Frank Mirabile stumbled into his first campaign almost by chance. When he discovered in 2010 that the only conservative candidate running against District 7 Congressman Elijah Cummings had withdrawn from the race, he decided he would fill the spot on the ballot to ensure Republican voters had a candidate.
After two congressional runs in the heavily Democratic 7th district — both of which he lost to Cummings — Mirabile has decided to campaign at the state level. Last month, he filed to run for a District 9A delegate seat. Current Del. Gail Bates recently announced that she would run for Senate in District 9.
Mirabile, 49, of Woodbine, said he is running to keep the district in conservative hands.
"The goal here is to keep these two seats a good, solid conservative voice," he said.
Also in District 9A, which represents the western county and parts of southern Carroll County, Republican incumbent Warren Miller will be running for re-election and Trent Kittleman, another Republican, announced her candidacy in July. No Democrats have filed in the district.
Mirabile sees a disconnect between Maryland voters and the State House in Annapolis, where he says there are disproportionate numbers of progressive senators and delegates.
"Maryland, in my opinion, has always been a center-right, center-left balance," he said. "We're not as left-leaning a state [as is] being represented by the progressives in Annapolis."
Mirabile, a self-employed landscape architect who lives on a 10-acre farmette in Woodbine with his wife and four children, said he wants to lower taxes on individuals and small businesses to funnel more money back into the private sector.
"The concept that we keep raising taxes and spending more and more money but the results are the same. … It's basically waking people up," he said.
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One thing Mirabile would like to see abolished is the capital gains tax, a tax on profits from the sale of non-inventory assets, such as real estate, stocks and bonds.
By reducing or getting rid of the tax, he said, "you have more money in individuals' hands," which he argued would encourage Marylanders to spend more money on groceries, houses, college tuition and more.
Same goes for the stormwater fee, Mirabile said. He argued the current plan to tax homeowners a tiered fee that increases with property size is unfair to homeowners in western Howard County. His property would be taxed $90 a year under the recently revised plan.
At home in Woodbine, Mirabile said he's "surrounded by nine acres of God's green, natural rain garden, nine acres of pasture land. … How can you justify [a higher tax than the one on homeowners with smaller plots]?"
Ultimately, Mirabile wants to keep government taxation and spending at a minimum. For him, using funds to create more government jobs or to pay for infrastructure projects that benefit only a portion of the state, such as the Purple Line lightrail project that would connect Bethesda and New Carrollton in the Washington suburbs, are unfair allocations of taxpayer money.
He said such issues should be addressed by the local private sector. When government is involved, "there's no true return on investment from the standpoint that if you take money from one person and spend it somewhere else … where is the rate of return for that person?" he asked.
"The difference between the government and the private sector is this: in the government there's no liability, no accountability and no culpability," he added.