire economy. I will continue to work with my colleagues to address the short-term issues in an effort to mitigate the size of premium increases. However, in the long term, we need to look at more structural changes in our health care system, including a single-payer model. I am committed to look for the single-payer model that can work for Marylanders.

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

There is a lack of comprehensive strategy to address the school to prison pipeline. Over the last 8 years, we have made some progress through the Justice Reinvestment Act, but we did not begin to address the root causes for crime. A real comprehensive approach would be aimed at keeping people out of prison and provide a pathway back to success for those who served their time. It requires making our public education system a priority to assure equal opportunities for all students, economic supports that allow families to thrive and supports for those who are at risk.

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

An important attribute of an effective elected official is the ability to listen to all perspectives and look for ways to build consensus. This includes looking for innovative ways to solve old problems. I learned these traits while supporting my special education students to succeed in a society that is sometimes challenged by differences. As president of the Montgomery County Education Association from 2003-2009, I worked closely with other educators and elected officials to make positive change. As a legislator, I continue to listen and learn from others so that together we will find the best solutions.

 

Vaughn Stewart

Where you live: Derwood

Date of birth: Nov. 15, 1988

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

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Intern, White House Domestic Policy Council. Policy director, Jamie Raskin for Congress

• Campaign information:

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

I’m running for Delegate to put neighbors first. Too often, politicians side with corporate interests instead the people. They do what their donors want instead of what their neighbors want. I witnessed this problem firsthand when I beat non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the summer of 2017. While I underwent chemotherapy and met other cancer patients struggling to afford their treatments, D.C. Republicans were trying to take healthcare away from those of us with preexisting conditions.

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 the race is the intersection between public infrastructure and the climate crisis. Both our schools and roads are overcrowded, and it’s increasingly difficult to buy a house and to afford rent. The General Assembly must invest more resources into the green construction of both schools and affordable housing. And increasing our investments in transit infrastructure is a win-win-win: We relieve gridlock, reduce harmful emissions, and create good-paying jobs. I support a third track of MARC, extending the Red Line of the Metro from Glenmont to Olney, and improving our bus service.

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

The General Assembly should more aggressively pursue good-government reforms. Too often, our legislature listens to insurance companies, prescription drug companies, corporate polluters, and utility companies rather than parents, students, teachers, seniors, and environmentalists. We need public financing of elections, an end to gerrymandering, a ban on corporate and lobbyist contributions, expanded early voting, an Election Day holiday, and live streaming of all General Assembly meetings. In the meantime, I’m practicing what I preach by rejecting contributions from corporations, their lobbyists, and their PACs.

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

As an attorney, I have specialized in regulatory law, and have represented refugees as part of my pro bono legal practice. I’ve served as the Policy Director for Jamie Raskin’s 2016 congressional campaign and as an intern for President Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council. I have also served on the boards of several organizations, including the District 19 Democratic Club, the Needwood Road Citizens Association, the Montgomery County Renters Alliance, and the Action Committee for Transit.

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