As a service to our readers, The Business Monthly asked Anne Arundel County candidates running in the 2022 General Election to provide responses to a short questionnaire. Their unedited responses follow. This Voters’ Guide includes only the candidates running in the primary election. For candidates who did not respond, their campaign website identified on their candidacy application is listed instead.
Questions for Executive and Legislative offices:
1. How does your experience prepare you for this office?
2. What policies do you favor in addressing issues in the following areas?
Other priorities that you endorse
3. Assuming all legal avenues for dispute are exhausted, will you accept the outcome of this election?
4. Do you accept that Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 Presidential election was legitimate?
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Jessica Haire (R): Please see www.jessicahaire.com for campaign details.
Steuart Pittman (D) (Incumbent):
Please see www.PittmanForPeople.com for campaign details.
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY COUNCIL
Jeremy M. Shifflett (R): Please see www.jeremyforaaco.com for campaign details.
Pete Smith (D): Please see www.votepetesmith.com for campaign details.
Noel J. Smith (R): Please see www.noelsmith.org for campaign details.
Allison Pickard (D) (Incumbent): Please see www.allisonpickard.com for campaign details.
David Sgambellone (L):
1. I am not your typical political candidate. I’m not a career politician or a lawyer. That is my greatest asset. That is why I will do a better job of representing the people of this county. I am running because every year brings bigger government and less freedom. It’s time to reverse the trend. It’s time to give power back to the people to run their own lives the way that works best for them.
2. Education – There’s nothing that will do more for Anne Arundel county than furthering school choice programs. The government school system is much less efficient and effective than private sector counterparts. Education is the key to individual success, and the ability to choose the education that meets your children’s needs is the key to education. Currently school choice is only available to the elite; it needs to be extended to everyone, including historically disadvantaged communities
Public Safety – The two things that would do the most for public safety are allowing people to defend themselves via carry permits and legalizing marijuana and other victimless crimes. These are state issues, but some things we can do are remove county gun restrictions such as red flag laws and direct local law enforcement to not enforce drug laws thereby freeing them up to do real police work. Alcohol prohibition has taught us that prohibition doesn’t work.
Transportation – First we need to recognize that current programs don’t work. The light rail does little if anything to help the historically disadvantaged communities it was intended to, and doesn’t come close to paying for itself. The buses often run empty. Private companies like Uber have done more for enabling transportation than any of these expensive programs. Innovations like these need to be encouraged by our government instead of blocked.
Affordable Housing – Housing is a big problem, and the solution is loosening zoning restrictions. If developers are allowed to build the high density living spaces people need, and if people are allowed to rent out rooms in their house, the cost of housing will fall sharply . This is how we provide real relief to people struggling with housing. Rent control has repeatedly been shown to only make housing problems worse.
Other priorities that you endorse – The best way to stimulate the economy is to reduce regulation and taxes. We already have way more taxes than we need to run any government. I am against any increase in taxes or spending. Cutting taxes and regulation will encourage business and help revive the economy.
Nathan Volke (R) (Incumbent): Please see www.votevolke.com for campaign details.
Michael Gendel (D): Please see https://www.facebook.com/gendelforaacodistrict3 for campaign details.
Cheryl Renshaw (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Thomas Dale Wieland (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Amanda Fiedler (R) (Incumbent): Please see www.voteforfiedler.com for campaign details.
Carl James Neimeyer (D):
1. My entire professional career, both as a Naval contracting officer and engineer as well as a business owner and employer, has prepared me to manage budgets, facilities, and staffing issues on council. From building roads and improving buildings to navigating a small business through a pandemic and staffing challenges, I can offer experience and a “can do” attitude to get it done.
2. Education – I support the professional autonomy that should be given to teachers to teach truth in their classrooms and oppose any attempt by an elected body to selectively control speech and aspects of the curriculum to whitewash or misrepresent important topics. While I believe teachers should approach contentious or distubing history and current events in an age-approriate, sensitive and nuanced way, that is best ensured when the individual schools and teachers are free to create an envionent of open, respectful discussion. Teachers must be primarily focused to providing an education that explores the full context of historical events, not constantly looking over their shoulders for culture warriors and politicians.
