Candidates Tell Us Their Top Priorities For Office

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Election Day was Tuesday, November 6, and to help our readers make an informed decision, we asked each of the candidates, “What are the three issues or priorities that will be most important to you in this office?” Here’s what they told us:

GOVERNOR

Larry Hogan

Education: Every child, regardless of the neighborhood they grow up in, deserves access to a world-class education. The Hogan-Rutherford administration has provided record funding, $25 billion over four years, for Maryland’s public schools. Our administration has also led the way in creating an education “lockbox,” which will increase education funding by $4.4 billion over 10 years. Finally, we've pushed for increased accountability in our schools through the creation of the Office of Education Accountability.

Jobs and the Economy: As a lifelong small-business man, I understand that high taxes, reckless spending and unnecessary regulations mean fewer jobs and lower wages for all Marylanders. That’s why I have fought for fiscally responsible budgets that keep more money in Marylanders’ pockets and allow businesses of all sizes to grow. When I took office, improving Maryland’s business climate and boosting job growth were two of my top priorities. Job growth in Maryland has seen a dramatic turnaround over the last four years, as we’ve gone from losing 100,000 jobs under my predecessor to gaining more than 100,000 over the last four years. My administration launched and enacted the More Jobs for Marylanders Act, which provides incentives for businesses to open in struggling jurisdictions.

Environment: Since taking office, I’ve made preserving and protecting the environment a major priority of my administration, especially Maryland’s most important natural asset, the Chesapeake Bay. During my first term, we have invested $4 billion in Chesapeake Bay restoration programs. Under my administration, Maryland is a proud member of the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a coalition of nine states working together to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This year, I enacted legislation to prevent future administrations from withdrawing from RGGI without legislative approval. Over the next four years, we will build upon our record funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts and maintain our incredibly high clean air and water standards and goals. As a result of our commitment, the Chesapeake Bay received its highest water quality rating in a generation on its latest report card.

Ben Jealous

Education: We need a governor with a plan to ensure every child in Maryland gets a great education. I’ve put plans on the table to finally fully fund our schools and keep the broken promise on the casino money, raise teacher pay, provide universal full-day pre-k, and tackle the student debt crisis.

Health care: Every year under this governor, health care premiums have skyrocketed – hurting our small businesses and bankrupting families. Seniors are seeing their prescription costs spike, and too many Marylanders go without care all together. As governor, I’ll work to ensure every Marylander has health care they can actually afford to use through a Medicare for All system.

Economy: Right now, our economy is stuck. We’re last in the region in both income growth and job growth. As a businessman and civil rights leader, I know that we can build a stronger, more inclusive economy. I’ve proposed plans to raise the minimum wage, cut the sales tax, encourage entrepreneurship, and ensure that we tackle chronic unemployment.

You can read about more plans at www.benjealous.com.

COMPTROLLER

 Anjail Phukan

Increase transparency and efficiency: enhance systems integration capabilities, online transcripts and assistance, secure resources and systems, and design more usable state websites

Reduce Taxes and Penalties: revamp the Offer in Compromise program, eliminate unnecessary and impeding fees, demolish retirement income tax, and improve environmental tax incentives

Better infrastructure statewide: safer roads, bike lanes and sidewalks; develop broadband in rural areas; add a third span across the Bay Bridge; expand mass transit

For more information on these topics, visit www.mscomptroller.com or www.facebook.com/mscomptroller.

Peter Franchot

Taxpayer security continues to be a top priority. While we’re a national leader in combatting tax fraud and identity theft, criminals employ brazen tactics to harm taxpayers’ financial well-being. I will continue to work with policymakers and other key stakeholders to identify solutions to protect the financial integrity of Marylanders.

Customer service is a core obligation of government. I’m proud of the progress we have made in this area, but we can always do more. In the years ahead, I’ll continue to promote greater efficiencies and adopt strategies so that we can continue to deliver respectful, responsive and results-oriented service.

