In a recent letter, I was attacked for having events with current and former leaders in the Democratic Party . I'm a Democrat; so it should not be shocking that I associate with other Democrats. That's not the political machine.

The political machine is drawing a line in the sand and refusing to engage with anyone from the other party. The political machine is assuming that because one Democrat/Republican has a set of beliefs and tactics — everyone from that party must share them. Precisely what Mr. Stewart and some in the "Hogan Team" have done. But most of our delegation couldn't be farther from Gov. Larry Hogan , who understands compromise and bipartisanship.


The biggest difference between myself and our current representatives for District 5 is that I have actual policies I want to see enacted in Annapolis to improve the lives of everyone in Carroll County. My beliefs guide me; not my party.

I believe in term limits. I've pledged to limit myself to two terms and will introduce legislation to that effect.

I believe in universal healthcare that increases coverage and affordability for all Marylanders. It is the missing piece in our fight against the opioid epidemic.

I believe in world class schools for our students and the opportunity Kirwan presents to finally get the funds Carroll needs and deserves.

I believe in an economy that works for both labor and small business.

And last, but definitely not least — I believe in bipartisanship. Bipartisan legislation is the best legislation. Right now on both a federal and state level, the party in power rams through as much legislation as they can, only to have it undone when the other party gets into power. Meanwhile voters have whiplash trying to keep up with both extreme agendas. How is that beneficial for society? It makes more sense to have bipartisan legislation that both parties can live with and therefore stands the test of time, or at least terms.

I've been called naive for thinking this way. But frankly — if you're more comfortable fighting each other instead of the system — you're part of the problem and you need to get out of my way.

Emily Shank


The writer is a Democratic candidate for House of Delegates representing District 5.