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SCHOOL CLOSINGS

Candidates discuss balancing Carroll's needs with their other jurisdictions

Newly drawn district lines in Carroll have changed the landscape of the county's House and Senate representation.

The legislature reshaped district boundaries to align with the 2010 U.S. Census. The boundaries essentially funneled most of Carroll's House of Delegates representation into District 5. A portion of Carroll falls in District 4, which is mostly Frederick County, and a portion falls in the largely Howard County District 9A.

Five Republicans are running for House of Delegates District 4, and voters can select three candidates in the June 24 primary to move on to the November general election. One Democrat is running unopposed. Two Republicans are running for the state Senate District 4 seat. One will move onto the general election, and face the one Democrat running for the seat. One Republican is running unopposed for state Senate in District 9 and will face one of the two Democrats vying to for the spot in the November election.

Five are vying to become a District 9A delegate with two remaining on the November ballot. The two Democrats will automatically move on to the general election. 

Since District 4 and 9A House delegates and District 4 and 9 senators only represent a sliver of Carroll, the Times asked candidates how they will balance Carroll's needs with those of their other jurisdictions?

House of Delegates District 4 Republicans

Kathy Afzali: I always have thrown myself 100% into my Delegate job. Mount Airy will be a new addition to my district and if I am so honored to be re-elected I will be responsive to my constituents here. When I ran for Delegate the first time I was so frustrated by the lack of information that I would received from my Delegate at the time. Between my newsletters and mail, I think my constituents know their Delegate and I know them.

Barrie Ciliberti did not respond to multiple calls and emails. 

Wendi Peters: Voters throughout District 4 share similar concerns. In talking with them, I am hearing concerns about taxes, jobs and economic growth, overreaching government, protecting our agriculture community, ensuring a quality education for our children and preserving our constitutional rights. As Delegate, I will represent all of the citizens of the District, just as I represented all the citizens of Carroll County and Frederick County living in Mount Airy.

Kelly Schulz: There is no doubt that being a part of two delegations will result in more work. However, the issues in Frederick and Carroll counties are very similar. A major part of my current role is to work closely with the agricultural and business communities. I believe my experience over the past 4 years has helped me to fully understand the issues in their entirety, not just specific to one jurisdiction. Carroll County residents are not being harmed by a larger delegation. Over the past 4 years, I have understood my role in working with the Frederick County commissioners. The delegation is charged with advocating for the issues that are vetted through an extensive public process. Once the delegation receives those proposals, it is their obligation to act on the County's behalf. In my opinion, the more legislators that you have representing those interests, the better off the county will be.

David Vogt III: From traveling around Carroll and Frederick Counties over the past several months, I have heard the needs and concerns of the citizens of both counties. Overwhelmingly, I have heard people say that they want and need lower taxes, fewer regulations, and more freedom. I will always strive to be an available, responsive, and proactive representative of every single one of my constituents, and I will fight for the needs of every single one of you, without compromising my conservative values.

House of Delegates District 4 Democrat

Gene Stanton: What Annapolis needs to understand is that our rural counties have needs just as great as our urban counties do and that we cannot afford to ignore any part of our state. As a resident and state representative of a rural district I will fight everyday for the needs of our citizens. This is the main reason that we need to elect members from both parties in rural areas to fight for the needs of all of our citizens on both sides of the aisle. We need to send a few moderates of the majority party like myself to the Legislature, so our area is represented when the state budget is crafted. We can't all be on the outside looking in, or our area will never get its fair share.

Senate District 4 Republicans

David Brinkley: The same way I always have. I meet continuously throughout the year with my Carroll County constituents. I maintain strong ties to the business and education communities, and I have a large number of individuals in a variety of groups, throughout my District, that I count on for regular updates on priorities and needs. I have proven over the last decade that splitting my time and focus between two counties does not negatively affect either, in fact it strengthens the bonds, and I have had the opportunity to inject conversations and insights learned in one county into solutions for the other county.

Michael Hough: Carroll and Frederick Counties (District 4) are conservative, and they deserve a conservative Senator. Over the course of the campaign I have spoken to thousands of voters in Frederick and Carroll Counties and they want similar things like lower taxes and a Senator who will fight the far left government in Annapolis.