Procurement reform is critically needed. I’ve worked to make our procurement process a leveled playing field for all contractors, especially for minority- and women-owned enterprises. I will continue to promote transparency and accountability in the way government agencies are spending your hard-earned tax dollars.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Craig Wolf

Public safety: With Baltimore City being the murder capital of the country, with more than 2,000 opioid deaths in Maryland last year, with Maryland’s being fourth in the country in trafficking of women and children, and with gun and gang violence running rampant across the state, the attorney general should focus on public safety, not partisanship.

Work with Governor Hogan: The attorney general should work with Governor Hogan, not against him.

Protect victims of crime

Brian Frosh

Fighting crime/opioid epidemic: We have indicted and put behind bars the most dangerous criminals in our state: violent gang members, drug traffickers, doctors operating pill mills, gun traffickers and human traffickers. We are holding opioid manufacturers accountable for the addiction and death that they have caused.

Ensuring equal protection: Our office was the first in the nation to issue guidelines prohibiting discriminatory profiling by law enforcement – making it clear that race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and religion cannot be factors in routine police activity.

Protecting our environment: As a legislator, I sponsored the law that prohibits oil and gas drilling in the bay. As AG, I have stood up to the Trump administration’s attempts to weaken the laws that protect our air and water and protect people from toxic chemicals.

For more information, visit www.brianfrosh.com.

U.S. SENATE

Tony Campbell

Getting the national government out of public education: Common Core and nationally imposed standards should have never been allowed. Parents and teachers across Maryland are frustrated with Common Core and the unnecessary burden that is placed upon teachers and students.

I believe we should put in place a balanced budget amendment, which will begin to reduce the deficit. Broken promises of career politicians have gotten us into this mess. Only a structural mechanism like a balanced budget amendment will make politicians keep their promises to the taxpayers.

The hallmark of public service is leadership; a career politician just wants to be re-elected. As a leader, I will go to the U.S. Senate to fight for individual liberty. It is past time to have real discussions on how much government should be involved in the lives of its citizens.

Ben Cardin

Economic opportunity: I am committed to seeing that Maryland receives the resources needed to grow our regional economy and create well-paying, local jobs for residents. We should modify our tax code to truly target middle-income and working families, help small businesses and make smart investments in infrastructure/green technologies.

Opioid epidemic: Facing this public health crisis will take all levels of government working with private-sector partners. More than law enforcement, our ongoing response must improve access to evidence-based treatment centers, promote prevention education, and support those in or seeking recovery. We must keep our promise of federal funding for state-led programs.

Chesapeake Bay: A healthy bay means a healthy economy. I was proud to lead the bipartisan effort to restore funding for the Chesapeake Bay program after it was cut in President Trump’s budget. Federal and regional partnerships have been crucial to the progress we have made in improving the bay's health.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

George McDermott

I’m an active advocate of full transparency in government, including the judicial branch of government, which now operates under a cloud of secrecy, deceitfulness and deception. We must say “no” to courts and legislative branches of government being disrespectful to our Constitution and rule of law.

I advocate legislation to prevent judicial abuse and fraud on our citizens by requiring every court in the nation and every judicial proceeding be recorded on videotape, and court clerks must refuse to give these videotapes to judges to edit victim transcripts, which would limit waste, fraud and abuse.

I advocate legislation that would require all officers of the court and legislature to reaffirm their oath of office and loyalty to the Constitution every two years, and that these oaths of office and their employment contracts be made public record to stop the illegal use of unsigned court documents.

Anthony Brown

Lowering health care costs and prescription drug prices: I will fight to bring down health care costs and lower prescription drug prices by holding insurance and drug companies accountable while strengthening Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Our country and our economy are stronger and healthier when every American has access to quality, affordable health care.

Increasing Marylanders' pay through strong economic growth: We must invest in innovation industries like clean energy and build economic infrastructure like roads, bridges and ports to help our economy grow and create well-paying jobs. When working families earn more, our economy works better for everyone.

Cleaning up corruption to make Washington work: Democrats will clean up the culture of corruption in Washington, restore dignity to our democracy and give power back to the people - because our leaders should be focused on making sure our government works for everyone.

For more information on these topics, visit www.anthonybrown.com.

COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Steve Schuh

Education: Four years ago, our public-school system was in crisis with a bankrupt health care system, low teacher pay, overcrowding and outdated facilities. Our team launched the largest school construction effort in county history, added 300 new educator positions, bailed out the health care system and implemented four straight years of teacher pay increases.

Public safety: the opioid epidemic: Our team faced the opioid crisis head-on by initiating a three-pronged attack: stricter enforcement to put dealers and gang members in jail, more pathways to treatment through the nationally recognized Safe Stations program, and educating parents and youth through our “Not My Child” initiative. The number of overdoses has at last stabilized.

Taxes and fees: I promised to cut taxes and fees, and I have. We cut a total of $160 million, which helped our local economy grow by $6 billion (now the fourth largest in the state), reduced unemployment to 3.9 percent and cut our welfare rolls to their lowest levels in many years.

Steuart Pittman

Managing growth: Steve Schuh has given away the store to corporate developers at the expense of our communities. As county executive, I will end pay-to-play politics by limiting developer contributions to candidates, reassess projects currently in the pipeline, and reinvigorate the Small Area Plan program so communities have a voice in managing growth.

Improving public services: I am supported by police, firefighters and teachers because they know I have the best plan to improve public services. I will invest in our county employees, implement data-driven service delivery methods, and focus on real challenges like combatting the opioid epidemic and protecting sensitive environmental areas.

Responsible budgeting: Steve Schuh has funded giveaways to his donors by kicking the can down the road to future county taxpayers. That will end on my watch. I know we can pass budgets that invest in the services county residents depend on while still being fiscally responsible. As your next county executive, that’s exactly what I’ll deliver.

 SHERIFF

Jim Fredericks

Unserved criminal warrants: I will reallocate and expand resources, partner with other agencies, and institute best practices to reduce the number of outstanding warrants, which is currently over 12,000. My continuing experience as a police commander gives me a firm grasp on the issue of warrant reduction and implementing modern law enforcement strategies.

Courthouse security: Court security is a primary function of the sheriff's office, and I will use my experience in the area of Homeland Security to conduct a top-to-bottom assessment of security needs, so our deputies and the general public can be safer when conducting business at the Circuit Court in Annapolis.

Staffing needs: Sheriff's office employees operate at a high level to get the business of the office completed; however, requirements for the service of court documents are increasing. There must be an increase in staffing certain positions to ensure critical documents, such as domestic violence orders, are served in a safe and timely manner.

James Williams

Candidate did not submit responses.

STATE SENATOR – DISTRICT 33

Ed Reilly

I am in full support of Governor Larry Hogan in his attempts to keep state spending under control and to stop any increases in taxes and fees.

In regard to the bay bridge, I put in legislation to remove the ability of the Eastern Shore counties from preventing a new Chesapeake Bay span where engineering, environmental and budget limitations would have indicated the new span should be built.

In regard to the opioid crisis, I supported all efforts to expand the number of beds and programs available to address the increase of drug-related issues. I also advocated for stricter enforcement of drug distribution crimes. We need to reinstate the DARE program in our school system.

Eve Hurwitz

Education: I strongly support Question 1, which will appear on everyone’s ballot in November. Voting “yes” on this question will put casino revenue toward funding our schools as originally promised. In office, I will ensure that this is carried out and support legislation that makes schools safe and engaging for students.

Health Care: One of my top priorities in office will be to make Maryland the fifth state to guarantee paid family and medical leave in the United States. I will sponsor or co-sponsor legislation that makes health care accessible and affordable to all Marylanders and provide protections for family planning services in Maryland.

Environment: I support the current initiative to ban toxic EPS foam (Styrofoam) in Anne Arundel County, and will introduce legislation in the General Assembly to make it happen statewide. I will also create programs that will allow businesses to offer recycling to their patrons.

DELEGATES – DISTRICT 33

Sid Saab

Economy and taxes: As a small-business owner, I know firsthand how high taxes and red tape can make it difficult for businesses to flourish. Small businesses are the engine of our economy and we must continue to eliminate the hurdles that prevent businesses from leaving our state and encourage entrepreneurs to start their own business and create jobs.

