2022 Voter Guide: Travis S. Lerol, candidate for Maryland House District 31

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Maryland House
District 31

Travis S. Lerol



Pasadena, Anne Arundel County

Software Engineer. I got into this field by way of the US Air Force, which stationed me at Fort Meade about 18 years ago. I liked the area, so I swapped over to the reserves and defense contracting and stayed here.

Some college. AA degree w honors, various professional certifications, perhaps a hundred credits of additional college classes beyond that. In addition, I have extensive small business and government work experience.

First time running for office, though I have been an activist in Maryland since 2013. I've attended and spoken at protests and rallies, testified before both the MD house and senate, and contributed money and volunteer time to the local issues I care most about. Maryland Shall Issue is one such organization, a non partisan organization specific to our state that works to protect 2A rights of MD citizens, and ensure laws passed are the best they can be. Another important issue this year was the Defend the Guard act, a pro-National Guard bill that sadly did not pass. Protecting rights, safeguarding our service members, together with lowering taxation, and small business friendly legislation, are the sort of things I frequently write or speak about.

Why are you running for office?

I've been following politics closely for some time, and the atmosphere in which it happens has changed for the worse. Partisanship is at high, and many bills are voted up or down based on who is backing them, not on the quality of the bill. Thousands of bills are considered every year, and hundreds passed. In 2020, 650 bills were passed in just three hours. Despite this incredible quantity of legislation, very few of these bills do anything to make the life of most citizens better. I'm running as a libertarian because I believe that we can't solve partisanship by dividing into two teams and fighting harder. We need more views to have a place at the table, and we need normal people to have their voices heard.

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

I've surveyed over 500 voters in my district, and the number one issue complained about is traffic. The responses are split between congestion and poor driving, but the latter is often a result of the former. We need to develop our roads to support the increased housing development, and we need to maintain the roads we have. Unfortunately, the transportation "lockbox" has had a large amount of funds raided and not restored. As of 2021, this amount stood at over 1 billion dollars. This deficit of maintenance and construction has undoubtable contributed to the problems we see today. Fixing the roads should be neither partisan nor radical, but something that helps us all. Other priorities include lowering the tax burden, school choice, ensuring we don't go back into lockdown or mask mandates, enabling small businesses, and protecting individual rights.

How will you help your constituents deal with inflation?

The largest single factor in MD is housing prices. Both rent and property values have increased extremely fast over the past few years. Much of this inflation happens at the national level, with vastly increased spending and an increased monetary supply driving higher prices. World events such as the Pandemic and reactions to it, or the current Russia/Ukraine hostilities have also contributed. However, at the state level, we can take many actions to counteract the rising cost of living. We can reduce or eliminate zoning laws, allowing more compact, affordable housing. We can pursue an efficient energy policy, reducing the average utility bill. We can reduce taxes. Delaware, our neighbor, taxes every citizen almost $2,000/yr less in income taxes alone. The average property tax burden is lower than in MD, and they have no sales tax at all. A similar policy would help every Maryland citizen greatly.

What do you see as the top transportation priority in your district, and how would you address it?

Road construction and maintenance has been deprioritized, and as a result, even though we have been heavily taxed for transportation, we have some of the most congested highways in the US. Some of these roads are so covered in potholes that they resemble the surface of the moon. If you are required to have your car inspected to ensure it is road worthy, why are the roads not required to be car worthy?

What should schools do differently during the next pandemic to help students, families and teachers?

School Choice is the best single action we can take to improve education. Some solutions, such as distance education, work well for some students, but not for others. Some children have far better results in person, and any reasonable system should provide parents and students with a wide range of options. This would mean that state funding follows the student, not the school system. Such a system is already in place in New Hampshire, and works exceedingly well. The wealthy already have access to private schools, why shouldn't everyone? On a per-child basis, they cost less than public schools. For those who chose to homeschool during the pandemic, this would allow them to use those dollars to get their child a wide range of curriculum or educational tools. For teachers, it would provide a larger range of employers, for more diverse options. With choice, everybody wins.

How equitably do police officers treat people of color?

This depends on the police officer, I imagine. We all want everyone to be protected equally under the law, and when that fails to take place, we want transparency so that the problem is resolved, and those responsible cannot ignore it. This is true regardless of color. Freddie Gray and Duncan Lemp both died in MD due to improper police action. Nobody, regardless of who they are, should need to fear that. Pro-transparency reforms can not only help protect citizens, they can protect police as well. Body cams have frequently been used to clear police of false claims. A just system protects us all.

What would you do to make sure Maryland's voting system is secure and accurate?

I would encourage as many citizens as possible to volunteer at their election booths, with a particular emphasis on independent and third party volunteers. More eyes can improve both security and accuracy, and volunteers that are not part of the two large party provide an important check against any possible partisan motive. This is a way in which anyone can make a difference right now. I would also encourage the adoption of Approval Voting, which is already used in some elections. Instead of selecting only one candidate, the voter selects as many as they wish, and votes are tallied as normal. This system removes the most common source of accidental vote spoilage, improving accuracy and voter participation. While this can already be used for some local elections, some, such as gubernatorial elections, would require a bill to be passed at the state level.

What are the right goals and deadlines for Maryland to reduce carbon emissions and develop renewable energy sources?

A deadline without a way to achieve it is just wishful thinking. The single largest low/no carbon energy source in Maryland is Nuclear Power, which makes up 41% of our power supply. All other sources combined make up only 11%. There is only a single, two-reactor facility in MD at Calvert Cliffs. A third, larger, modernized reactor was proposed recently, which would have approximately doubled the power output from that facility. The MD legislature killed it with demands for payments totaling $880 mil. We'd be almost entirely carbon free right now if they'd approved it. Nuclear power is one of the cheapest energy sources available as well. Over the long term, we'd have seen far lower power bills, far lower taxes(nuclear power is the least subsidized power source), and the environment would be far better off. Solar, wind, etc are small, supplemental sources. For the base load, we need nuclear.

What's Maryland's best use of federal COVID relief money?

Thanks to these funds, we do have a significant budget surplus. Everyone was affected by COVID-19 and the reactions to it, so everyone should share in the relief. I support a general state tax refund to put that money back in the hands of all citizens to help counter the rising cost of living.

Baltimore Sun Media's voter guide allows candidates to provide their background, policy and platforms on issues, in their own words. Any questions or feedback can be sent to, or read more about the questionnaire process here.