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State Senate District 20

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REPUBLICAN

Dwight Patel

• Where you live: Silver Spring

• Date of birth: July 30, 1972

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

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years: More than 15 years of campaign management and consulting. Appointed to Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, July 2011. Elected to Republican Central Committee, 2014. Trump at-large delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, 2016.

• Campaign information:

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

I am running to bring good governance, reducing the size of the State Government and fixing the Transportation infrastructure.

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

Transportation is the biggest issue. We need more roads and should look at all possible transportation solutions. If I need to go into the city, I use Metro. However, mass transit isn’t a silver bullet that will fix our transportation woes. I support the governor’s plans to widen the Beltway, I-270 and the Baltimore Washington Parkway. I oppose the BRT on Route 29 and Rockville Pike. BRT would displace many residents who live in the vicinity of the BRT.

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

The current Senate failed to bring back the death penalty in Maryland for mass shooters. I do believe we need to have the death penalty to use against the worst of the worst criminals. I would introduce legislation to bring back the death penalty in Maryland.

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

I have over 20 years of real world experience in the business community. I bring to the table problem solving skills and I keep my solutions simple.

DEMOCRAT

William C. Smith Jr. (incumbent)

• Where you live: Silver Spring

• Date of birth: Feb. 6, 1982

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: State senator. Attorney (private practice). Naval officer (reservist)

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years: Elected state delegate in 2014. Appointed to Maryland Senate in 2016.

• Campaign information:

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

As a Silver Spring native, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities my community has afforded me. While our quality of life has improved dramatically during my lifetime, challenges in education, transportation, the environment, criminal justice and equal access remain ever-present. Residents of the district demand strong, progressive leadership and responsive constituent service. I am running for office to give back to my community and fight for a more just and equitable Maryland.

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 access to affordable post-secondary education and job certification programs. This past session, I introduced legislation creating an endowment to cover the cost of higher education. This endowment would start by supporting Pell Grant eligible transfer students from community colleges to four-year USM institutions, and eventually, as the endowment grows, every Marylander admitted to a USM institution could attend tuition-free. I also have consistently voted in favor of making community colleges and vocational schools more affordable, and, in some cases, free. You can see my full plan on my website here.

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

We in Maryland have not done enough to expand opportunities for the children of immigrants, especially with respect to providing access to quality post-secondary education and job certification training. Specifically, the Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act expansion, legislation that would have expanded opportunities for the children of our undocumented neighbors to access educational, social, and economic opportunity. I will continue to fight for the DREAM Act expansion should I be given the opportunity to continue serving in the Senate.

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

My past experience as a delegate and a senator has provided me with tremendous insight into the legislative process. I have also had the opportunity to solve constituent problems and address the unique needs of our community. As a lifetime resident of Silver Spring, I believe these experiences, coupled with the deep appreciation I hold for our community. have prepared me to hold this office.

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