Biographical information and responses to candidate questions were provided by candidates or campaigns, unless otherwise noted. Responses have been edited for clarity.

Freddie Donald Dickson Jr. | Donna Edwards | Ralph Jaffe | Theresa Scaldaferri | Charles Smith | Violet Staley | Blaine Taylor | Ed Tinus | Chris Van Hollen | Lih Young

FREDDIE DONALD DICKSON JR.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/277194622462268/

Age: 55

Town or city of residence: Ellicott City

Education: B.S. in Business Administration from Salisbury University

Professional background: Founder and owner of Delmarva Granite and Marble

Candidate questions

Why should voters choose you?

We need to rebuild our government with non-politicians!! I am not taking any donations and requesting my constituents to donate to any 501c (cancer, vets, homeless, emergency service technicians, etc.) in my initials, fddjr, instead of wasting it on politicians!! I have worked in politics since I was 18 with business and personal. I have seen it all from outside the Capital Beltway looking and working in!! It's sick and must stop!!

If elected, what are your top three priorities and why?

1. Caring for all 24 counties!! And uniting all!! Having town hall meetings in all counties once a year (two per month or more) in federal parks or federal facilities on weekends. We have the technology to stay connected and represent the people of Maryland 24/7/365.
2. Term limits!!! Self imposed. I am one and done!! And no pensions!!
3. Bring back federal aid to reinstall vocational high school training and more sports and recreational facilities in the city and rural areas.

DONNA EDWARDS

Website: https://donnaedwardsforsenate.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donnaedwardsforsenate

Twitter: https://twitter.com/donnafedwards

Previous coverage in Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat: Formidable Foe

Age: 57

Town or city of residence: Oxon Hill

Education: B.A. from Wake Forest University; J.D. from University of New Hampshire Law School

Professional background: Founder of National Network to End Domestic Violence; executive director of ARCA Foundation

Service in public office: Member, U.S. House, 2008-present

Candidate questions

Why should voters choose you?

I’m running for the United States Senate because everyday Marylanders deserve a voice at the table. Today, the special interests get their way too often, with politicians too willing to compromise their principles. That’s not me; Marylanders always know where I stand. It’s with the average single mom who needs affordable child care, the parents saddled with debt so a child can fulfill her or his potential at a great Maryland university. The young woman who does not understand, in this day and age, how she can be paid 77 cents on every dollar given a man for the exact same work. The seniors who paid into Social Security expecting their elected officials to keep the promise, not bargain it away.

If elected, what are your top three priorities and why?

Education: Maryland students are doing better because I’ve fought to bring education resources to Maryland. I’ve made historic investments in historically black colleges, ensured thousands of after-school meals have been served to needy children, and made sure women and minorities have equal access to STEM education. Now, I’m leading the fight to ensure incarcerated individuals have access to Pell Grants, so those who have served their time can reintegrate and contribute to our communities and economy.

Seniors: I’ve stood up to anyone willing to consider cuts to Social Security or Medicare, and I am leading the fight to expand retirement security for our seniors. Maryland seniors who worked hard every day and paid into Social Security and Medicare with every paycheck deserve a senator who understands that a promise is a promise, not politicians just looking to cut a deal. In the Senate, I will lead the fight to make sure seniors get what they are owed when they retire.

Economic development/job creation: I have a proven record of leadership when it comes to economic development in Maryland, including ending unfair federal leasing practices, and securing money for critical transportation initiatives, including the Purple Line. I’ve introduced legislation to extend permanently the research and development tax credit, and tie it to a domestic manufacturing tax credit to ensure that good, high-paying jobs are created in America, and stay in America.

RALPH JAFFE

Website: http://www.fedupwithcrookedpolitics.com/

Age: 74

Town or city of residence: Baltimore County

Education: B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland

Professional background: Retired teacher

Candidate questions

Why should voters choose you?

I am fed up with all the money and corruption that have infiltrated our government. Converting my words into action, as a teacher, I’ve spearheaded the Jaffe Movement—designed to put a brake on the moral bankruptcy in our political system and replace it with real, true ethical reform. The movement’s mission is to get money out of politics and the phony career politicians out of business.