Senate District 4 Democrat

Dan Rupli: The 4th District is situated mainly in Frederick County, with a small corner in Carroll County. I believe that the key issues that have inspired me to run for this office are the same in both places. I want to do significant work to ensure educational excellence in both Counties by first introducing and passing the Tennessee Promise in the Maryland State Legislature to ease the cost burden of going to college or trade school. I want to preserve from over development the wonderful lifestyle and agricultural heritage of this entire area by adopting smart growth standards that would allow reasonable, well planned growth, without destroying our beautiful green and open spaces. I would want to support and initiate property tax reforms that would ease the burden of our senior citizens who live on fixed incomes, so that they can remain in their homes after retirement.

House of Delegates District 9A Republicans

Christopher Bouchat: You go and meet with people, listen to their needs and try your best to address them. I am originally from Howard county, have extensive political experience there and working relationships with all the Republican officials there, so I have a good foundation to work from. As the only Carroll County resident running for district 9A, I am the only hope we have of not losing four resident delegates and becoming submissive to the needs of a neighboring county. Nobody wants to be treated like a stepchild.

Trent Kittleman: Certainly, our first responsibility is to accurately and conscientiously represent the interests of both counties in Annapolis. Fortunately, the residents of western Howard County and southern Carroll County (Sykesville) have very similar attitudes and opinions on state government. I see representing these two counties as a valuable asset for both counties in Annapolis, and a pleasure for me. Good legislators do more than legislate, however. Good legislators stay on top of the issues that affect constituents in both counties. As my campaign literature says, I will be "Your voice, from your door, to Annapolis." In order to do so, I must be both available and proactive, participating in the political and to some extent, the community life of both counties. Staying in touch with the Central Committees in both counties is critical, as is our attendance at major party events such as the Lincoln Day Dinners.

Kyle Lorton: In addition to taking an oath to uphold the laws of Maryland and presumably the US Constitution as a State Delegate representing District 9A, I will be taking an oath to represent the people of both Carroll and Howard counties. I expect to respectfully represent both sets of constituencies in a professional manner. I hope to be an active listener and "I will always be accessible" which I state on my door hanger. Developing an appropriate communication process will be important to make sure I am hearing the various concerns and issues that are on the minds of District 9A residents as well as hearing from me as well. A common theme, however, that is common to many of the District 9A residents both in Carroll and Howard counties is that conservative principles work.

Warren Miller: Yes, Howard County has no Municipalities and with its form of government there is far less reliance on delegation members to help with things County Government is empowered to do.

Frank Mirabile: By scheduling regular meetings with local representatives, business owners and farming organizations as well as instituting town hall meetings to engage the residents of Carroll County. I am asking to server the citizens of Carroll County not be their overlord. In addition I will be accessible via phone, email and social media.

 House of Delegates District 9A Democrats

Walter Carson: I expect the needs and interests of Western Howard and Southern Carroll counties are similar. I would seek to pursue the needs of my constituents irrespective of where they live. And where the needs were actually opposite or in conflict, I would listen carefully to both sides and then try to do the right thing as determined by my conscience or my judgment.

James Morrow: District 9A represents Howard and Carroll County so these counties are my priority. I would review all others from the perspective of the need, the benefit, and the ability of the state to pay. In a democratic society budgets are passed by compromise, so ultimately my focus is on representing my constituents and not simply voting against all government spending.

 Senate District 9 Republican

Gail Bates: My 8 years as Assistant to County Executive Charles Ecker, serving as his representative to the Maryland Association of Counties gave me a deep understanding of the needs of both urban and rural counties. As a result, I believe I am uniquely qualified to both understand the differences and the needs.

Senate District 9 Democrats

Ryan Frederic: I don't live in Carroll County but my father did for many years before he retired. My step sisters went to Liberty high school. When I came home from college I would look forward to friday night dinners at Beck's or Liberatore's. I still have friends and family in Sykesville. As a Senator from District 9 many Carroll County residents would be my constituents. Of course, I would view their needs as equal to any other member of my constituency.

Daniel Medinger: A state senator is a representative. As a representative, I will be concerned for all members of Senate District 9.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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