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Haven Shoemaker: Time for new leadership in Annapolis

I believe that everyone has something to contribute to their community. Since 1997, I've chosen to do that through public service in elected office.

The experience that I've gained, however, after having served as a Hampstead Town Councilman, Mayor of Hampstead, and now as County Commissioner, is that far too often we take one stride forward, only to be slapped two steps backward by Annapolis. It is for that reason that I am seeking the opportunity to represent Carroll County in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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Now, what is the problem with Annapolis? Well, during the O'Malley Administration, we've seen tax hikes galore, fee increases, increased regulation, gun grabs, social engineering, and a whole lot more. People and businesses are fleeing across the state line every day. And meanwhile, we've been sending legislators to Annapolis for multiple terms who have been ineffective at stopping any of it. Heck, we can't even get a gaming bill through the General Assembly to help our volunteer fire companies and non-profits to raise money.

It is high time for new leadership in Annapolis. It is also time for some good old fashioned Carroll County common sense. You see, we've taken the opposite approach to governance in Carroll County.

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As Mayor, I presided over a town that has one of the lowest tax rates in the state. As County Commissioner, I have voted to support tax cuts three years in a row. We are the only county in the state to have done that. We've cut the property tax rate twice, the business personal property tax rate, and the piggy back income tax rate. Just in property taxes, that's over $20 million in savings to the taxpayers of Carroll County. We've also put Carroll County on a trajectory to significantly reduce it's overall debt. And as a consequence, Carroll County is experiencing an uptick in economic development activity.

Well, isn't that a novel idea? When you cut taxes, it generates more business. Annapolis should try that notion on for size--like reducing the personal and corporate income tax rate, and eliminating the tax on pensions which is forcing our older folks to move out of state to survive.

Also, here in Carroll County, we have secured term limits for County Commissioners, imposed a super-majority requirement to raise any county tax, made English the official language of the county, streamlined our cabinet to save the taxpayers money, shifted law enforcement to the Sheriff to save millions of dollars, and successfully resisted the stupid, silly, and ridiculous rain tax.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe this is the type of mindset we need in Annapolis. And frankly, I'll put my record up against any in the race for Delegate. Furthermore, I'm not seeking to serve out my remaining days in the cushy confines of the State House. I will serve no more than two terms in the House of Delegates. Two terms are enough for any for one office in my estimation; from dog catcher, on up.

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So when you contemplate for whom to vote in the Republican Primary on June 24th, ask this question: does the record match the rhetoric? And when you do, I'm hopeful that you will choose to vote for Haven Shoemaker for Delegate. Thank you for reading, and God bless!

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