Public safety: Is it our duty to protect every single citizen in our state. It all starts with safe communities. We must give our law enforcement the necessary tools to do their job effectively. Our communities cannot be safe if we are soft on crime. The opioid epidemic has been devastating to our state and more work needs to be done to keep these dangerous drugs out of our communities.

Mental Health: We can no longer neglect the seriousness of mental illness, as this issue has been ignored for decades. Mental illness affects all people regardless of demographics and proper treatment, and awareness must be a priority. We have to unite as parents, teachers and medical professionals to diagnose and treat the mentally ill.

Michael Malone

Ending partisan gerrymandered districts in Maryland: Politically gerrymandered districts both on the state and congressional level are causing significant harm to the democratic process here in Maryland. I have and will continue to support Governor Hogan’s plan for a bipartisan commission to draw the legislative districts.

Improving traffic in Anne Arundel County: Many of our roads have become overly congested. The lack of one congressional representative from Anne Arundel County means we do not have a strong voice in Washington, D.C. to address the interstate road issues.

Continuing to provide a financially responsible state budget without tax increases: I shall continue to support Hogan’s budget without new tax or fee increases. I have supported legislation to provide small-business tax breaks. Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy and promote continued growth.

Tony McConkey

Education: As part of the state re-examination of school programs and funding, I support the governor’s proposal to create an “investigator general” to investigate unethical conduct. I also support additional reforms to make schools more accountable to parents and taxpayers, like our just-approved elected school board.

Taxes: Eliminating taxes on retirement income would dramatically change Maryland. At $1 billion, it is affordable, if phased in, and would pay for itself. Imagine the tremendous benefits to charity, culture and the economy of retaining such a talent pool and their money, plus the great benefits to families of keeping Grandma close by.

Roads: I support building 100 new highway miles along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, D.C. Beltway and I-270, paid for by tolls. Residents of Baltimore would have greater access to jobs, and workers in D.C. would have greater access to affordable housing. Reducing travel time between Baltimore and D.C. would create a synergy and economic prosperity that would transform our state.

Heather Bagnall

Education: Not only do we need funding to support our educators but also we need to address the economic issues and stigma of poverty that put students' success at risk. Additionally, we have to change the narrative to make arts an essential bridge across disciplines and to ensure vocational training is an equal path to higher education.

Environment: We must incentivize innovation in renewable technology while creating retraining programs that will ensure the health of our environment and the security of our workforce while addressing the dire needs of reforestation to protect against stormwater runoff. Environmental preservation is a sound investment that affects health and well-being, property value and maintenance costs of our district.

Community Infrastructure: Public transportation and walking/bike paths are an essential element of access, not only for low-income and working families but also for seniors and students; it affects people across the district and across the age and economic spectrums, encourages people to support local business, and creates job opportunities and income to communities.

For more information on these issues, visit www.heatherbagnall.com.

Tracie Hovermale

Families deserve clean air, clean water and a healthy natural environment. It is critical that we adopt policies that preserve and protect the bay and surrounding waterways, forests and open spaces. Development must be, and can be, conducted responsibly and cannot come at the cost of the environment. We must transition to clean, renewable energy.

Families deserve affordable and quality health care. We must rein in the cost of prescriptions and health care. All women must have access to full reproductive health care so they can plan their future education and career and, with their partners, become parents when they are emotionally and financially ready.

Families deserve safe schools, workplaces and communities. If elected, I will work tirelessly with everyone, including responsible gun owners, to address the issues surrounding gun violence. Please read my opinion piece published in the September Capital Gazette for details on how we can move forward. Taking no action is not an option.

Pam Luby

Building a strong economy by providing children with a high-quality public school education that is suitable for the needs and realities of the 21st century. Education, training and opportunity are key to solving many of our state’s most pressing problems, including racial equality, health care or the environment.

Preparing now to meet the needs of Maryland’s aging population. By the year 2030, 25 percent of adults will be 65 or older. We must work toward making our cities and communities age-friendly places to make room for a population that has so much to offer, that we all, someday, will be a part of.

