Kennedy: Thoughts on the upcoming election

Early voting begins later this week so I guess it's time for my suggestions as to whom to vote for. As is my usual custom I do not go strictly by party designation, and I hope that every voter will examine each candidate without regard for political affiliation.

For governor, I recommend re-electing Larry Hogan. Ben Jealous has some good ideas, but I prefer slow and steady as opposed to the throwing the baby out with the bathwater approach that Mr. Jealous proposes. Additionally, Mr. Jealous seems to be in favor of gerrymandering legislative and congressional districts in order to increase Democratic office holders.


For comptroller and attorney general, I support the incumbents since they seem to be willing to work with the governor and other Republicans.

I'm of the opinion that a change in the U.S. Senate is due. I'm still a fan of Sen. Ben Cardin but I think that some new ideas are needed, and he has served the state for more than 50 years. For this office I'm behind the unaffiliated candidate, Neal Simon, who has pledged not to caucus with either major party.

Representative Andy Harris has been one of the least, if not the least effective member of the House. He has put forth no bills that have been passed and most of his proposals didn't get co-sponsors or never even got out of committee. He also seems to fervently back any proposal of the president, including the tariffs which are hurting the corn and soybean farmers who constitute a large portion of his constituents. I suggest a vote for Jesse Colvin for the House of Representatives for District 1.

Justin Ready gets my nod for the state Senate seat. His experience is needed there. The House of Delegates seats need some shaking up though. Mr. Shoemaker has become cantankerous in his dealings with constituents with name calling and derogatory comments, especially in his letters to this paper. Ms. Rose and Ms. Krebs haven't been able to “bring home the bacon” regularly so how effective they are is a question. As well, all three failed to attend the recent forum. For these and other reasons I suggest voting for only one candidate in this race, and that would be for Emily Shank. This is to deny the incumbents at least one more vote.

The county commissioner races could prove interesting. Incumbents Steve Wantz in District 1 and Richard Weaver in District 2 are unopposed and will retain their seats. Ed Rothstein in District 5 is unopposed as well and will join the board. In District 3, Dennis Frazier should be re-elected. Paul Johnson gets my nod for the District 4 seat.

In the judgeship races, keeping the incumbents seems like the way to go. The offices of sheriff, state’s attorney, and register of wills are all unopposed and their performance has been exemplary. Since I am unfamiliar with any of the candidates I have no preference for the clerk of the Circuit Court or the Orphans Court judges although I do agree with Orphans Court candidate, Frank Henry Rammes, who favors all judgeship races, as well as those for other offices, to be non-partisan and will vote for him.

As for the Board of Education, I'm suggesting some carryovers and one new member. Bob Lord should retain his seats and add Patricia Dorsey and Commissioner Doug Howard. Howard’s experience as a commissioner could be invaluable to the board.

There are two Constitutional amendments on this ballot as well and each could have far reaching implications. The first, which I favor, creates the Hogan backed “lock box” which directs casino revenues to be used to supplement, not replace, the state's portion of aid to education. That's what we were told was to happen when we passed the authorization to allow casino gambling in the first place. The second amendment, which I am against, would allow people to register and immediately vote on election day. I may be an old fogey, but I think that there are sufficient opportunities to register before the current deadline. As well, one can register to vote at any number of places, or even online. I don't see where that is such an imposition or a denying of the franchise.

These are my opinions. Agree or disagree, but do make the effort to cast your ballot either during the early period or on Nov. 6