Knoxville, Frederick County
Retired U.S. Army Officer, Director of Operations, Avertica, Inc. - A green energy research company with patents on conductive polymers, Enterprise Architect - integrating a new constellation of DoD satellites
Graduate of Middletown High School, Middletown MD Bachelors in Public Admininistration, Texas State University, Graduate study in Economics, University of Oklahoma
Never served in elected office. Previous Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress, MD Sixth District
Why are you running for office?
I took an oath to "defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic". On January 6th, 2021, my delegate, Delegate Dan Cox, organized buses to take people from Frederick County to the rally in DC which resulted in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. I am running to replace him in the House of Delegates, to ensure I am not represented by someone who supports insurrection against the Constitution. We need to bridge the divide between rural America and urban/suburban America. Our politics have become too divisive. As someone who graduated from High School in the 4th District, I want to work to protect the interests of the rural voters that I grew up with while welcoming new members to our communities. We are one America and we need to work and live together.
What is the most pressing issue in your district?
Balancing the rapid population growth in Frederick County to preserve our agricultural heritage while building a welcoming community. This includes addressing infrastructure needs such as additional schools, instead of relying on temporary classrooms, and improved transportation infrastructure. Our focus should include building strong, supportive, and resilient communities, which welcome all of our neighbors. Our agricultural sector is vital to our economy, and it makes our community more desirable. We need to work to bring our community together, not to tear it apart. We need leadership in Annapolis which will work to address problems, not try to create problems by attempting to impeach the Governor over his mask policy.
How will you help your constituents deal with inflation?
At the State level we can take action to reduce causes of inflation and to reduce the impact of inflation. To reduce causes of inflation, we should support competition, build more resilient supply chains, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Examples of this could be to support a co-operative to provide a meat processing facility so that Frederick County farmers could get a higher price for their cattle while Maryland consumers pay a lower price for beef, expand the port of Baltimore to prevent supply chain bottlenecks, and support research and development at our universities for green energy solutions. To reduce the impact of inflation, I support a temporary roll back of the state gas tax, tax breaks for retirees on fixed incomes, and increased support for affordable housing.
What do you see as the top transportation priority in your district, and how would you address it?
The top transportation issue is improving I-270, where delays cost our residents countless hours every month. I am opposed to the proposed toll-based plan, which imposes an additional tax on Frederick County residents. Instead, I support adding two reversible HOV lanes all the way to Frederick funded with federal infrastructure funds. Reversible lanes will cut the project cost significantly, while addressing the peak traffic problem. We also need to improve MARC, improve the on-ramps on Rt. 340, and address the traffic at the Rt. 75 and Rt. 355 intersection, among multiple other projects. We should start planning now for expanding Metro access to Frederick.
What should schools do differently during the next pandemic to help students, families and teachers?
Pandemic response should be based on medical facts and valid public health approaches, with an emphasis on prevention of the spread of disease. We still need to address the continuing impact of the current pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has had a traumatic impact on our students. We need to ensure that we provide a supportive environment for our students with access to mental health services where needed. We need to address the learning gap which has resulted from the disruption associated with the pandemic. The use of virtual instruction may provide opportunities for different instructional techniques. Different students may have different learning styles, and effective learning styles may vary based on subject matter. We should gather data on the impact of virtual instruction to identify the most effective approach for each student, and allow teachers the flexibility to apply the most effective techniques.
How equitably do police officers treat people of color?
Our criminal justice system results in different outcomes based on race. We need to monitor these differing outcomes at each step in the criminal justice system, not just at the level of interaction with police officers. Our police officers are over-worked and tasked to handle a host of issues from pet control to mental health intervention. While our police forces are asked to "protect and serve" they are not staffed to do the "protect" function, much less the "serve" function. We should team mental health professionals with law enforcement. We need to provide uniform training across the range of law enforcement officers, from small town police forces to county law enforcement, on de-escalation techniques, use of force limitations, and appropriate equipping of law enforcement officers. We need to de-militarize our law enforcement and return the Community Oriented Policing.
What would you do to make sure Maryland's voting system is secure and accurate?
Let us be clear. Maryland's voting system is secure and accurate. Every vote has a paper trail, and paper cannot be hacked. We need to do more to expand access to voting for all eligible voters. I support same-day registration. Because Maryland now permits same-day registration, we should eliminate the voter registration deadline which creates a period in which voters are not permitted to register.
What are the right goals and deadlines for Maryland to reduce carbon emissions and develop renewable energy sources?
Maryland's current goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and producing 100% clean electricity by 2040 are a good start, but we need an even more comprehensive plan to ensure that we meet these goals and do more. Climate change is costing us millions of dollars each year, and the costs of severe weather will continue to accelerate unless we address the excessive carbon in our atmosphere with the additional goal of reducing atmospheric carbon below 350 ppm. To make clean electricity viable, we will need to develop the technology to store that clean energy during times of limited sunlight and low winds. We must build resilience into our communities, to include restoring wetlands and reducing runoff to reduce flooding. I am currently the Director of Operations for a research company which has patents on semi-conductive polymers which may have green energy applications.
What's Maryland's best use of federal COVID relief money?
We should spend federal COVID relief money on COVID relief. There are multiple COVID impacts which have not been sufficiently addressed. We need to train additional mental health professionals. COVID has imposed a trauma on our State, and that trauma will continue to have a mental health impact. As a veteran, I have seen the importance of addressing post-traumatic stress. We need to conduct research on, and provide treatment for, long COVID. COVID has also revealed the need for improved school facilities, with a focus on air handling systems. We also need to improve the resilience of our supply chains, especially medical supply chains. We should not be dependent on importing medical supplies during a time of crisis.
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