U.S. Senate

Ben Cardin, Democrat

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Q: What issues do you feel are most important for voters in your district?

A:

We need to come together - not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans - to develop and put into action a credible, balanced plan to control our budget that is comprised of a sensible reduction in government spending, along with tax fairness, and smart investments to spur job creation.

Q: How do you plan to address those issues if elected? Please be specific.

A:

The federal government has a responsibility to invest in programs that boost job creation and help small businesses. We need to work across party lines for a sustainable budget that moves us toward less debt while investing in key priorities for job growth such as infrastructure, education, research and energy.

Q: What do you see as the greatest problem facing Marylanders today and how will you solve it?

A:

Jobs. We need to bring more jobs to Maryland and protect the jobs we have. Our economy is recovering slowly, but too many Marylanders are still struggling to find work. We need a responsible budget that lowers our debt while investing in programs that boost job creation.

Q: What lesson(s) have you learned while traveling around your districts during the campaign process?

A:

Throughout the devastating economic crisis we experienced, I have been witness to the incredible resiliency of Marylanders. Having grown up and raised my family here, it was no surprise, but it has motivated me to redouble my efforts to ensure our economic recovery reaches every Maryland family and Maryland community.

Q: Partisan politics has always been an issue in Congress, can you tell me one thing you support that was proposed from another political party other than your own?

A:

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I have a strong record of accomplishment and successful track record of working across party lines to get things done for Marylanders. I've worked with Senator McCain on human rights legislation, Ayotte on budget legislation, Roberts and Snowe on tax/retirement issues, Alexander on ending mountaintop removal mining and many others.

Dan Bongino, Republican

Q: What issues do you feel are most important for voters in your district?

A: To build and maintain a strong prosperous economy that is citizen-centric, not government-centric.

Q: How do you plan to address those issues if elected? Please be specific.

A: The best way to build a consistently strong economy is by producing jobs through our peerless private sector. We must hold the line on tax rates on income allowing Marylanders to plan their lives, cut our corporate tax rate which is the highest in the world to the international average at a minimum, and we must perform a cost-benefit analysis on any new regulation to eliminate the growing burden on small business. We also need to start dealing with our suffocating debt now. We cannot continue to spend money we do not have.

Q: What do you see as the greatest problem facing Marylanders today and how will you solve it?

A: Maryland's over-reliance on a government-centric economy is hurting our private sector. We are a state gifted with tremendous natural gifts, an educated workforce and geographical advantages. Losing businesses and prosperous employment is unforgivable. Maryland needs to diversify its political ecosystem and focus on private property rights and private sector economic growth to balance out its historical over-reliance on government.

Q: What lesson(s) have you learned while traveling around your districts during the campaign process?

A: Grassroots matters. You can buy television advertising, consulting advice, office space and yard signs but you cannot buy a team of dedicated, passionate volunteers willing to stand with you in searing heat and extreme cold working to bring your message to every corner of this great state.

Q: Partisan politics has always been an issue in Congress, can you tell me one thing you support that was proposed from another political party other than your own?

A: School choice is not a partisan issue. Every Maryland parent deserves the opportunity to send their child to a school which provides a world-class education. I will not rest until we can seek a bipartisan education overhaul which will transform our country to an international leader in educational attainment.

Independent candidate Rob Sobhani's representatives did not respond to multiple attempts to contact him for this article.

House of Representatives, District 1

Andy Harris, Republican

Q: What issues do you feel are most important for voters in your district?

A: Our economy is suffering under the policies of this current administration. We must turn things around by eliminating constant uncertainty and reducing over burdensome regulations that are keeping businesses from creating jobs. Government spending must be brought under control and we must reduce, and eventually eliminate, the deficit and national debt. Let's pass on the American Dream to our children and grandchildren - not more debt.

Q: How do you plan to address those issues if elected? Please be specific.

A: The USA is borrowing about $1 out of every $3 it is spending. This is irresponsible and must stop. I cosponsored the Balanced Budget Amendment that would require the federal government to live within its means, just like you and I do.

I also support the Paul Ryan budget plan that would eventually, although not as quickly as I'd like, pay off our debt and balance the budget in Washington, D.C.

Q: What do you see as the greatest problem facing Marylanders today and how will you solve it?

A: Along with or struggling economy and high unemployment, I am also concerned about health care. As a physician who has cared for patients for over 30 years, I have seen firsthand the critical impact health care has on the daily lives of Marylanders. America's health-care system needs reforming. The President's health-care law fails to fix the problems and instead puts health-care decisions in the hands of government bureaucrats and insurance companies rather than doctors and patients. I will bring common sense reform measures that allow you to be in control of your health-care decisions and keep America's health care the best in the world.

Q: What lesson(s) have you learned while traveling around your districts during the campaign process?

A: In the 18 months I have represented Maryland's First District, I have held over 60 town hall meetings across the expansive district. While each region and county has its own unique and wonderful characteristics, people from Carroll County to Ocean City are all worried about the future of our nation.

For the first time in our nation's history, citizens are afraid that their children will not have the same opportunities they did. My family has lived the American Dream and I want to build prosperity and restore America to its greatness for your children and mine.

Q: Partisan politics has always been an issue in Congress, can you tell me one thing you support that was proposed from another political party other than your own?