Public Safety – You cannot “Back the Blue” with anemic budgets and pay that won’t retain officers. I will fund our police properly, meet the county’s needs and better compete with other counties. Our officers must also be accountable in respecting citizens’ rights. I will support any adjustments to the Police Accountability Board to ensure both fairness to officers and meaningful redress for community members.
Transportation – Traffic build up from the Bay Bridge is a serious issue for District 5. I am uniquely suited with my professional experience to work closely with the various public works authorities and advocate for the best solutions. I have competencies not just to want a solution but technical competencies to evaluate and actively engage in finding solutions.
Affordable Housing – Anne Arundel County certainly lacks affordable housing, especially for teachers, first responders, and the low-to-middle income workers who drive our economy and should be able to live where they work. We need to incentivize mixed-use redevelopment of existing structures. Any new development should set aside and prioritize affordability over “luxury”/inefficient uses of real estate.
Other priorities that you endorse – I will end the partisanship that has defined District 5 since 2014. I will end the duplicitousness of “supporting” first responders, teachers, and government services with words, but demanding their budgets be slashed and voting against funding them when they were not. I want to focus on issues that matter to all of us—public safety, roads, education—not waste time with partisan grandstanding.
Mike Pantelides (R): Please see www.mikeforcountycouncil.com for campaign details.
Lisa Brannigan Rodvien (D) (Incumbent): Please see www.lisarodvien.com for campaign details.
Shannon Leadbetter (R):
Shawn Livingston (D):
Please see www.shawnfor7th.com for campaign details.
Questions for Judicial Candidates:
1. How does your experience prepare you for this office?
2. What are your priorities for this office, and how will you work to ensure that the county’s residents receive the best service possible from this office?
Anne Colt Leitess (D) (Incumbent): Please see www.Anne Arundel Anne.com for campaign details.
CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT
Terry R. Gilleland Jr. (R):
1. My public and private sector experiences provide me an understanding of state and local government with the innovation and ingenuity necessary for business success. In addition to serving as a state legislator and school board member, I served in the Hogan Administration and modernized the Adult Education office to better serve constituents. As a small business owner, I bring an entrepreneurial mindset of hard work, commitment, and tenacity that will help me serve our constituents.
2. The citizens of Anne Arundel County expect and demand more from their government. As Clerk, I will improve both constituent service and employee satisfaction while safeguarding fiscal resources for the taxpayers. I will continue to modernize and transform the office to improve access to services while protecting the privacy of constituents and ensuring full compliance with the law. Improved use of technology and innovative leadership will not only allow ease of access to multiple stakeholders to improve customer service, it will provide workload relief to the dedicated employees of the Clerk’s office which will improve both employee satisfaction and employee retention that will ultimately lead to improved service for all constituencies.
Scott Poyer (D) (Incumbent):
1. I was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court in 2018, bringing over 30 years of experience to the position. As Clerk, I manage one of the busiest offices in Maryland, overseeing 128 staff, collecting over $50 million, and processing over a quarter million documents a year. I also serve on committees that set judiciary policy state-wide. I graduated from the Coast Guard Academy, have two Masters Degrees and have lived in Annapolis for 30 years.
2. Improving Efficiency – I will continue to improve efficiency and reduce costs. My achievements in the last four years have included: saving over $350,000 a year in operating costs; increasing the speed of processing legal filings over 80%; and cleaning up a backlog of 8,500 boxes of unarchived legal documents.
Improving Customer Service –Delivering outstanding customer service is the first and highest duty of public service. My achievements in the last four years have included: speeding the delivery of legal documents from several days to a few seconds by implementing e-delivery; conducting more hearings during COVID than any other jurisdiction in the state; and conducting over 500 remote weddings during COVID, including for couples who were hospitalized, in danger of losing medical insurance, and military members being deployed.
Improving Access to Justice – I will focus on making the Clerk’s Office accessible to all, regardless of background, means, or limitations. My achievements in the last four years have included: helping people navigate the court system by publishing articles on free legal help; making numerous presentations to community groups; and reducing red tape for businesses, including working with legislators to update outdated laws and streamline court processes.
