Maryland Voter Guide 2022

2022 Voter Guide: Justin Wages, candidate for Maryland House District 3

Maryland House
District 3

Justin Wages



Frederick, Frederick County

Full-time student at the University of Maryland

BA in Business Management - University of Maryland, College Park - 2022 AA in Business Administration - Frederick Community College - 2020


Why are you running for office?

The COVID-19 pandemic opened my eyes to the impact that state and local politics have on our day-to-day lives. I have closely followed our state and local politics since the start of the pandemic, and I am concerned about the direction our state is headed. Rather than beg someone else to make a change, I figured the best way to make a change was to do it myself.

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

One of the most pressing issues in my district is the opioid epidemic. This is a major problem across the state as well as in Frederick County. According to the Maryland Department of Health, we lost 2,799 Marylanders to overdoses in 2020, with 64 of them occurring in Frederick County. This has proven to be a tough issue to solve across the country. I believe that two of the things we must focus on are cracking down on opioid dealers while also providing alternatives to limit the amount of addictive opioids prescribed to patients in the first place.

How will you help your constituents deal with inflation?

Inflation has been brought about by many reasons, one of the contributing factors was the rapid injection of cash into the economy through the COVID stimulus packages. While this money was desperately needed by many to get by, it came with the unfortunate side effect of stoking inflation. To me, the best stimulus is a tax break, and I believe that tax breaks are the best way that we can deal with inflation in the present tense. These tax breaks will help Marylanders' stretch their dollars further when prices are rising across the board. The State of Maryland has a surplus of almost $5 billion, which gives us plenty of flexibility when it comes to giving our citizens a break. I will fight every day to not only provide tax breaks for my constituents, but to permanently lower or eliminate certain taxes all together.

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

The top transportation priority here in Frederick is alleviating the crippling traffic along the US-15/I-270 corridor. No matter what you do in Frederick, you are at the mercy of the traffic along this route. This applies to those who commute from Frederick down I-270, those who commute into Frederick along I-270 and I-70, and those who commute from one end of Frederick to another. I believe that expanding I-270 and US-15 where feasible, without the use of toll lanes, would go a long way towards correcting the issue. I also believe that expanding our network of arterial roadways to provide secondary/bypass routes would be beneficial.

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

In a perfect world, there would be no "next pandemic." However, I do believe that COVID was able to show us a glimpse into the future of education and what to expect as we continue to progress technologically. Let me be clear, there is no replacement for in-person learning. Our children, specifically our youngest students, their families, and teachers all struggled with adapting to an online environment. However, we must strengthen our infrastructure and processes for online learning as it can be a useful tool to keep students, families and teachers connected, especially in situations where schools are closed due to inclement weather, summer, and other reasons.

How equitably do police officers treat people of color?

Overall, police officers treat all citizens equitably. There are bad apples in every profession, however the consequences are much higher when we are dealing with a bad police officer. No sheriff or chief of police wants to have a bad deputy or officer in their department. One way that we can build a relationship of trust between officers and the communities they serve is to provide outreach through community events and fundraising. When officers invest time back into their communities, I believe that all parties involved gain respect and a deeper understanding of each other.

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

Maryland needs to have a better system for removing ineligible voters from voting rolls. With a trend towards absentee/mail-in voting starting in 2020, we need to have absolute confidence in our processes. With outdated voter rolls, absentee applications and ballots could potentially end up in the hands of someone other than the intended recipient, which opens the door to fraud. Currently, the county Boards of Elections across the state typically rely on the voter or a third-part to notify them of updated addresses and/or deaths. Finding a more airtight way to update this information would greatly reduce the chances of a ballot falling into the wrong hands. I also believe that instituting Voter ID and enhancing signature verification processes would help improve the security of our elections. Additionally, we need to prioritize attracting election judges as it seems our polling places are routinely understaffed, which is never a good thing.

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

I am not sure what the correct deadlines would be for Maryland to reduce carbon emissions and develop renewable energy sources. However, I believe that one of the most efficient ways to do so would be to expand nuclear energy in the state. The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Calvert County provides enough clean, zero-emission energy to power one million homes. According to Maryland Matters, roughly 35% of electricity generated in Maryland comes from the plant, accounting for 83% of Maryland's carbon-free power. With recent advances in technology, nuclear energy has become a safer and increasingly viable option when it comes to renewable energy.

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

What better relief to our citizens than tax cuts? It is relief money, after all. The State of Maryland has a surplus of almost $5 billion. We can afford to cut taxes across the board, allowing paychecks to stretch a little further so our families can breathe a little easier. We can use the relief money to replenish accounts that are funded by the taxes that we cut. I was very upset when democrats in Annapolis refused to extend the fuel tax holiday. We could have easily afforded to take a bit of stress off our citizens' plates, but now gas prices have soared well above $4.00/gallon with no relief in sight.

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.