Four Republicans and three Democrats are vying for their parties’ nominations for the Maryland House of Delegates race in District 42B’s primary this year.
The candidates will face off on June 26 for the chance to compete for the district’s two seats in the state legislature.
The district stretches from parts of Parkville and Towson in the south, through Lutherville-Timonium and Cockeysville, and north to the Maryland-Pennsylvania line.
After the June 26 primary, the top two candidates from each party will move to the general election on Nov. 6.
District 42A also has a House of Delegates seat, but the primaries in that race are uncontested. Republican Stephen McIntire will face incumbent Stephen Lafferty in the general election.
The primaries in the Maryland Senate race are also uncontested. In the November election, Republican Chris West will face Democrat Robbie Leonard.
But the District 42 Senate ballot will have another name on it: Gretchen Maneval. The candidate announced in late March that she would no longer seek the office due to medical issues, but dropped out too late to take her name off the ballot.
Find your polling place and district at https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/PollingPlaceSearch.
Ray Boccelli – Republican
Ray Boccelli, 62, said he has had two jobs in his life: He spent 20 years in the Army, and 21 years as a supervisor in the Baltimore County Police Department.
Now Boccelli, of Timonium, is running for a third job, in the Maryland House of Delegates.
“I fight for fairness and equality, that’s what I’ve done my whole life,” Boccelli said. “Running for office is just an extension of that.”
The candidate said his focus is on “quality of life issues,” like clean streams, traffic mitigation and school safety. He said he would support more law enforcement in schools and looking at whether school security measures are adequate.
“Individuals that live in Baltimore County have the right to take their families to restaurants and not have to worry about seeing a drug deal,” Boccelli said. “They have the right to take their children and grandchildren to parks and recreation centers, and not have to worry about stepping on hypodermic needles and plastic baggies.”
Boccelli said he hopes when voters go to the polls, they research candidates’ records — not just what they say they want to do, but what they have done.
With his 41 years of public service, Boccelli said he thinks he has a “proven record” that fits the bill.
Michele Guyton – Democrat
As a developmental research psychologist, state Board of Education member and longtime advocate for families with disabilities, Michele Guyton said she is running for delegate to work on the state’s education system.
“It comes down to supporting families,” said Guyton, 52, of Parkton.
To achieve that goal, Guyton supports universal pre-Kindergarten, boosting mental health supports in schools and improving teacher-student ratios in classrooms.
The self-described progressive Democrat is also concerned about protecting the environment, for instance, by creating developer impact fees.
Another concern of Guyton’s is expanding access to health care because, she said, “I believe it really is a human right.”
Guyton said she would prioritize shoring up the Affordable Care Act for Marylanders and keeping prescription drug prices low. Eventually, she said, “we probably need to discuss single-payer [health care] in Maryland, but we have to be able to pay for it.”
Guyton said she would avoid supporting tax raises, instead advocating for redirecting priorities and using funding sources like lottery money and the legalization of marijuana.
Though Guyton’s views are progressive, she said she is adept at working across the aisle, supporting good ideas “regardless of who is sponsoring them.”
Still, Guyton said, in the last decade liberals in 42B “haven’t been well represented … now is the time for us to have some representation. I feel like I am the right candidate for that.”
Sachin Hebbar – Democrat
Sachin Hebbar wants to bring the perspective of a scientist to the General Assembly.
“Having spent my lifetime in academia, having been a scientist and member of the PTA, education is my passion and priority,” said Hebbar, 44.
The Lutherville resident was born in India and moved to the United States after getting a Ph.D studying radiation therapy for cancer. He now works at Johns Hopkins on health care “big data.”
After the 2016 presidential elections, Hebbar said, he became involved in grass-roots organizations trying to save the Affordable Care Act and the environment.
Hebbar’s platform is centered around education, the economy and the environment.
The candidate wants to ensure Towson and Dulaney high schools get new buildings and wants an audit of the Baltimore County school system.
Hebbar also supports moving Maryland toward renewable energy sources like solar power by encouraging its use on parking lots and commercial buildings.
As for the economy, Hebbar said, “I’m primarily for small businesses.” The candidate supports taxing Internet sales to put local business on better footing with behemoths like Amazon.
“We need to make sure that we put small businesses in our economy who hire locally and spend money locally, that they get the support they deserve,” Hebbar said. “They need breathing room to reinvent themselves.”
Justin Kinsey – Republican
Justin Kinsey thinks the Republican Party has a messaging problem.
Kinsey, 32, of Sparks, worked for a few years as a high school teacher in West Baltimore and came out of it dismayed at the lack of opportunity available to his students.
“It opened up my eyes to how, as a Republican Party, we don’t want people to drain the system,” Kinsey said. “We want to limit or curtail welfare programs, decrease crime and create jobs. But we can’t do any of those things without recognizing that a lack of education leads to a lack of opportunities, leads to an increase in crime and a decrease in productivity.
“If we are going to preach self-reliance, we have to be ensure that people can be reliant on themselves,” Kinsey said.
Kinsey, a manager of a commercial ambulance company, said he believes that social ills like poverty can be solved using conservative principles.