Increased fiscal accountability and transparency in government. One way to do this is to establish a statewide inspector general’s (IG) office to look for fraud, waste and abuse. Currently, only three Maryland departments have IGs. Every tax dollar invested in an IG averages about $17 in savings. This is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

For more information on these issues, visit www.pamluby.com.

COUNTY COUNCIL – DISTRICT 5

Amanda Fiedler

Strengthening the economy: This includes low taxes and fees on our hardworking families, and supporting the property tax cap. I will prioritize growing local business and recruiting new companies, as well as streamlining the permit process and reducing bureaucratic red tape to help businesses, and create better paying jobs for you.

Quality of life: We need a transparent development process that preserves the quality of existing communities while providing more opportunities for local residents. I’ll also work to improve local infrastructure, providing adequate roadways and walkways. As a long-time education advocate, I will support reduced class sizes and competitive teacher pay.

Safer streets and neighborhoods: As a mom and wife, I know that safety is a priority for our families. That’s why I will put our public safety teams first, and support recruiting and retaining police and firefighters. I also will support increased collaboration and state funding to fight the opioid epidemic.

Dawn Myers

Development: Unrestrained development has crowded our classrooms, gridlocked our traffic, strained our first responders, decimated our trees and damaged our environment. We need to slow development, strengthen our infrastructure and require developers to pay the true impact costs and not give discounts to encourage further growth.

Fiscal Accountability: Government should be transparent and accountable to its citizens. As an attorney with a Master of Business Administration, I have 20 years of fiscal management and analysis experience with the State of Maryland. We need council members who have the experience and qualifications to make sure your tax dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively.

Quality of Life: The county should prioritize protecting our quality of life. We need to ensure that we have top-ranked schools, reasonable commutes, well-paying jobs, decent roads and a healthy environment with plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities for citizens to enjoy.

For more information on these topics, visit www.votefordawn.com.

BOARD OF EDUCATION – DISTRICT 5

Dana Schallheim

Teacher recruitment and retention: For years, Anne Arundel County Public Schools has lost teachers to surrounding counties with better pay and working conditions. Overcrowded classrooms and unacceptable workloads contribute to this problem. Restoration of lost steps, paying living wages, and properly supporting our teachers creates successful schools. Teacher retention costs far less than recruitment, saving taxpayer money.

Fiscal oversight, transparency and accountability: Budgets must be refocused toward meeting actual school needs at the school level. Policies improving community involvement, transparency and accountability must be established, as well as divestment from partnerships unrelated to education. Additionally, eliminating transportation inefficiencies and reducing spending on administration saves taxpayer money. Successful schools equal higher property values.

School safety: This includes physical barriers, school resource officers, sufficient mental health staff and toxin-free facilities. Beyond updated school security systems and SROs, school safety begins by providing a caring, bully-free environment conducive to learning. Investments — including hiring school counselors and psychologists to meet American School Counselor Association and National Association of School Psychologists recommendations and properly maintaining facilities — must occur.

For more information on these topics, visit www.danaforboe.com.

Terry Gilleland

Academic achievement: Our schools are great, but we can make them better. We must ensure our students are prepared to compete in college and the global workforce. To achieve this, we need first-class curriculum and smaller class sizes to foster individualized learning, and we must recruit and retain teachers with improved compensation.

School security and mental health: Students, parents and teachers expect safe schools, and we must be proactive. I will continue to advocate improved physical security, as well as increased police presence to deter wrongful activity. Mental health supports remain critical, and I will work to ensure students have guidance counselors and other in-school resources.

Fiscal responsibility: We must be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and use existing funds wisely before seeking more. I continue to prioritize classroom-based funding needs, including teacher compensation and digital learning initiatives, and propose capping non-instructional budget categories. I have introduced budget amendments to reduce administrative costs and will continue that effort.

For more information on these topics, visit www.terrygilleland.com.

 STATE’S ATTORNEY

Wes Adams

Disrupting violent and drug trafficking organizations: This past term, I initiated a new approach to prosecution that combines use of analytics and consolidated intelligence information to identify, investigate and prosecute the small group of people who drive the majority of crime in the county.

