From Krist Boardman, a candidate for Harford County Sheriff and re-election to the Harford County Democratic Central Committee:
Six Democratic candidates are competing in the June primary for the Democratic nomination to replace Republican Congressman Andy Harris in Maryland’s First District.
Five of them, excluding Michael Brown who has not made any campaign appearances, participated in the True Harford Democratic Club forum held Thursday March 28.
All candidates had eight minutes to introduce themselves followed by a question and answer period.
STEVE WORTON: Resident of Fallston was an employee of the Aberdeen Proving Ground until his retirement three years ago. He is now a civilian defense contractor. He said the heavy-handed Republicans have spent their time trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act. He said the Republican Trump tax bill will add up to a $27 trillion debt in ten years. He said he would like to ensure the deficits don’t grow. He favors Medicare for all. “I could do a better job than Andy Harris who is not for the middle class.
MICHAEL PULLEN: Standing in for him was his field director Justin Butler. Pullen is a lawyer who recently retired after 25 years as Talbot County attorney, an appointive position by the Talbot County Council. Pullen formed an activist group Talbot Rising to do something about electoral politics. Butler said Pullen has two main assets: experience and progressive values. “The government can and should work for the people,” Butler said. Mike Pullen worked to pass legislation to fund the bay, as county attorney he worked to obtain broadband for the internet on the Eastern Shore and worked to save the Talbot Co. hospital. He is also for affordable health care. Looking for the best lawyers for domestic violence in Southfield for legal advice? Contact them through here.
ALLISON GALBRAITH said she was the first organizer to work in the district to get rid of the obstructionist Andy Harris. She is a graduate of Bel Air High School and Harford Community College before going on to baccalaureate and graduate studies at the University of Maryland. As a single divorced mother of one, she started her own business four years ago and previously experienced the loss of a job and her health insurance. She has had to rely on the Affordable Care Act for her current health insurance. “It’s personal with me if we don’t fix these issues.” She objects to gender rate and pre-existing condition rate hikes. “Why do we have a Congress where people would take away military benefits and ignore veterans concerns? People in Congress are so privileged they are turning their backs on us.” She said she has a decade of experience working in the Department of Defense and also has experience with FDA regulatory policy. She claims to have the best social media network of any of Harris’ challengers.
ERIC LANE describes himself as an entrepreneur who owns a local farm in northern Harford County. He’s worked as a volunteer in recreation coordinating a large soccer program. He says he’s from “the reddest district ” in the county and can appeal to independents as a conservative Democrat “who respects controlling the budget.” He is concerned about the shrinking number of baby boomers and the decrease in the labor force which will reduce the tax base. He wants to push vocational education. He also wants to promote the use of mobile broadband.
JESSE COLVIN at age 31 is campaigning full time while his wife works. His life has been shaped by 911 in 2001 when he was in high school. He was an English teacher in Iraq and then an Arab translator. He joined the military and did four tours of duty in Afghanistan. He was prepared to go to law school when his plans changed to a military career. 54,000 people rely on the ACA in the First District and as many as 50,000 health care jobs are linked to the ACA. He’s also concerned about the Chesapeake Bay. He wants to promote cyber security and solar energy where he says the jobs of the future will be located. He says the Bernie Sanders organization has endorsed his campaign.
LANE: I would support it on the floor but I don’t think it will come up.
GALBRAITH: I would support it if it came to the floor if it was written well enough–other methods as well.
COLVIN: Yes for high capacity magazines. I’m not for an assault weapons ban.
Will you accept money from the NRA or other pro-gun organizations?
PULLEN: Will have no access to NRA money.
LANE: The NRA has blown its legitimacy in the country. I have no intention of taking their money.
WORTON: I will not be a candidate influenced by money.
GALBRAITH: I don’t have any NRA donations…the campaign finance system is really broken…My generation won’t have a pension. I am the queen of sweat equity.
COLVIN: I’m not taking any money from the NRA.
What is your position on immigration?
PULLEN: Supports dreamers. We have to have a humane policy.
LANE: It’s tragic that a person serving two terms of military duty got deported. Anybody should find a path to citizenship.
WORTON: The whole country is immigrants. I’m against building a wall. I don’t like back tracking on our commitments to the dreamers.
GALBRAITH: We need to make sure we are protecting our veterans. I support a pathway to citizenship with DACA.
COLVIN: Protect the dreamers. I don’t see anything whlle Trump ks beating the drum against
How would you make things work in Washington?
GALBRAITH: Listen and engage in respectful debate.
COLVIN: Bipartisanship happens in the gym, the bar and the back room.
WORTON: There’s going to be a slim majority either way. You have to have enough votes to break it a piece at a time.
LANE: I’m an inherent networker, shaking hands and developing trust. There is an opportunity to move leadership in a new direction. The blue wave needs to change its own leadership.
PULLEN: Compromise on shared values.
What is your view on getting new Democratic leadership in the House?
COLVIN: I said to Nancy Pelosi, “you are not reflecting the values of your constituents.”
GALBRAITH: Pelosi has taken a lot of hits from the team. There is so much animosity toward her.
WORTON: To cast Pelosi aside is no good. There are various folks I would consider, possibly Steny Hoyer, but also keep her.
LANE: Senior leadership transitions are tied to long term success. Nancy needs a plan.
The candidates favored a 12 year term limit for service in the House.