State Senate District 14



Published:

REPUBLICAN

 

Robert Drozd

• Where you live: Silver Spring

• Date of birth: Feb. 28, 1965

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: National security subject matter expert, American Systems Corporation, supporting the Department of Defense Joint Staff. Retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years: None

• Campaign information:

 

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

To end gerrymandering and one-party rule that has deprived Maryland moderates and conservatives their voices in Annapolis. As a Veteran, such abuse of the Constitution for political gain angers me. Even as former Governor O’Malley admitted to such abuse, my opponent, Craig Zucker, led the Democrats’ effort to protect gerrymandering with his faux-solution bill. I, like most Marylanders, support Governor Hogan’s proposed independent commission for the next redistricting.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

Fair representation. At the state level, moderate and conservative Maryland legislators’ voices rarely prevail because of the unbalanced representation. Aside from ending the gerrymandering, I will propose legislation that strengthens the voices of parents in educating our children, business owners in development our state, and citizens in lawful governing. I will press for the inclusion of measures of performance and sunset clauses for all new laws and regulations, especially taxes and fees, to prevent bloat and excessive, unnecessary costs on our citizens.

3 – What is one major issue the current Senate has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

Like so many Marylanders, I am employed full-time and, unlike the incumbents, have not spent the past three months steeped in the legislation and debate. I am reviewing their work and will formulate specifics in due course. That said, I’m deeply disappointed by the Democrats’ rejection of Governor Hogan’s tax reform effort to address the impacts of the Federal tax reform on Marylanders. The bottom line is Democrats will always view our taxes as theirs, while Republicans always remember taxes come from the people.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

I am a retired Veteran with 27+ years experience leading at all levels in multiple disciplines across this great Nation and abroad, while my opponent is a rising career politician with little experience beyond local politics. I provide defense executive-level facilitation and decision support, precisely what’s needed in Annapolis. I’ve spent 13+ years teaching at technical, undergraduate, and graduate levels and have served overseas on a school Board of Governours; my opponent presents zero experience as an educator, yet sits on the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Subcommittee. Who do you think is really more qualified?

 

DEMOCRAT

 

Craig J. Zucker (incumbent)

• Where you live: Brookeville

• Date of birth: March 23, 1975

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: State senator. Special assistant, Maryland Comptroller’s Office. Former deputy chief of staff to Maryland comptroller.

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years):

  • Candidate, District 14, Maryland House of Delegates, 2002, unsuccessful
  • Appointed member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, 2005-2006. Did not seek election.
  • Elected, District 14, Maryland House of Delegates, 2010. Re-elected, 2014.
  • Appointed, District 14, Maryland Senate, 2016.

• Campaign information:

 

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

Since being elected to public office seven years ago, I have worked hard to best represent my constituents and to ensure Maryland remains competitive with neighboring states. As a State Senator, I have secured resources for our schools, advocated for our developmentally disabled community, and provided top-notch constituent service. I am seeking another term in the State Senate to continue building on this success and to protect Maryland against adverse federal executive and congressional action.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

All of our students should have the opportunity to receive a world-class education. To do so, it is essential that our schools provide a safe and healthy environment for our students to learn and our educators to teach. This year, I cosponsored the Maryland Safe to Learn Act, establishing a comprehensive approach to school safety and school upgrades. Further, as a parent of a child in public school, I know how important it is for Montgomery County to obtain its fair share of school funding in order to make the improvements needed, such as decreasing the size of our classes.

3 – What is one major issue the current Senate has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

Having served on the Senate committee that focuses on health and education, I have seen firsthand where we need to improve. There is much-needed legislation pending before the Senate that could improve the educational experience for many of our students by screening children for learning differences, such as dyslexia, earlier on. As a legislator, I have long advocated for legislation, like this, that assists those living with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I am proud to have received The ARC of Maryland’s Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award for the past four years and I look forward to continuing this work.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

My dedication to public service began long before becoming a State Senator. Prior to being elected, I spent more than 15 years serving in various roles, including Deputy Chief of Staff to the Maryland Comptroller, State Director for a trade association, and Deputy District Director to a Member of Congress. Since first serving in the General Assembly in 2011, I have developed a reputation of being a workhorse, one who reaches across the aisle to get things done, and have worked hard to best represent my constituents by ensuring their voices are heard in Annapolis and providing top-notch individual assistance.

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