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Brewer versus Bailey for Maryland State Senate in District 29

Lexington Park, MD - In District 29 St. Mary’s County residents will see a new face in the Maryland State Senate, following Steve Waugh’s loss to Jack Bailey in the Republican Primary Election.

The Hogan-endorsed, retired, natural resources police officer of 30 years, Jack Bailey graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor’s degree in 210 and a Master’s in 2014, both in Management. Following Jack’s retirement, he became a coach at the International Conservation Chiefs Academy (ICCA) where he teaches police officers from developing countries.

His Democratic opponent,Thomas Brewer,  has resided in District 29 his whole life, only leaving for a semester abroad and to study at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. This is what Brewer attributes his political awakening to, being surrounded by people not as fortunate as those in St. Mary’s County. After graduating, Brewer worked as a pharmacist until 2011 when he decided to become more involved in the local community. Brewer currently works at the Ruddy Duck Seafood and Alehouse and has been there for almost five years. Brewer also has spent time as the President of St. Mary’s County’s Commission on the Environment.

Brewer outlines his platform’s important issues on his website, listing the opioid epidemic, investing in education, and costly environmental waste as big concerns. Brewer wants to provide “local communities with resources to prevent and to treat addiction,” properly fund education, initiate “composting food waste on an industrial scale,” and make sure that projects to improve infrastructure are properly funded.

Bailey’s website lists public safety, education, healthcare, and the environment/Chesapeake Bay as his platform. Bailey would like to ensure that the schools and local law enforcement are properly funded to keep students safe. He states that he will support the governor's efforts to battle the opioid crisis. Bailey wants to “secure state funding for our region” for everything from K-12, to the higher education centers. In healthcare, Bailey wants transparency “for patients while purchasing insurance.” He’d also like to “ensure” state funding for “mental health and substance abuse treatments.” He also states that “medical care is critical for our citizens” and that he wants to make “our state-sponsored insurance plans” attractive to “medical specialists.” Bailey states that the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s other natural resources are pivotal in “the investment that must be made in Maryland’s economic future.”

Some areas where the candidates differ are off-shore wind farms, immigration/the use of Maryland as a sanctuary state and gun laws.

Off-shore wind farms are an energy option Maryland has pursued since the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. According to the energy.maryland.gov web site, “Maryland’s current RPS [Renewable Portfolio Standard] aims to source 25 percent of all electricity consumed in the State from renewable energy by the year 2020.”

During the Oct. 2 candidate forum hosted by the St. Mary's County League of Women Voters and NAACP, both candidates were asked about the use of wind farms. Bailey responded that he would like to see more research done on the environmental impact of the turbines, pointing to migratory birds as an example. Brewer responded in favor of the wind farms, stating that there are studies that show “windows kill as many birds as wind turbines,” and cited the creation of artificial reefs along the bases of the turbines.

In the same forum, both candidates were also asked about their thoughts on Maryland as a sanctuary state, a state that limits cooperation with federal immigration laws. Bailey quickly responded that he was opposed and ended his statement saying, “there is not a place for us as a sanctuary state in the state of Maryland.” Brewer stated that he would like to find ways to help illegal immigrants become legal citizens, without deporting them.

Bailey is endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and has an AQ rating (AQ= an A on the basis of a questionnaire). Brewer was very critical of that fact when he responded to a question about a Maryland gun registry. Bailey stated that he was opposed to a public gun registry in Maryland and acknowledged that the police have the information they need. Brewer did not say whether or not he opposes a gun registry but stated that he wants to enforce laws that help keep Marylanders safe without infringing on the Second Amendment. Brewer has an F ranking from the NRA.

The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6. Early voting will take place from Thursday, Oct. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 4. Register to vote at the Maryland Board of Election web site here.

Contact Jerold at staffwriter@thebaynet.com.

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