Term: 4 years
QUESTION: How would you balance statewide interests with the specific needs of your constituents?
(1 seat) Charles Thomann (R) 1606 Laurel Lane, Annapolis Age: 64
Teacher, Anne Arundel County; retired U.S. Army colonel; former president, American Society of Local Officials, Washington, D.C.; community activist; former president, Lower Broadneck Community Association; former president, Amberley Community Association; president, National Military Intelligence Association; publisher, American Intelligence Journal; officer in many local organizations; Man of the Year, Cape St. Clair Jaycees; taxpayer; veteran, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
A: This is one of our major problems. For example, when the state appropriation for Route 50 was voted on, I would have insisted that my constituents know the extent of the environmental and other damage so that they could decide whether I should oppose or approve it. After all, we have to live with the silting of our creeks and destruction of our trees, not someone else. Close communication with those I would represent would be the key to balancing statewide interests with the needs of my constituents. If legislation were controversial, or against the local self interests, it would be my job to take the facts and argument to the communities and follow their considered advice. Government works best when the people support its actions, not when decisions are autocratically imposed by entrenched politicians. Entrenched politicians often vote for self interests or special interest state projects, giving lip service to constituent desires. Gerald William Winegrad (D) 1428 Catlyn Pl., Annapolis Age: 46 Incumbent
State senator, 1983-present; lawyer, JD, private practice; graduate instructor, University of Maryland; House of Delegates, 1978-83; chairman, subcommittee on environment; Executive Committee, Chesapeake Bay Commission; Governor's Child Abuse Council; named Outstanding Legislator of the Year by Audobon Society; member, Sierra Club, Maryland Wildlife Federation, Nurses Association, Psychologist's Association and Maryland Public Health Association; selected one of 10 most effective senators by peers, in a poll conducted by a research group; Senate president's award for public policy; University of Maryland School of Law; commander, U.S. Naval Reserve; married; three children.
A: The greater Annapolis area I represent is between Baltimore and Washington and close to the Eastern Shore. Having lived in Annapolis since the first year of my life, and because I was born, raised and educated in Maryland, I believe that I have a balanced perspective on the needs of my constituents and statewide interests. There is a commonality of "public interest" in most issues before us. Protecting the environment, stopping the scourges of child abuse and drug abuse, education and other major issues transcend political boundaries. The interest of my district and statewide interest most often are problematical on money issues. On such issues, I read, listen to my constituents and all Maryland residents, study and then vote for what I think is best and fair for all. Accordingly, I voted against public funding for a new baseball stadium but voted for greater school and police aid for Baltimore City.