Term: 4 years

Salary: $27,000

QUESTION: How would you balance statewide interests with the specific needs of your constituents?


(1 seat) Bernie Fowler (D) 4595 Branch St., Dares Beach Age: 66 Incumbent

Member, Maryland state Senate; member, Senate Budget and Taxation Committee; chairman, Patuxent River Commission; co-chairman, Joint Legislative Committee on Program Open Space; member, governor's Commission on Growth in the Chesapeake Bay Region; recipient of the first Truitt Environmental Award, 1990; member, Subcommittee on Health, Education and Human Resources, Capital Projects Subcommittee, Prince Frederick Lodge 142, Eastern Star, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elks, Kiwanis, Calvert Farm Bureau, Calvert County Chamber of Commerce, Potomac River Association, Maryland Watermen's Association; married; four children; six grandchildren; served in Navy during World War II, received Asiatic-Pacific, American and Victory Navy medals.

A: Balancing statewide interests with the needs of my constituents isn't an easy task. For example, providing additional funding for education to poorer subdivisions at the expense of the more affluent jurisdictions is challenging. Managing growth statewide is absolutely essential to the environmental health of our state and yet stringent regulations impose constraints on land use in rural jurisdictions of our state, such as my district, which often counters the will of local citizens. Critical areas and non-tidal wetlands regulations are prime examples. Restructuring our tax system to produce more revenue will not be easy, particularly with the redistribution of those funds. However, as a rural senator, I must be mindful of our local needs but act responsibly and support what is best for our state as a whole.