Term: 4 years

Salary: $100,000

QUESTION: How will the slowdown in the economy affect your responsibilities?

Vote for one:

Larry M. Epstein (Republican)

Louis L. Goldstein (Democrat)

Larry M. Epstein (R)

2104 Tufton Ridge Rd., Glyndon

Age: 41

Certified public accountant and senior partner, Hertzbach, Sapperstein & Sidle; graduate, University of Maryland, graduated 1970; married 23 years; two children, aged 16 and 19; experience with international and local CPA firms; member, finance committee of U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley (R-Md.); former member, board of directors of Falls Road Community Association; former member, board of directors of United Support Against Multiple Sclerosis; member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; member, Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants; areas of professional concentration include corporate and individual taxation, litigation support and computer consulting; treasurer, student government, University of Maryland.

A. In an economic environment, the comptroller must be an independent voice working closely with the legislature in areas of fiscal management. In a time of economic slowdown, it is even more essential that the comptroller assist legislators in establishing priorities based on real citizen needs resulting from reduced revenue. Maryland requires, and I am, an aggressive, experienced professional who would manage increasingly complex budgets and state funds without reducing state services by aiding the governor and legislature in utilizing our resources more wisely and efficiently. In a weaker economy, real fiscal management is crucial and the comptroller must be a leader and contributor in developing those programs and services of most benefit to the citizens. Under the current comptroller, Maryland has gone from a $400 million surplus to a $150 million deficit, severely limiting its ability to serve its citizens in these difficult times. New leadership, therefore, is critical.

Louis L. Goldstein (D)

2201 Solomons Island Road South, Prince Frederick

Age: 77

Incumbent

Comptroller of Maryland, 1959-present; state senator, 1947-59; served in U.S. Marine Corps, 1942-46; House of Delegates, 1939-42; JD, University of Maryland Law School, 1938; BS, Washington College, 1935; number one financial management rating, "Financial World"; Tribute to Excellence Award, University of Maryland; Distinguished Financial Leadership Award, National Association of Government Accountants; Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for Comptroller's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report; government finance officer, U.S. and Canada; Fr. Andrew White Medal, Loyola College; Lord Baltimore Award, St. Mary's College; President's Medal, Mount St. Mary's College; honorary degrees from several Maryland colleges and universities.

A. The economic slowdown results in slower growth in Maryland's revenue and demands solid experience in collecting revenue and managing Maryland's financial resources. As state comptroller, I have developed programs that helped Maryland earn its ranking as the best financially managed state in the nation. I have established full-time offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to audit national and multinational corporations headquartered in those areas to be sure Maryland gets its fair share of tax revenue. Our vendor offset program makes sure Maryland doesn't make payments to individuals or businesses that owe state taxes. I am supplementing our computerized delinquent tax collection system to help prevent businesses and individuals from falling behind in their tax payments. As a member of the Board of Public Works, my experience with state finances and Democratic administrations also would help me make wise decisions on state expenditures during economic slowdowns.