State Senate District 18



Published:

DEMOCRAT

 

Dana Beyer

• Where you live: Chevy Chase

• Date of birth: Feb. 9, 1952

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Executive director, Gender Rights Maryland

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years: Ran for state delegate in District 18 in 2006. Ran for state Senate in District 18 in 2014.

• Campaign information:

 

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

Our liberal constitutional republic is facing its worst threat ever, and it is clear that Maryland, under our federal system, has an important role to play in defending our residents. More than ever, good character is an essential attribute for our representatives, along with the ability to successfully defend our people and lead us back to be a strong and sane nation. I will use my voice and strength to that end in the Senate.

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

Access to health care is our primary challenge, due to the gutting of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The stopgap reinsurance plan passed this session will help reduce the recently announced premium rises of 20-90% for 2019, but we will need to craft longer-lasting solutions until we can either fix the ACA or institute the increasingly popular Medicare for All single payer plan. I will lead in the Senate, with my experience in our most underserved communities as a physician and surgeon, as well as a public health advocate for Maryland and the nation.

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

The greatest existential crisis facing the planet is global warming, and this year the legislature was unable to pass either of the two greenhouse gas reduction/clean renewable energy bills, neither leaving committee. I will begin working with the activists and committed legislators with the intention of creating a single bill which all can support. We cannot afford to ignore or avoid the coming calamity.

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

I have spent my life committed to serving those most in need, as a physician and surgeon serving people one at a time, and a public health advocate serving the population at large. I have put my life on the line fighting for civil rights, facing a barrage of hate mail and death threats, to accomplish the goal of equality for the most marginalized among us. I will not be owned, nor will I be cowed. My service on the County Council and activism on the state and federal levels have taught me how to make the system work.    

 

Michelle Carhart

• Where you live: Randolph Hills, North Bethesda

• Date of birth: Nov. 17, 1968

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Owner, Dynamite Gymnastics Center. Previous: Executive director, Financial Literacy Foundation. Budget officer, American University.

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

• Campaign information:

 

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

I am a lifelong Montgomery County resident. I am running because although I started out as a single mom at 20, I was able to make something of my life, and I want all Marylanders to have the same opportunity. I have spent my adult life as an educator, lawyer and business owner — to help people. No matter how many people I teach or employ, without legislation that supports them, I cannot do enough.

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

We need to create pathways out of poverty. We think that attracting high-paying jobs will solve our problems through increased tax revenue, but we also need to focus on building a solid economic foundation from the bottom up. Our low-income neighbors want to contribute to their communities, but need to become stable first. Small businesses, the gateways for low-income workers, are leaving because of regulatory red tape and taxes. If we want to alleviate poverty, we must invest in education, vocational training and wrap-around services as well as partner with small businesses who hire and train our disadvantaged populations.

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

While the current Senate has taken steps towards criminal justice reform through bail reform, we need to implement legislation to keep people out of the criminal justice system for traffic infractions, gambling, and other non-violent activities. The Senate has not done enough to create transparency and police accountability. Instituting disclosure requirements where residents can track their complaints against police officers fosters accountability and promotes trust between residents and law enforcement. Creating programs that provide alternatives to incarceration help keep those being adjudicated of a crime the opportunity to maintain employment, care for their families, and get a second chance.

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

I have made a lifetime of teaching and helping people. During law school, I founded an educational nonprofit and spent four years teaching financial management skills to thousands of students each year in the most impoverished areas of Southeast D.C. In 2009, I started Dynamite Gymnastics in Rockville, followed by three additional gyms and a recreational therapy program for kids with special needs (all in Montgomery County). Today, these businesses employ over 100 people — mostly women and minorities. I know firsthand how to create jobs and economic opportunity, and have experience creating solutions to lift people out of poverty.

 

Jeff Waldstreicher

• Where you live: Kensington

• Date of birth: Dec. 31, 1979

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Attorney

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years: State delegate in District 18 (elected 2006; re-elected 2010, 2014)

• Campaign information:

 

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

I’m running for State Senate because I believe in progressive values that uplift Montgomery County. I’m a proud Democrat, lifelong Montgomery County resident, and father of three. In the State Senate, I’ll fight for your families the same way I fight for my own. That means 1) investing in education, 2) passing universal healthcare, and 3) cracking down on gun violence.

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

Education is my top issue.  My kids attend Montgomery County Public Schools just like I did. As State Senator, I’ll continue working to keep our schools strong. How?

• Fully Fund our Schools: I’ll fight for the resources we need and ensure our educators get paid fairly.

• Decrease Class Sizes: I’ll continue to advocate for our fair share of education dollars to help keep class sizes small and close the achievement gap.

• Keep Schools Safe: I’ll stand up to Trump and oppose any efforts to arm teachers in Maryland, which would only put our kids at risk.

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

I believe in economic justice and fighting for working Marylanders. The Maryland State Senate has yet to move forward on the Fight for Fifteen legislation to raise Maryland’s minimum wage. In the House, I’m proud to be a lead sponsor of the bill with my friends and colleagues from Baltimore and Prince George’s Counties. In the State Senate, I’ll continue leading the fight to stand up for working Marylanders and raise our minimum wage.​​

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

It’s been my honor to have been elected to serve three terms in the Maryland House of Delegates. In the House, I’ve fought for our public schools and dramatic investments in education. I’ve pushed aggressively to make healthcare more affordable. I’ve stood up to the NRA and passed laws to crack down on gun violence. Now I’m running for State Senate. I believe that progressive values can inspire policies that uplift all Marylanders. I have three young children, so this is personal for me. With hard work, I hope I can earn your vote.

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