As the current state’s attorney in a neighboring county, one who has run for the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office once previously, I am not unfamiliar with how the process works. Politics: The good, the bad, the ugly.
The Good? It’s a free, democratic system.
The Bad? It’s really not all that free. Have you ever wondered why candidates for some political offices pay 10x what they’ll make if elected? Most offices are more about power than public service. The truth is, the more money you have, the more likely you are to win.
I don’t begrudge those who have money, I’m a free market capitalism guy. But voters need to remember that the largest yard signs don’t equate to the being the best candidate.
Voters should also know that endorsements are frequently decided behind closed doors, given out by friends, cronies, and political allies. Four years ago, I was endorsed by the Deputy Sheriff’s Union — I was, and still am, appreciative of that. This time I wasn’t even invited to the “meet the candidate” forum.
And now The Aegis has given a half-hearted endorsement of Mr. Peisenger and Ms. Marts. I don’t disagree with their qualifications, but the editors gave zero explanation to the reader as to why, exactly, they are the two best choices, nor why the guy with the most state’s attorney experience isn’t a good choice.
The Ugly? As a prosecutor, I always say, “We must wear a white hat and white gloves at all times, and once stained you can never wear them again.” A little old school, for sure, but that’s honestly what I say.
Mr. Peisenger, Ms. Marts and myself all wear white hats and white gloves. Mr. Ryden does not. Prosecutors are some of the classiest, non-partisan, do-the-right-thing people you’ll ever want to meet. In our respective campaigns, Mr. Peisenger, Ms. Marts and I have campaigned clean, just like we have done in our careers. Mr. Ryden has not, instead choosing to attack all three of us giving false or at the very least grossly misleading information to the voters.
Voters are free to choose who they want. But I hope that they’ll take these endorsements with a serious grain of salt, and do a little research.
All four of us have web sites that are easy to find. Look for substance over quotes. “I’m tough on crime” is a meaningless and hollow sound bite. Look at our work experience. Look at our community service. Look at our proposed plans to make the office stronger. And decide who has the strongest leadership skills to take over this extremely important office.
And above all, please, voters, learn about the four of us, and choose who YOU believe is best, not who someone else tells you to vote for.
The writer, currently serving as interim state’s attorney in Cecil County, is a Republican candidate for Harford County state’s attorney in the June 26 primary election. Editor