Note: These endorsements do NOT represent the opinions of HoCoRising, the River Hill Village Board or any other organization or group. These endorsements are Trevor's and Trevor's alone.
Your regular writer, HCR, will be back with us very soon. I've had a great time blogging, and in my short time doing so, have learned a great deal. What I learned, primarily, is that blogging is a lot of work! It takes a good deal of time, effort and creativity to come up with these posts. I really respect all the bloggers out there. In most cases, you are making this sacrifice without any pay or compensation.
And now, for my post. As you may be aware, early primary voting starts September 3rd. I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about various local issues, and have had the opportunity to meet many local candidates over the last few months. I give so much credit to anyone who has the chutzpah to run for political office. It is a ton of work (a lot more than writing a blog, believe it or not), and you are putting yourself out there subject to criticism and ridicule. If you somehow go and get yourself elected, suddenly you have the added burden of governing. If I endorse you or not, I respect and admire ALL candidates for public office. To all candidates, thank you for your hard work!
These are my endorsements for the primaries, not the general election. Perhaps I'll do general election endorsements as well, we'll see. I have not followed the school board election well enough to include it in these rankings. I'll leave those endorsements to wordbones.
As I see it, these 5 races are ranked in order from least significant to most significant.
5. Judge of the Orphans' Court - Democrat - Nicole Bormel Miller
Voters can vote for up to 3 people in the Orphans' Court election. Nicole Bormel Miller is the only candidate I know, and I throw my full support behind her candidacy. Many years ago, Nicole and I went to preschool together. Nicole now has a family of her own. She is a true Howard Countyan, as she graduated from River Hill High School, and decided to come back and raise her family here. She is an extremely kind person, and I see her doing a fantastic job as one of the three Judges of the Orphans' Court
4. House of Delegates - District 13 - Republican - Ed Priola, Jeffrey Robinson
This district comprises the southern half of Howard County, including Highland, Fulton, Hammond, Laurel, Savage, Elkridge, River Hill, Kings Contrivance, Owen Brown, Oakland Mills, and Long Reach. I have had the opportunity to meet both of these candidates, and see them speak during the League of Women Voter forum. After meeting them, and learning about their backgrounds, desires, and attitudes towards our state, I volunteered to help both of their campaigns. Ed Priola is an incredibly dedicated individual. He has been working on his campaign full time. He has a great message of promoting term limits for state legislators. Jeff Robinson is incredibly kind and clearly shows great leadership traits. Both of these gentlemen preach a message of fiscal restraint, supporting small businesses, and reduced taxes. These are exactly the type of people we need in Annapolis to set our state straight.
3. House of Delegates - District 12 B - Democrat - John Bailey
This is an important race for the status of our state and county. District 12 B consists of Hickory Ridge, Harper's Choice, Wilde Lake, Town Center and parts of Dorsey Search. I am supporting John Bailey. He also is a lifelong Howard Countyan, graduating from Atholton High School. He currently serves on the Hickory Ridge Village Board, which I can tell you, is an excellent position to be educated on the issues that are important to the voters. Similar to Ed Priola, John supports term limits for legislators. If they are both elected, I could see them working together as a show of bipartisanship on this issue. John Bailey understands the needs of business owners and young people. He does not want to spend his time in Annapolis on his own personal pet issues, but rather, would prefer to do his best to make this state great for all. He is a supporter of downtown Columbia redevelopment, which leads us to...
2. County Council - District 4 - Democrat - Mary Kay Sigaty
County Council District 4 contains the areas of Dorsey Search, Wilde Lake, Town Center, Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, River Hill, Clarksville, and Fulton. Mary Kay Sigaty is my representative on the County Council. What I mean is she represents my views, and does her best to make sure she understands my views, and the views of all the residents before she makes a decision. Prior to working towards the unanimous passage of the downtown Columbia redevelopment plan, Mary Kay held literally dozens of meetings with concerned citizens. She sought input from all the stakeholders. After reading and rereading CB-58 and 59, until I understood them well, I realized that Mary Kay really listened to her constituents, and helped pass a bill that will provide the most positive for the most people, while allowing our community to grow in the most positive manner possible. She clearly understands the issues in our community.
At a recent River Hill Board meeting at which Mary Kay was in attendance, some members of the community raised the issue that open space near their homes was being utilized in a manner for which it was not designed. Even though it was not requested of her, the very next day Mary Kay went to the area, toured it, and discussed it with her staff, so she would understand the residents' concerns. This shows her commitment to understanding our community. I do not necessarily agree with Mary Kay's stance on every issue, but I do know that before she makes a decision she will come to us, the residents, and listen, get input, and make a decision that will benefit us the most.
1. State Senate - District 13 - Republican - Jody Venkatesan
In Maryland, the Democrats in the state senate have a filibuster-proof majority. As we all know, one party rule does not usually result in good government. Do the Democrats have the correct answers to all our problems? No. Do the Republicans have the correct answers to all our problems? No. The government that governs best, is the one that governs under the principle of compromise. There is no compromise in our state government, as it is currently set up. What needs to be done is the most extreme representatives of the ruling party need to be jettisoned in favor of more moderate, forward thinking members of the other party. Jody Venkatesan is an individual that could serve to balance the power in Annapolis, and foster a sense of compromise and bipartisanship.
Jody is a family man and a military veteran. He has a wealth of experience as an auditor, meaning, he is an expert at finding inefficiencies and fixing them. This is exactly the skill that is needed right now in our state government. If you get the chance to meet him, or see him speak, you will know that Jody understands the issues that are important to Howard County residents.
It is time for a return to fiscal responsibility in our state. You cannot simply raise sales tax, raise fees on businesses, raise income taxes, raise corporate taxes, and raise liquor taxes if you expect to grow an effective economy. The only reason our state does not have a worse economy is the constant presence of the federal government in our back yard. But, the economy is not great. We need to elect individuals like Jody, who preach a message of improving the economic situation in our state by improving the efficiency of our government, and reducing taxes. For all of these reasons, I am strongly supporting Jody Venkatesan in the upcoming primary. Additionally, I will be attending his fundraiser with Kendel Ehrlich this Saturday evening. I would love to meet the blog readers, so anyone who is there, come by and say hi!
This is it for my blog posting. I'll gladly hand the reigns back to HCR. I will continue to check the comments under my posts, so if you'd like to leave a comment, criticism or discussion point, I would be very happy! Thank you so much for reading my posts over these last few days.