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Joshua Stonko: A fresh conservative voice

My name is Joshua Stonko and I am a Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in Carroll County's 5th Legislative District. I entered this race to offer my Carroll County neighbors a new, reliable, and fresh conservative voice in Annapolis.

I grew up in Manchester and graduated from the Carroll County Public School System before attending the University of Maryland, College Park to study economics. Although my career is primarily focused on growing my family's small business in Carroll County, my passion is serving my community. It is with this devotion that I previously served on staff to former United States Congressman Roscoe Bartlett and State Senator Joseph Getty. I've continued my community work by serving on the School Improvement Team at Manchester Valley High School. The School Improvement Team is composed of parents, students, administrators, teachers, and community leaders that focus on creating school policies that prepare students for college and the work force.

My family has always been dedicated to serving others in our community. My father served in the United States Army 82nd Airborne before he became a Baltimore County Police Officer. My mother is a small business owner and has spent the greater portion of her life as a sign language interpreter for the Deaf community. I hope to carry on this proud tradition by serving as your Delegate in Annapolis.

I believe that in order to solve the complex issues that we face, we must elect leaders that are focused on providing solutions to our problems. When the Maryland General Assembly voted to implement the Rain Tax, Common Core, and Governor O'Malley's gun control bill, it proved how out of touch Annapolis is with the rest of our state. Maryland deserves new leadership and this is what I am committed to providing. When elected to the House of Delegates, I will fight against higher taxes, promote localized education, and protect our Constitutional rights.

Tax Relief: My priority is lowering the tax burden placed on our families and small businesses. My first plan is to introduce legislation that repeals the Rain Tax for all Marylanders and lowers the personal income tax. I am focused on restoring economic opportunity and creating a strong environment for job creation in our state.

Improving Education: I believe that we must prepare our students for the 21st Century. I am focused on supporting teachers in the classroom, creating a stronger technological infrastructure, offering parents greater school choice, repealing Common Core, and leaving control of educational policy to local school boards.

Protecting the Second Amendment: I am a strong advocate for protecting the Second Amendment and repealing SB281, Governor O'Malley's recent gun control bill. Our elected leaders must respect the Constitution; our government's job is to protect citizens' rights, not take them away.

This election will be critical in determining the future of Maryland. In the past seven years, Governor O'Malley and the Maryland General Assembly have implemented over 70 tax and fee increases. Although some of my opponents have supported efforts to raise the flush tax and implement a transfer tax, I promise to fight against them and all other tax increases.

I love Maryland and all that it has to offer. I want to see our state leading the nation in affordability and job creation, not abusive taxation and government waste. These past few years have been difficult on the citizens of our state and now is the time for new leadership at every level of government. We need leaders that understand the problems that big government has created for Marylanders.

It's because of the focus that I place on creating partnerships with our community and my passion for conservatism that the 2012 Republican Nominee to the United States Senate Dan Bongino and the Carroll County Fraternal Order of Police have endorsed my candidacy.

I believe Carroll County voters deserve solutions. My first step when elected to the House of Delegates will be to lower our taxes, repeal Common Core, and defend our 2nd Amendment rights.

I ask for your vote in the June 24th Republican Primary election.

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