Catonsville resident Jesse Pippy, a Republican, recently filed as a candidate to challenge incumbent Democrat Edward Kasemeyer for his seat in the state Senate. (Submitted photo / January 12, 2014)

Jesse Pippy grew up a "military brat," living in several states, Europe and Asia.

Now, settled in Catonsville, he says he wants to make a difference in the community where he plans to raise a family.

Pippy, 31, filed Jan. 27 to run for the state Senate seat in District 12, which represents portions of Howard and Baltimore counties, from Columbia to Catonsville.

The district is currently represented by state Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, who filed for another term in July. Kasemeyer, a Democrat, has been the senator in District 12 since 1995.


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Pippy, a Republican, is Kasemeyer's only challenger.

While a host of candidates have been drawn to the three empty delegate seats in District 12, Pippy said he thought he could accomplish more in the state Senate.

The business manager for Mile One, regional automotive dealership and service provider, said he wants to see change at the state level, particularly where jobs and the budget are concerned.

"I'm concerned for the future of our state," he said. "I'm concerned that raising a family in Maryland will continue to get more difficult…. The main reason I'm running is I want to make a difference."

Pippy said his top five issues are jobs, taxes, education, public safety and balancing the budget.

"I think the jobs situation is most important, and the reason for that is when a family member has a good job… they're able to support themselves; they're able to get up in the morning and contribute," he said.

His goal is to ease taxes on businesses and individuals.

"Every day we hear about the unfriendly climate for business" in Maryland, he said. "And the legislators in Annapolis — we don't hear what they're doing to fix that."

Pippy said he wants constituents to be able to see their tax money put to use. "If you're going to continually raise taxes, the money needs to be going somewhere," he said.

On education, Pippy said he has reservations about the Common Core, the much-debated set of educational standards in classrooms this year.

"Maryland is one of the first states to really take a hold of that program and there's a lot of debate about it, but we don't know exactly what sort of impact it's going to have on education in the state, and I think the best way to find that out is to talk with teachers, parents, administrators and find out what works and what doesn't," he said.

On the environment, Pippy said he takes a cautious approach toward fracking, the controversial natural-gas extraction process that has been on hold in Maryland since 2011. He said legislators needed to weigh the practice's environmental impacts with its potential for job creation.

Pippy said his goal is to bring "change" to the State House.

"In order to implement change, there has to be change," he said. "There has to be new ideas, there has to be a new approach.

"I think we need to focus on the big picture, and we need to implement some policies that actually will get us to the goals we want."