Gene Stanton – Candidate for Maryland House of Delegates – District 4

Glade Valley residents will join voters across the State of Maryland in electing representatives to the Maryland General Assembly. Glade Valley is part of District 4, where we will elect three delegates to the House of Delegates. We asked all four candidates to respond to a few short questions and make a statement to Glade Valley voters in this last week before the election.

GeneStantonGene Stanton is the sole Democrat running for one of the three seats in District 4’s House of Delegates race. Mr. Stanton lives in Ijamsville, Maryland. He has been a teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools for the past fourteen years where he currently teaches AP European History, Law, and World History at Poolesville High School. A native of Florida, Mr. Stanton has degrees from Florida International University, University of Maryland University College, and an additional +30 Masters credits from Hood College.

GladeValley.net: What are the most important issues you hope to tackle in the House of Delegates?

The most important issues that I hope to deal with as a member of the House of Delegates include education, transportation and limiting over-development. We need to fully fund our schools, improve transportation by improving our roads and make development pay for itself, rather than putting the costs on the backs of taxpayers who are already here.
As a high school teacher, I have first-hand experience in education. I have seen the importance of supporting our public school system and our teachers. You cannot separate support for our children in school from support for our teachers, administrators, and support staff. They are tied together. There is no reason why Frederick County schools should not be among the best in our nation. I want to go to Annapolis to get the support we need for our schools from the state.

For far too long, Northern Maryland has taken a back seat to the rest of the state when it comes to transportation funding. I want to work in Annapolis to turn that around, to get back more of the tax dollars our area sends to the state. I can do that, because I am able to work with everybody. I am not on the far left, and I am not on the far right. I am in the middle, because someone needs to be if our area is to get back more of what it pays in. As a moderate Democrat, when the deals are made, I will be on the inside making our case – not on the outside looking in. The first thing I will work on is moving up the start of work to widen I-270 and US15 to 2018, from the currently-planned 2030.

I also want to work in the House of Delegates to make sure that growth benefits everybody, not just the developers. Right now, developers are having their projects subsidized by existing taxpayers, and that’s wrong. While this is primarily an issue for local governments, the state can still do a lot about it. For example, the state could mandate that significant developments undergo a regional impact study that assesses a development’s impact on regional roads, not just the streets within a few blocks of new construction. In order to have a good infrastructure that supports economic growth, you have to ensure that developers pay their fair share of the cost of the infrastructure improvements that their developments require. This may raise the price of new construction a bit, but it could limit density and also raise our property values.

I am completely opposed to new taxes. I will oppose new taxes, no matter which party proposes them, because they are not needed. What is needed is a willingness to look at every line in the budget critically, set our priorities and make the choices we need to make. If we do that, then we can accomplish our priorities. It’s really very simple. We need to reduce the tax burdens on our small businesses, which are the economic lifeblood of Maryland. We also need to reduce taxes on our farmers, so that they can continue farming and not be forced to sell their land to pay their taxes.

I am proud of all of the many endorsements I have received, including but not limited to, our Teachers and Firefighters in Frederick County, The Emmitsburg New-Journal, Parents Choice of Maryland, The Sierra Club, Clean Water Maryland and RALE.

GladeValley.net: How will your election to the House of Delegates help residents of Glade Valley, the district, the county, and the state as a whole?

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It is my hope that my election will send a powerful, positive message: that people have had enough of hyper-partisanship. I am running to be the bridge between the left and the right, who can bring people together to benefit Frederick County First. During almost a year of non-stop campaigning throughout District 4, I never found a lot of partisanship. It’s time for the people who represent us to stop bickering and get to work.

All my life, I have always been very proud of the fact that I vote for the people that I believe would better serve me, regardless of their party affiliation. When I was young, I campaigned for Ronald Reagan. Later, I supported Bill Clinton. For me, it’s always been a question of who will serve the people best. I want to put my neighbors first.

I still believe what my parents and my teachers taught me: that we all have a responsibility as citizens to participate in the political process, to make our communities and our country a better place.

I believe that elected officials are supposed to serve ALL of their constituents. I will always listen to all points of view; I can always be persuaded by a sound argument based on facts.

GladeValley.net: What issue facing Glade Valley residents would you like to address and how would you address that issue?

The most important issue facing all of us, in Glade Valley and throughout District 4, is preserving our way of life. We live in small, rural communities and most of us love that lifestyle. We want to see it preserved as we move forward. I don’t want our community to become another Montgomery County, with its over-development. We have farms here. In 10 years, I still want to see those farms here, I don’t want them turned into concrete jungles. We live in a very beautiful place. We need to preserve it.

I offer myself in service to all of the citizens of Frederick County and Carroll County. I ask for your support and your vote. May God bless Maryland and the citizens of District 4.

Learn more about Gene Stanton at his web site: http://www.stantonfordelegate.org.
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