In education, for instance, Kinsey said he wants to target spending so more time can be spent on instruction in elementary schools, in order to build basic skills like reading and math. He also wants to audit school systems to make sure educational dollars are being spent efficiently and equitably, in particular by examining administrative costs.
Kinsey said he also wants to help create opportunities for formerly incarcerated people by eliminating blanket bans on licenses for those who have been convicted for careers like driving taxis.
“We need to take a hard look at the barriers we put up for individuals that wish to better their lives,” Kinsey said.
He also wants to rearrange regulatory agencies, tying their funding to fees from licensing the businesses their offices regulate so that they will grow and shrink with the industry.
Kinsey said he scorns “rhetoric-driven” politics in favor of a more pragmatic approach to solving problems.
“Anger is not a platform,” Kinsey said. “There are real solutions that still have a conservative principal and base to their nature. We just have to be willing to think about it.”
Nino Mangione – Republican
Nino Mangione said he was inspired to run for office by his late grandfather, Nicholas Mangione, a developer who grew up in a poor Italian immigrant family and built a real estate empire.
Now, Nino Mangione, 31, of Parkville, said wants to channel the patriotism instilled by that American success story into his campaign for what he calls “common sense” conservatism.
The candidate has worked for conservative talk radio station WCBM, which his family owns, since graduating from Towson University. He currently serves as a Web manager and was the host of a weekly talk show until April, when he said the station asked him to put it on hold due to equal-time requirements.
Mangione’s campaign has focused on creating “safe communities,” which he said can be done by getting “tough on illegal drug dealers” and preventing Maryland from becoming a sanctuary state. The candidate is vocal about his opposition to illegal immigration.
He also wants to cut “senseless regulations” and taxes in order to boost business in the state.
“You can’t spend money you don’t have,” Mangione said, adding that “just because the calendar year changes, that doesn’t mean the budget needs to increase.” To cut spending, Mangione said, he would “take a good look at everything, and see where the money’s going.”
Mangione wants to move toward expanding charter schools. He said one of the biggest issues he sees in education is that schools, in his view, are teaching “social justice issues” at the expense of basic skills like English and math.
“It’s important to emphasize that hard work and determination should be the lesson we teach children,” Mangione said. “You want to indoctrinate them, let’s indoctrinate them with that.”
Daniel Nemec – Democrat
Daniel Nemec, an accountant, was dismayed at the results of the 2016 presidential election.
Some of his friends marched in protests, he said, and others posted on Facebook. Nemec, 32, of Parkville, decided to run for office.
Nemec’s top priority, he said, is public education.
“Improving public schools and graduates has a beneficial effect on the economy, crime rates, welfare payments and other government spending — and also, it’s just the humane thing to do,” Nemec said.
At the core of Nemec’s philosophy is the fact that Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the United States, one of the world’s wealthiest countries – so “there is no reason we should be shortchanging public schools,” Nemec said.
Nemec wants to pay teachers more and deliver on pension promises, adequately heat all public schools and update aging computers and textbooks.
Nemec also supports scaling back fossil fuel dependence through a carbon dioxide production fee, also known as a carbon tax.
“We need to encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior,” Nemec said.
Health care access is another priority for Nemec, who wants to expand the threshold for Medicaid, which he said excludes people who make too much to qualify but are still poor.
“In my opinion,” Nemec said, “if you’re born American, you have the right to have health care.”
Tim Robinson – Republican
Tim Robinson has worn a lot of hats. The anesthesiologist has worked in a grocery store, at a granite quarry and in a steel mill doing masonry work. After medical school, he worked in rural Louisiana as part of the Public Health Service. And four years ago, he ran against Jim Brochin for state Senate.
After his loss to Brochin, Robinson, 65, of Timonium, said he thought he would never run for office again. But eventually, he said, he decided it was the best way to accomplish his two priorities: creating an impartial redistricting process and re-electing Gov. Larry Hogan.
Redistricting is a major priority for Robinson, who rails against the state’s spidery, haphazard congressional districts, stretched by gerrymandering. Robinson called them “disenfranchising.”
In instances where parts of a district are not contiguous or similar to the majority of it, Robinson said, “we’ve taken an entire community and drawn a circle around them and said, ‘We’re not interested in what you think.’”
“We need to draw lines that encompass communities that make sense,” Robinson said. The candidates said he is opposed to gerrymandering by either party, and would work to get districts redrawn on nonpartisan lines.
On education, Robinson said schools are getting enough funding, but they are spending it “poorly.”
The candidate wants to focus on boosting school system transparency, and to move away from programs like STAT in which every student is deemed to need a computer.
The physician also said he is focused on health care. Robinson sees the Affordable Care Act as “designed to fail,” saying that Maryland lawmakers have to “play defense” to what happens in Washington. To create choices in the insurance market, Robinson said he wants to build a consortium of neighboring states, a system in which insurers applying to sell plans in one state would easily be able to transfer that application to the others.
Though Robinson wants to more evenly spread the cost of high-risk patients, he said he does not believe in universal health care because “everybody should have skin in the game.” Universal health care, he said, would disincentivize responsible self-care, like diet and exercise.
“You can tell people what they need to do to be healthier,” Robinson said, “but you can’t make them do it.”