Human trafficking: Last year, I worked with local legislators to bring about legislation to make human trafficking offenses a felony in Maryland and will continue with that effort until that legislation is passed. We will work to consolidate our efforts with federal and local partners to build a focused investigative unit to prosecute these offenders.

Opioid/mental health crisis: We have developed a cutting-edge approach to rehabilitation and education in Anne Arundel County. We will continue to strengthen our prevention program, including instituting the Handle With Care initiative so we can continue to support trauma-informed care in our school system.

Anne Colt Leitess

Better management of office: As appointed state’s attorney from 2013 to 2015, I managed a $9 million budget, 115 employees and won tough cases. I expanded drug court and created the community outreach program. The office is $1 million over budget; 45 of 117 staff members are gone; and thousands of district court cases are dropped, including one-fifth of DUIs and 90 percent of all drugged driving cases. If elected, I will balance the budget, restore training and retain employees to prosecute, not drop, cases.

Address opioids and gangs: Fatal overdoses tripled from 54 in 2014 to 136 in 2018, and that is a tragedy. There’s been no measurable difference in long-term outcomes from Safe Stations. To fight the opioid crisis, I will dedicate staff to drug court and encourage the Ordnance Road Detention Facility be used for rehabilitation programs. I will revive the gang task force my opponent dismantled and work with police and communities to identify and deter gang activity.

Remove politics from office: I became a career prosecutor to give those who could not speak a voice in the criminal justice system. The state’s attorney should prosecute crime and ensure justice and politics have no place in the office. I will never permit registered lobbyists or political consultants to collect a county paycheck. I will restore professionalism and ethics to the office.

To learn more about me, go to www.annearundelanne.com.

REGISTER OF WILLS

Lauren Parker

Maintenance of high standards by which this office achieved three perfect state legislative audits. The staff and I work together to exceed public expectations. From 25 years of legal practice and 12 years as register, I know that attention to legal and professional detail is crucial.

Maintenance of our live, fast, personal service, answering phones and greeting you at the front desk. Our surveys indicate public and attorney satisfaction ratings of 99.29 percent and 95.5 percent, respectively. I created a website for the public for case information, credit card acceptance, and an online ordering system for documents and publications.

Being accessible to all people. I created outreach programs to inform clubs, churches and civic groups about estates. The staff and I work to have the office as accessible to the public as humanly possible through technology, cost savings and kindness. Kindness and efficiency never go out of style.

For more information on these issues, visit www.laurenparker.org.

Joseph “JJ” Janosky

The office is unknown by the public, but it tells the life-and-death story of every citizen. We should educate the public of the importance of a valid will and what to expect when a will needs to be executed. The office needs to be revitalized with a focus on citizen services.

Evaluate cybersecurity and inefficiencies in the office and make improvements when necessary.

I have spent my life in public and private offices finding efficiencies. Little has been done toward public accessibility. I suggest using a cloud-based platform to increase public access.

Little progress has happened to create citizen outreach to gather information on the public concerns and emphasize the importance of having a valid will. This information is needed in all age groups. Increase online information available to the public.

JUDGE OF THE ORPHANS’ COURT

Maureen Carr-York

First and foremost, the Orphans’ Court exists to serve the citizens of Anne Arundel County. We are tasked with helping families deal with the distribution of a deceased person’s assets at a time when the survivors are grieving and distressed. The ability to listen and empathize is essential to do the job well.

There are often competing interests between creditors and among creditors and heirs, so a thorough knowledge of the law is required. I am an attorney with 37 years’ experience practicing law right here in Maryland. Together with my fellow judges, we bring years of experience to the job.

We integrate seamlessly with the register of wills and her staff, who handle the administrative side of the estates we hear. Together, we manage simple estates quickly and efficiently, and the more complex matters are handled with the time necessary to ensure all parties are treated fairly in accordance with the law.

Nancy Phelps

The three issues that I think are important today could be consolidated in to one word: lack. A lack of compassion, a lack of patience and the lack of understanding.