I am the only candidate who is committed to combating corruption in Maryland politics. I’m the first one who brought to the forefront the damaging ways of career politicians. Back in 2010, when I ran for governor, I realized the extent to which Maryland voters distrusted career politicians. 

The movement’s goal is to return democracy back to its roots—participatory democracy. It is designed to change the culture of the way we select our current politicians—instituting a new standard of behavior for politicians who should focus on doing what’s right for the people rather than for themselves.

If elected, what are your top three priorities and why?

I am running as a teacher, not a politician, who practices the principles upon which I stand. Trust, earning and demonstrating trust, is the most important thing. In all of my campaigns I have kept my word. Without trust, there is nothing. Small government, but effective government is the key to restoring power where it belongs—with the people.

My website’s name, fedupwithcrookedpolitics.com, reflects my feeling about our current state of affairs. The website’s content presents my views on the issues of the day: Battle cries for elimination of corruption, a call for ethical politics and politicians, and participatory democracy appear throughout.

For me, the more important charge is to make life better for our citizens in the state of Maryland and to do what is right. The more the corruption is exposed, the more the movement’s message can resonate with the people—and the power of the people can prevail.

THERESA SCALDAFERRI

Town or city of residence: Prince George’s County

Note: Candidate did not submit info for voters’ guide.

CHARLES SMITH

Town or city of residence: Baltimore (according to media reports)

Note: Candidate did not submit info for voters’ guide.

VIOLET STALEY

Website: http://www.violetstaleyformarylandsenator.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VStaleySenator

Age: 63

Town or city of residence: Landover

Education: B.A. in Sociology from Wilberforce University

Professional background: Teacher, child development specialist

Candidate questions

Why should voters choose you?

Voters should vote for me because for more than 50 years, I have volunteered as a public servant and will continue to do so. I believe that I should do whatever I can to improve the lives of our citizens. I was shown this example by my mother, so it is a natural part of me. As a military wife, I have been blessed to have many experiences in different places and have used them to enrich communities. I am dedicated to advocating for children, families and veterans. I will treat you the way I want to be treated. I will always be honest with you and work hard to accomplish our goals.

If elected, what are your top three priorities and why?

1. Job creation with a living wage of $15 an hour

Our citizens want to work to support themselves and their families. Consequently, they will be able to pay taxes and contribute to the economy. They need to meet their basic needs, and maybe have some money left over for emergencies. Fifteen dollars an hour translates to $36,800 a year working full-time for a family of four. That’s a start.

2. Equal pay for equal work

It is unacceptable that women make less than men for the same work. It is unfair, unequitable, and shameful for the leader of the civilized world. Women have to meet the same requirements, have the same education, and pass the same tests as men to get the job. They should receive the same pay.

Much of the statistics on poverty in this country are based on single and divorced women.

3. Transform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been allocated billions of dollars, and yet we still see long waiting periods for medical services, processing of applications for benefits and lack of respect for our veterans. The jobless and homeless rates have to be decreased with an overhaul of past inefficiencies. Our veterans deserve appreciation for their service and quality care that can't wait. A systematic, state-by-state reform should take place immediately to remove this scourge on our society.

BLAINE TAYLOR

Age: 69

Town or city of residence: Towson

Education: B.A. in History from Towson University

Professional background: Magazine editor and writer

Candidate questions

Why should voters choose you?

I am the most conservative of the Democrats running, especially of the top two others, both liberals; and a Vietnam War vet as we prepare to go to war again in Syria; [and an] antiwar candidate [from] 2006-16. [I] will vote to win the current war with ISIS.

If elected, what are your top three priorities and why?

1. Repeal the Iran nuclear treaty as [it’s] not in the best interests of the United States. On this issue, I believe that the State of Israel is right and the U.S. is wrong.

2. Repeal NAFTA and will also vote against the Trans-Pacific Partnership as [they] also [are] not in the best interests of [the] American economy and its workers. I'd also support [a] national sales tax to run the federal government and state sales taxes to run their governments, thereby repealing all federal and state income taxes enacted since 1912 in 2017.