Register of Wills
Lauren M. Parker (R) (Incumbent):
1. As an attorney, I drafted Wills and Trusts for 25 years. I needed no on the job training and have 16 years’ experience as Register. Under my guidance, this office has achieved 4 perfect State Legislative Audits. I have implemented credit card acceptance, a public website for case information, and an online ordering system for documents and publications.
2. My biggest priority is maintenance of the well trained, knowledgeable, compassionate, computer savvy staff guaranteeing you efficiency and virtually no waiting time. The staff and I work together to exceed public expectations. We provide you with fast, live, personal service in answering the phone and greeting you at the front desk-all from a dedicated staff. I have created outreach programs to inform clubs, churches and civic groups regarding estates. I have almost completed the transition to a paperless office to save the public supply and storage costs. I have lobbied the Legislature to eliminate Small Estate Probate Fees, effective as of October 1, 2022 and I am now lobbying them to eliminate Bond Fees in Estates. I am working on legislation and Maryland Rule changes to create rules for electronic filing and preparing the project plan for e-filing of estate paperwork. My main priority is always continued excellence through caring public service. The motto of myself and the staff is that “Kindness and efficiency never go out of style”. I am a lifelong resident of Anne Arundel County and I take great pride in serving my county and its citizens. I am proud of what we have achieved together and I humbly ask for your support in continuing to serve you with knowledge, compassion and results.
Erica Griswold (D): No response, no campaign website listed.
Judge of the Orphans’ Court
Maureen Carr-York (R) (Incumbent):
Please see www.maureencarryork.com for campaign details.
Tony McConkey (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Nancy Phelps (R) (Incumbent):
1. My 24 years on the Orphans’ Court and 15 years as the Chief Judge have given me a historical knowledge that can’t be reproduced. One candidate has 7 years on the bench and another has 1 term. All of the other candidates have NO experience. Also, as a Realtor for over 35 years, I bring a great deal of knowledge in a very important part of Estates and Trusts.
2. My priorities in Office are the same ones that I’ve focused on every year: Service to families and individuals who bring their grievances to my Courtroom. I respect all people but I also know the law. I render judgements that are fair and respectful.
David Duba (D):
1. As a teacher, I consistently work to serve young people who often come into the classroom with very real struggles going on at home and in their lives. I must continually make my classroom accessible regardless of their background or challenges outside the classroom. In the same way, I will work to make the Orphans Court of Anne Arundel County accessible to all, a place where everyone will receive an unbiased and fair ruling.
2. My first priority will be to ensure that the court is accessible to all. With the support of my colleagues, I hope to open an afternoon or early evening session of the Orphans’ Court and host the session on zoom or similar platform. This will ensure that working people and those with transportation challenges can access the court more easily. My second priority will be to ensure that the Court is efficient and accessible as we arrange hearings, issue decisions, and make documents available. People coming to the Court are often dealing with a tragedy and I will work to ensure they have a pleasant experience. My final priority will be to develop a solid working relationship with my colleagues on the court and at the Register of Wills. Regardless of who wins the election in November, we must work together to effectively serve the people of Anne Arundel County.
Vickie Gispon (D) (Incumbent): No response, no campaign website listed.
Marc Knapp (D):
1. Attorney. Member of the Maryland bar. Certified mediator. Courtroom experience including wills and estates. 45+ years business experience – financial services and small business consulting. “C” level executive. Lived / worked abroad – multi-cultural experience. SCORE mentor to start-ups and small businesses.
2. Particularly if you’re not local, attending court can be a hardship. Given all we learned about meeting remotely during COVID, there’s no reason this technology cannot be made available for sessions of the Orphans’ Court. We should keep in mind that although the decedents whose estates will come before the Orphans’ Court were county residents, that does not mean that their heirs and beneficiaries will be.
Jim Fredericks (R) (Incumbent): Please see www.JimFredericksforSheriff.com for campaign details.
Everett Sesker (D): Please see https://www.seskerforsheriff.com for campaign details.