A: Reductions in the corporate tax rate to attract businesses and jobs back to America have broad bipartisan approval, and I support such efforts.

John LaFerla, Maryland Democratic Party write-in candidate

Q: What issues do you feel are most important for voters in your district?

A: People have different priorities so we cannot generalize, but common themes are a) need for good-paying jobs; b) stabilizing the housing market; c) ability to afford college; d) preserving Medicare and Social Security.

Q: How do you plan to address those issues if elected? Please be specific.

A: We need to reduce the Federal deficit in the long run, but in the short run we need to focus on jobs and not austerity. We can do much better for homeowners who are under water but still trying to make regular payments. We can keep our promises to seniors by strengthening Medicare and Social Security by increasing the "cap" on taxable income - currently at $108,000 - and seeking ways to maintain quality health care while reducing costs.

Q: What do you see as the greatest problem facing Marylanders today and how will you solve it?

A: The Chesapeake Bay has over 10,000 miles of shoreline and is a great economic engine for our region in addition to being a great natural treasure to be protected. Maryland is blessed with a moderate climate, well suited for both agriculture and development of clean energy such as solar, geothermal, and wind. I would encourage our research institutions to work with farmers and industry to develop state-of-the art methods to improve productivity of food and energy while minimizing impact on our environment.

Q: What lesson(s) have you learned while traveling around your districts during the campaign process?

A: I have learned that there are good and generous people everywhere you look. People want to pull themselves up, but also want to help their neighbors and community to thrive. They realize that we are all in this together, and only by working together will we arrive at a brighter future.

Q: Partisan politics has always been an issue in Congress, can you tell me one thing you support that was proposed from another political party other than your own?

A: There are several things that we agree on right off the bat. Both parties want the government to work more efficiently, to reduce waste and to use tax revenues in the most effective ways possible. Both parties agree on basic principles of fairness, liberty, and justice - it's simply that we view all of these important values from a slightly different perspective. As they say, "the devil's in the details."

House of Representatives, District 8

Chris Van Hollen, Democrat

Q: What issues do you feel are most important for voters in your district?

A: I have had the privilege of meeting with hundreds of individuals, community leaders, and small business owners throughout Carroll County. The top issues they raise are: jobs and the economy; providing top quality educational and work training opportunities; getting our fiscal house in order; and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

Q: How do you plan to address those issues if elected? Please be specific.

A: Targeted investments in our workforce through education and training. Invest in research, innovation and modernizing infrastructure to win global competition. Make financial markets more accountable and ease access to credit for businesses. Tax reform to encourage manufacturing here, not off-shoring jobs. Reduce deficits with balanced approach proposed by bipartisan commissions.

Q: What do you see as the greatest problem facing Marylanders today and how will you solve it?

A: Maryland faces the challenges outlined above, but we can leverage our assets to boost job growth. We must build on our strong education system, including Carroll Community College, to develop highly trained workers and partner with businesses. Maryland is poised to benefit from continued federal investments in research and our innovation economy.

Q: What lesson(s) have you learned while traveling around your districts during the campaign process?

A: Throughout our district, I find more that unites than divides us. While each area has distinct needs, everyone benefits from quality schools, a good transportation network, thriving small businesses, health and retirement security and a healthy environment. I'll work every day to advance the interests of Carroll County.

Q: Partisan politics has always been an issue in Congress, can you tell me one thing you support that was proposed from another political party other than your own?

A: I worked for one of Maryland's great leaders, Senator Mac Mathias - a moderate Republican who worked across party lines. His support of principled compromise was a role model for me. I've worked with Republicans to pass numerous laws. Recently I joined Paul Ryan on legislation to prevent pork-barrel spending.

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Ken Timmerman, Republican

Q: What issues do you feel are most important for voters in your district?

A: Promoting jobs through growth, cutting deficit spending and massive government overreach, and rebuilding our national defense after 10 years of foreign wars. We also must defend our freedoms here at home by securing our borders, securing our markets, securing our vote, and enforcing our immigration laws.

Q: How do you plan to address those issues if elected? Please be specific.

A: I have a 10-point jobs plan at TimmermanForCongress.com that includes allowing consumers to choose between $3.80 gasoline made from imported oil and Methanol at $2.20 produced from U.S. natural gas. To curb spending, I favor a clean balanced budget amendment to wipe out the deficit within five years.

Q: What do you see as the greatest problem facing Marylanders today and how will you solve it?

A: The defense sequestration cuts, brought about by my opponent's failure on the Congressional Super-Committee, will cost our district an estimated 18,000 jobs, and lead to around 50,000 job losses throughout Maryland. We must get our spending and deficits under control before our nation goes bankrupt like Greece.

Q: What lesson(s) have you learned while traveling around your districts during the campaign process?

A: From local bankers in Westminster and Mount Airy, I have learned the crushing impact on homeowners and small businesses of Dodd-Frank; at Lehigh Cement I've learned of the huge burden of the EPA on job creators. We must get government out of the way so businesses can create jobs.

Q: Partisan politics has always been an issue in Congress, can you tell me one thing you support that was proposed from another political party other than your own?

A: I fully support bi-partisan efforts, championed by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida), to pass legislation enabling state and national pension funds to divest from companies that provide goods and services to terrorist countries. Our national security and foreign policy should not be used as a political football.

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