Republican State Sen. J.B. Jennings is seeking his third term in District 7 representing western Harford and Eastern Baltimore counties.
Republican State Sen. J.B. Jennings is seeking his third term in District 7 representing western Harford and Eastern Baltimore counties. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Republican state Sen. J.B. Jennings, of Joppa, who has spent more than a decade in the Maryland General Assembly, is being challenged for his Senate seat by Democrat Kim Letke, also of Joppa, a former police officer who is a government contractor.

Jennings, 40, lives in Joppa; he was a member of the House of Delegates from 2003 to 2011, and he was elected to his first term in the Senate in 2010. Jennings took office in the Senate in early 2011.

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He is a former co-owner of The Mill of Hereford in Baltimore County, but he has sold his controlling interest.

In addition to tending his family's farm in Joppa, Jennings also works for Chesapeake Testing of Belcamp, a ballistics and materials testing firm, and he is a member of the Maryland Air National Guard and the Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Company.

Jennings said he wants to continue to fight in the Senate for farmers, members of the military, veterans and businesses.

"Farmers are the No. 1 environmentalists because they're the ones out there every day taking care of their land," he said.

Jennings said he also understands the issues business owners face regarding taxes and regulations.

Jennings talks about working with Democrats in Annapolis.

"The big issue for me is, you have somebody who is willing to work with the other side but not compromise their values," he said. "We all have the same goal of making the state a better place to live."

Letke, 53, a Joppa resident, served as a Baltimore County police officer until she went into security contracting in 1988.

She is the principal of Letke Security Contractors Inc. of Joppa and she works on state and federal contracts.

"I know about the state of Maryland and all the wasteful spending it does," she said.

She made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 2012, but she wants to obtain support for small business owners, consumers and equal pay for men and women, according to her website.

Letke also spoke against the increased costs Harford County Public Schools parents are facing, such as a fee to participate in extracurricular activities.

"I think it's wrong for parents to put extra money out for things," she said.

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