One of the most notable changes over time is the complexity of the hearings we preside over. Orphans’ Court judges are responsible for legal decisions made for estates after the death of a family member. This is a highly emotional and stressful time for a family. We need to keep a clear understanding of the situation, the applicable laws and most effective outcome while showing compassion for everyone involved with the utmost patience.

The population growth of Anne Arundel County means we see more and more cases, each one just as complex as the next, each deserving our time and attention, which can create a bottleneck of cases. By applying previous experience and acquired knowledge, we can make a difference.

Alan Rzepkowski

Fair and efficient decision-making: As an elected judge of the Orphans’ Court, I strive to ensure all family members’ concerns are heard at our hearings and to weigh all issues before the court while considering the laws within Maryland’s estates and trust code.

Respect and compassion for those who come before the Orphans’ Court: My role as a judge is to listen carefully to all statements and testimony provided by family members, to consider all facts as provided, and to treat everyone with respect and compassion during the probate process.

Abiding by the law as provided in Maryland’s estates and trust code: Providing fairness, respect and compassion must always be balanced by the law. I approach my role as a judge of the Orphans’ Court with attention to family needs and in consideration of the laws governing estates and probate.

Vickie Gibson

Professionalism, compassion and fairness: I have been a lawyer for 30 years. This strong legal background will bolster the professionalism of the Anne Arundel County Orphans’ Court.

Diversity: If elected, I would be the first African-American Democrat in the history of Anne Arundel County and the second in the history of the court, the first being the Republican Mary Sellman Jackson, who was in office almost 20 years ago. Diversity is important because our elected positions should reflect the communities that they serve.

Outreach: Traditionally, the register of wills has been involved in outreach. As an Orphans’ Court judge, I vow to personally go to communities, including those in underserved areas of our county, to increase awareness of the important role that the Orphans’ Court play’s in the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. As part of this, I believe it is time to put the discussion on the table that, perhaps, the name of the Orphans’ Court should be changed to “Probate Court” to more clearly reflect its role in the judiciary of Anne Arundel County.

Torrey Jacobsen Jr.

My first priority will be to give the citizens of Anne Arundel County the best community constituency service. I will work with the families who are dealing with the death of a loved one at the minimum of expense to the estate and the heirs.

I have been an insurance agent and realtor/small-business owner for many years. My experience and life knowledge will be useful to help families with issues within the estate process. I have learned that to be successful, you must listen and ask the correct questions to deal with the issues in front of you.

Be a community advocate in the county.

CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT

Doug Arnold

Domestic violence: Each year, Maryland experiences more than 30,000 acts of domestic violence. Too often, families face the pain, fear and consequences of domestic violence. That’s why, as the clerk of the court, I will provide support to each person seeking a protective order and expand services in our community to prevent domestic violence.

Make communities safer: The clerk of the court helps carry out justice and contributes to safer communities. The drug court helps people overcome the horrific opioid crisis. As clerk, I will protect the rights of victims and witnesses in our community, work toward restitution, and ensure accurate and timely processing of warrants, court documents and decisions.

Support families: Every family has a story. The clerk's office brings families together every day through issuing marriage licenses, performing civil marriage ceremonies (I’ve married more than 4,000 couples), facilitating adoption services and helping families in trouble. As clerk, I will support our families through dedicated and friendly service whenever a family needs us.

For more information on these issues, visit www.dougarnold.net.

Scott Poyer

Reducing gun violence: We are losing too many innocent lives to gun violence in our schools, in our workplaces and on our streets. I will reduce gun violence by identifying offenders, aggressively enforcing the law to prevent them from having access to firearms, and working to create stronger laws.

11,000 unserved warrants: There is a backlog of 11,000 unserved arrest warrants issued by the judiciary that have languished for years. I will partner with the sheriff and other officials to identify the root causes of the issue and address them in a comprehensive and coordinated way.

Marriage at age 15 is too young: One of the duties of the clerk of the Circuit Court is to perform marriages. Under current law, it is legal for someone as young as 15 to marry. I will work with legislators to raise the minimum age of marriage in Maryland.

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