The Baltimore Guide sent out a simple questionnaire in July. We asked the candidates for a 100-word statement. Incumbents state why voters should return them to the legislature; challengers state why voters should send them to Annapolis.
Here are their responses. Voters who want to hear the candidates expand on their statements and answer questions from the floor should come to The Baltimore Guide’s candndates forum Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the Southeast Anchor Library, Conkling St. and Eastern Ave.
The forum is free and open to the public.
CANDIDATES FOR STATE SENATE
George Della, 67
State Senator, Incumbent since 1994
Lives in South Baltimore
I don’t lead a fancy life – no vacations, no new cars. I spend every day helping people out and helping Baltimore be more. I sponsored the Homeowners Property Tax Credit to keep our neighborhoods affordable for older residents. I supported the Public Charter School Act to make public schools more attractive for newer residents. I even gave back part of my salary to help balance the budget in tough times. It’s not glamorous, but it’s important work, and I take it seriously. Send me back to the Senate, and I will keep fighting for you.Bill Ferguson, 27
Full-Time Candidate; Formerly Community Liaison To City Council President, Lives In Canton
“Does the bill help all residents of the 46th District, and will the bill further our goal to attract and retain families in our neighborhoods?” These are the legislative principles that will guide my decision-making process when I am the 46th District’s State Senator. With your vote on September 14th, you will elect a tireless public servant who will be committed to advocating for all residents, not just those whose interests align with mine. I will bring the proactive and collaborative leadership urgently needed to transform our district into the epicenter of economic and social development in Maryland.
CANDIDATES FOR HOUSE OF DELEGATESRoger Bedingfield, 42
Lives in Canton, Retail sales manager
My mission is to reduce spending, taxes, and the size of government. If we are to prosper as a state we must change the way the state conducts business. We need education reform with all options on the table, including a school voucher program. We need to reduce the number of illegal migrants that have flooded into our state and cost us billions of dollars each year. Finally, we must take a hard look at our future infrastructure needs and prioritize our limited funds towards those goals.Luke Clippinger, 37
Assistant State’s Attorney, Anne Arundel County; 2008 member of the Platform Committee of the Democratic National Convention, Lives in Federal Hill
I have the experience, energy and passion to advocate for the people of the 46th District in Annapolis. As a prosecutor I know what works and what doesn’t in our criminal justice system – and I will use that experience as one of only two prosecutors in the General Assembly to give law enforcement the tools they need to create safer neighborhoods. I will fight to improve our public schools and give parents more opportunities to send their kids to innovative charter schools. I will create jobs by eliminating red tape and creating incentives for small businesses in Baltimore.Jason Fillipou, 29
Business development, Adcor Inc.; Former Executive Director of Greektown Community Development Corp., Lives in Bayview
Vote for your neighborhoods. I am a trained community advocate who wants to be your go-to-guy. I want to bring the focus back on our communities and use the skills I have acquired as Executive Director of a non-profit Community Development Corporation to focus on keeping families in our district, helping small businesses thrive and ensuring safe streets. I will make sure that state laws are current with these needs. We are a district of neighborhoods that thrive off one another, I want to build on our successes, and this is what I do best. I just need 1 of your 3 votes to make a change.Peter A. Hammen, 44
Democrat, Incumbent since 1994
Executive Vice President, Family Respiratory Care, Lives in Brewers Hill
As your delegate, I’ve worked with City agencies and residents to address troubled properties in Baltimore’s neighborhoods and helped establish the Baltimore Harbor Watershed Association to clean our harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. I also sit on the Board of the Holabird Academy School Improvement Team and the Advisory Committee for the Friends of Patterson Park. As Chairman of the Health and Government Operations Committee in Annapolis, I have passed legislation to expand health insurance coverage, provide prescription drug assistance to seniors, increase behavioral health benefits, and assist small businesses provide health insurance to their employees.Brian K. McHale, 55
Democrat, Incumbent since 1990
Lives in Locust Point, Steamship clerk, International Longshoreman’s Union Local 953
As a lifelong resident of the district, I know the issues that concern our citizens. I know that people want to have thriving neighborhoods that make for a vibrant City with a future. We can only accomplish that if we continue to improve our public education system, make our neighborhoods safe and provide broad-based job opportunities “making Baltimore a better place to live, work, play and raise a family.Bill Romani, 42
Senior Research Associate, MedStar Health Research Institute; Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Founder of MammoJam Music Festival, to raise funds for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment programs for uninsured and homeless women.
For over a decade I have worked with you as a Boys and Girls Club, Catholic school, and Main Street board member. I know firsthand how important it is to build strong, safe neighborhoods right here in the 46th district. As your Delegate, I will fight to make sure that our working families and seniors live in neighborhoods with access to quality health care, safe recreation centers, and successful schools for their children. And I will fight for small businesses to get the loans they need to put Marylanders back to work.Melissa A. Techentin, 47
Central Office Engineering, Verizon; Longtime Chair Of The Southeastern District Police-Community Relations Commission, Lives in Graceland Park
For the past ten years, I have served as a community activist for my neighborhood, community, district and other sections of Baltimore City. I served as President of the Dundalk Avenue Area Residents Together, (DAART).President of the Southeastern District Police Community Relations Council. (SEDP-CRC) and was appointed as Commissioner for the Maryland Commission for Women. I understand what it takes to step up to the plate and fight for what I believe in and take action for my community, city and state. I have a long list of achievements that prove that I can take on the tough tasks and not lose sight of our goals. I want to take on the tough issues that you are concerned with to Annapolis to make a healthy and safer community.