The Republican party in District 13 has a fresh face this campaign season. In April, North Laurel resident Danny Eaton, 29, filed for a House of Delegates seat. And on Jan. 10, Jimmy Williams, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Maryland, decided to jump into the race as well.
Williams, a Jessup resident, said he had been mulling a run for some time.
"I've been really into politics for a really, really long time," he said. "I got active in high school and I've gotten to the point where I'm tired of just complaining about everything."
So in August, Williams made it a point to track down District 9A Del. Gail Bates, a Republican, at the Howard County fair. The two had already spoken on the phone about whether he would be eligible to run in District 13 this year.
Since then, Williams said, Bates has "been a really good mentor."
The day Williams filed, Bates released an endorsement, saying he could provide Howard County voters "an honest, independent voice in Annapolis who puts their interests first."
Williams said his priority if elected would be lowering the state's taxes and spending.
"It's pushing a lot of families, not only in this district, but across the state, to a breaking point," he said.
He criticized Gov. Martin O'Malley's recently released budget, which had no new taxes.
"They may say no new taxes this year, but the fiscal model is out of control," he said.
Williams said he thought fixing "redundancy" between state government agencies was the key to reducing spending.
"We have a lot of waste because agencies aren't talking to each other," he said. "There's a lot of jobs that are doubled up."
Williams said he, Eaton and an expected candidate for senator in District 13 would campaign as a group, and hoped to recruit a third delegate candidate to round out the ticket.
The Democratic incumbents in District 13 have long campaigned as "Team 13," and this year have incorporated School Board member Janet Siddiqui into the group to fill the seat that current Del. Guy Guzzone will leave behind in his bid to replace retiring Sen. Jim Robey.
Another Democratic candidate, Oakland Mills community organizer Fred Eiland, filed in July.
Williams said he didn't think his age would be a disadvantage. The finance and broadcast journalism double major said he planned to take a semester off to make time for the legislative session if he is elected.
"Just because I'm 20 years old … doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm doing," he said. "Everyone will see throughout the campaign that I've got the right ideas, I've got the right stuff."