3. Other foreign affairs issues are to seal off the border with Mexico and deport all illegal aliens to their countries of origin, starting in 2017; [and to] enact better and more effective environmental treaties with China and India. Without their full participation, nothing that we do here will matter.

ED TINUS

Website: http://united-us.org/meet-ed-tinus.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Ed-Tinus-324453870984394/

Age: 57

Town or city of residence: Whaleyville

Professional background: Master upholsterer; universal mechanical electrical technician

Candidate questions

Why should voters choose you?

In 1787, the motion of the electoral vote would have been struck down if they had the technology of today.

Now is the time to be brave!

As a republic, currently "we the people" elect our senators, where we should also elect our president. As your senator, I will be bound to uphold and defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

As your transparent representative, I will use the Internet to search the will of the voters and formulate a uniform question of yea or nay subject to a public vote. A vote made from the comfort of your home on every issue. My final vote will be between God and me alone.

A god that holds me accountable to every word that proceeds from my mouth.

You see, your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness rests in your hands. I will ensure that we are no longer subjects to a federal government that has progressively assumed authority over our rights.

I stand before you as the only Senate candidate in this presidential election that will surrender the authority of governance to a public vote as the Constitution dictates. I have a dream that you have a dream.

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN

Website: http://vanhollen.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VanHollenForMD

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VanHollenForMD

Previous coverage in Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat: Van Hollen Rising

Age: 57

Town or city of residence: Kensington

Education: B.A. in Philosophy from Swarthmore College; Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University; J.D. from Georgetown University

Professional background: Attorney in private practice; Senior Adviser on Federal Affairs to Gov. William Donald Schaefer; Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff; National Security Adviser to Sen. Mac Mathias

Service in public office: Member, U.S. House, 2003-present; Maryland State Senate, 1994-2002; Maryland House of Delegates, 1990-1994

Candidate questions

Why should voters choose you?

I have a record of translating Maryland priorities and values into real results. That’s why I’ve been endorsed by The Washington Post as the candidate who can “contribute meaningfully to breaking Washington’s legislative logjam.”

In Annapolis, I beat the NRA to pass a gun safety law, stood up to big oil to ban drilling in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and helped pass a historic increase in funding for public schools across the state.

When I came to Congress, I led the same kind of fights. I took on big banks and Wall Street to make college more affordable, fought Republicans who tried to undermine our retirement security and shut down the government, and led the fight to stop the Tea Party from cutting funding for Planned Parenthood. I’ve stood up for federal employees to protect their pay and benefits.

I know when to fight, and I know when to find common ground and get results for Maryland—from preventing government shutdown to securing funding to protect the Bay to expanding research to cure childhood cancer.

We must move our nation forward for working families and future generations. That means a growing economy with more broadly shared prosperity, investing in education at all levels, and combating climate change. I’ve proposed concrete plans on those critical issues, and I’m proud to be endorsed by groups like SEIU, Sierra Club, UAW, and Maryland Firefighters. In the Senate I’ll fight to get the job done.

If elected, what are your top three priorities and why?

My priorities are equal opportunity, economic security, and social justice.

Every child deserves a fair shot at a good future. That starts with early education and continues with community schools, after-school programs, and meal and health services to give all children and their families the support they need. I led the fights in Maryland to increase funding for school construction and modernization and pass the Thornton plan that invested more in schools. In Congress, I have sponsored legislation to fully fund the cornerstone federal education programs and provide more resources to those who need it most.

We need free community college; affordable, debt-free four-year college; and apprenticeships to prepare young people for jobs. I have a comprehensive plan to address income inequality by reforming the tax code to focus on working families, raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing earned paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave, supporting small businesses, and finally ensuring equal pay for equal work. As the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, I am leading the fight against Tea Party budgets and working to protect Social Security.

And we need social and environmental protection and justice so that opportunity is extended to all. I will fight to end the scandal of mass incarceration and treat substance abuse like the public health issue it is. I am pushing for environmental justice—from my plan to fight climate change to my commitment to ensuring that every neighborhood has access to clean air, clean water, and lead-free homes.

LIH YOUNG

Town of city of residence: Rockville

Note: Candidate did not submit info for voters’ guide.

 

2016 Primary Voters' Guide