Forum Connects Voters with State Senator, Delegate, State's Attorney Candidates

St. Mary’s County voters got to know their candidates at a forum Monday, Oct. 18, jointly sponsored by the local League of Women Voters, NAACP and the Center for the Study of Democrary at St. Mary’s College of Md. Incumbents and their opponents for State’s Attorney, State Delegates and State Senator squared off, answering citizen-submitted questions. The event was held at Leonardtown High Scool and was well attended.

Vying for the seat of State’s Attorney in the upcoming election are Richard Fritz, a Republican who’s held the office for the last 12 years, and Democrat John A. Mattingly Jr. a private practice attorney based in Leonardtown. While these two candidates have drawn a lot of press attention due to investigations and personal legal matters, they kept their debate on the professional up and up.
Fritz told the crowd his experience has been key and stated, “I’ve worked on behalf of my county [to reduce crime].” Fritz said St. Mary’s had seen a 13 percent reduction in crime in the last three years and over his time in office has dropped 36 percent. Fritz said a big success for the office has been his partnering with Sheriff Tim Cameron and law enforcement in a number of ways and in the advancements in domestic violence prevention and prosecution.
Mattingly said, “What’s going on now and for the last 12 years is an embarrassment.  The days of cushy plea deals and revolving door justice are over. Enough’s enough, and I ask for your vote to help me give that office back to you. The attorney stated that once elected, he planned to, “Take justice out of the back room and put it back into the courtroom.”
Fritz and Mattingly answered questions about animal cruelty cases, bullying and recidivism rates, among other topics.
Seeking election as State Delegate for District 29A are Democrat John Wood Jr., who has held office since 1987 and Republican Matt Morgan, a real estate agent and Lead Technology Specialist at the College of Southern Md.
Wood said, “What we’ve got to do in Maryland is not raise taxes, but find new sources of revenue along with cutting waste within the agencies.” Wood said the high taxes in the area are driving seniors away and in regards to unfunded retiree pensions said, “You can’t rob from Peter to pay Paul,” and said putting that responsibility on the backs of the counties is, “not right.”
Morgan agreed that the unfunded liability should not be pushed off to the counties and said, “We need to figure out a fix for it or it will sink the state.” He said he recommends a 100 percent audit, adding, “There’s plenty of room to make cuts in the budget.” Morgan also suggested lowering the sales tax back to 5 percent and said, “I’m tired of class warfare. I want cheap taxes for everyone.”
Wood said his years in the grocery business provided him with experience in giving service to the people, something he said he continues to do today. “I’ve represented you for 24 years and I sleep well every night because I do the job I signed up to do,” he added.
Morgan declared, “I’m not part of the good ol’ boy network.” He stated his top priority is cutting spending.
For District 29B, Current Delegate and Democrat John Bohanan faced off against opponent and Republican Erik Anderson. Bohanan has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1999 and said he’s “strongly in favor of lower taxes,&

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