After three terms serving in the Maryland Senate, Crofton Republican Ed Reilly will be going into this election cycle campaigning to represent a very different group of constituents in District 33 if the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission gets its proposed map of legislative districts passed.
“It’s an all-out campaign, and there’s a very specific reason for that,” Reilly said. “The Democratic leadership has taken 40% of my constituents that I’ve represented for 10 years and they have assigned them elsewhere, and they’ve given me 40% new constituents who’ve never heard my name.”
Reilly said those potential new voters are mostly Democrats.
District 33 currently includes a wide swath of the county, stretching from Cape St. Claire in the east to Severn in the north and Crofton in the west at the Prince George’s County border, and into Davidsonville and south county.
The new map proposed by the commission, which is largely in the hands of the Democratic majority and assumed to pass, would shift District 33 to remove Severn and include Odenton.
After serving in local and state government for a combined 20 years, he said he understands how to make decisions that will benefit as many voters as possible.
“I classify myself as a moderate Republican. I’m a strong fiscal person — very pro-life, pro-gun — but the rest of the legislative issues I’m a little more centrist on and people appreciate that,” Reilly said.
Reilly hopes, with another term, he can continue to tackle projects he has been working on for a while that have started to gather steam in recent months.
One of those projects involves looking into changing the landing patterns and procedures of planes at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in order to reduce environmental harm and excessive noise.
Two years ago, Reilly co-sponsored a bill with state Sen. Clarence Lam of Howard County to study the effects the BWI planes have on the human nervous system, hearing, breathing, animals that live near the landing zone, the Severn River and more. After it was passed by the General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed it.
Now they’re taking a different approach.
“We’re putting together a commission. The commission will have 11 people, and they will be technical and scientific-oriented,” Reilly said. It will work on analyzing the same effects, he said, but it will be less expensive than the original proposal.
Reilly is also working on passing a bill that would allow dental hygienists to do four procedures they cannot currently perform under the supervision of a dentist after receiving training: orthodontia, radiation, nitrous oxide and polishing of teeth. The bill comes at the request of the Maryland State Dental Association.
“These are routine procedures if done with a certified person — safe, reliable and would allow the dentist more time to do procedures that a dentist needs to do,” Reilly said.
He said he thinks his constituents appreciate his values and ability to assess each situation with a level-headed, nonpartisan approach and hopes that will encourage even his new constituents to reelect him.
“I hope that my background, my values and my voting record reflect the values of the majority of my constituents,” Reilly said. “I try to get government out of the way of small businesses so they can hire employees and make a profit and help the communities in which they operate. I’m not a right-wing radical. I think I represent a strong right-of-center position.”
Lawyer Dawn Gile, a Democrat, and Stacie MacDonald, a Republican business owner, have also filed to run for the seat.