Editors Note: The Cecil Whig provided three basic questions to each candidate to outline their political positions on issues via email. What follows are their typed responses and are presented as written. No attempts were made by the Whig to edit these responses to allow citizens the opportunity to hear the candidates in their own words.

The candidates for Maryland Congressional District 1, answered a series of questions emailed to them by the Cecil Whig in advance of next week’s primary election. While there are technically five candidates in the race, one of the Democratic candidates, Allison Galbraith, withdrew from the race in April. The candidates are broken down by party affiliation.

Republican candidates

Andy Harris

The incumbent for Maryland Congressional District 1 is Rep. Andy Harris, Harris is also a physician.

1. Why are you running for office?

I am running for office to continue to serve the people with commonsense, conservative principals which are held dear inthe First Congressional District which includes Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I want to continue to be a spokesman for the watermen, the farmers, and the small business owners which make up the majority of the District’s economy.

2. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing the country and how do your propose to resolve those issues?

The most pressing issues facing our country are resolving the COVID-19 pandemic, getting our economy back on the successful track it had taken before the pandemic, control illegal immigration, rebuild a manufacturing economy so that we are never vulnerable to the Communist Chinese for vital supplies, and make health care more affordable. We can solve the pandemic through America’s leading innovation in biotechnology, get our economy back on track by re-opening our communities safely and cutting over-regulation, control illegal immigration by securing our borders, incentivize critical manufacturing sectors to relocate back to America through tax incentives, and make health care more affordable by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, allowing more choice and transparency, and permitting health insurance purchase across state lines.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing your district and how do you propose to resolve those issues?

In our district, getting our economy back on track is the most pressing issue right now. We need to make sure we have an adequate supply of workers, including temporary foreign workers for important industries like seafood processing. We need to support our farmers by cutting unnecessary regulation and ensuring fair international trade, as President Trump is doing. Broadband needs to be brought to all our rural areas as soon as possible, and we need to make sure that we train our younger generation in the skills and trades needed in all areas of our economy.

Jorge Delgado

Jorge Delgado is the Republican challenger to Harris for the June 2 primary election. Delgado works as an economic policy adviser and is a former U.S. Senate staffer.

1. Why are you running for office?

As a former United States Republican Senate staffer, I know firsthand that we need to shake up Congress and challenge the status quo. Optimistic about our future with a strong belief in the greatness of our nation, I am ready to stand with our Commander-In-Chief and proudly fight for his America First agenda. Voters now have a choice for a Republican candidate who has the energy, passion, and grit to compete in today’s contentious political arena.

2. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing the country and how do your propose to resolve those issues?

Re-Ignite the US Economy & Hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Accountable

Instead of Congress printing Trillions in giveaways, I support suspending payroll taxes until the end of the year so people can keep every dime they make. This should help ignite our economy without bankrupting future generations. We can begin to hold the CCP accountable for the COVID-19 crisis, by deducting monies owed to them as a down payment for the harm and economic chaos they inflicted on world economies.

Secure our Borders & Finish the Wall

The COVID-19 pandemic solidified the importance of finishing the wall and maintaining the security of our borders. It is a matter of national security for us to know who is in entering our country.

Protect our Civil Liberties & Uphold the Constitution

Our Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution with the anticipation that it always remain relevant during times of chaos and turbulence. Now more than ever, it is important that our Inherent Rights be protected. We must not allow a crisis to circumvent our Unalienable Rights, especially when special interests’ groups attempt to use this as an opportunity to water them down.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing your district and how do you propose to resolve those issues?

Maryland’s 1st Congressional District deserves a strong voice and someone who will fight for real results in Washington. We have gone through a great deal as a nation these past few weeks and the lessons are already clear: America’s manufacturing must return home, our citizens must return to work, China must be held accountable, and guardrails must be put in place so this never happens again.

My wife and I are proud to live in Worcester County and continue to be inspired by the American spirit that blossoms in the most difficult of times. Now more than ever, it is important for Maryland Republicans to choose between maintaining the status quo or supporting my campaign of new ideas and a fresh perspective focused on the future.

Democratic Candidates

Mia Mason

Mia Mason is a retired veteran seeking to win the Democratic Primary on June 2.

1. Why are you running for office?

I am running to represent Maryland District One by restoring Accountability, Equality, and Integrity as sworn to the Oath of Office. Our current representation works against our citizen’s healthcare concerns, their fundamental civil rights protections, and leads education systems into despair. Therefore, we seek to renew the primary goals of communities to have better education, jobs, & healthcare.

2. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing the country and how do your propose to resolve those issues?

Since the President took office, his administration has come after every community in our nation by legal action to attack the Nation of Origin, Religion, Race, and Sex. It didn’t even matter if they’re veterans like me, women like myself, or those needing proper healthcare. The President spoke that he wishes to Terminate our healthcare via legal actions even to the Supreme Court. Therefore, we need to expand ACA, protect it, and build upon it for Medicare for All. Our Goals are ensuring providers meet all standards of Medicare for all, with expansion to all ages. We are protecting pre-existing conditions & ending exclusions that allow discrimination of care or denial of treatment and medicines. Private insurers & employers should comply with having healthier workers by 2030. Thus, we can have an affordable price per year for the policy, prescriptions, and co-pays. If I am paying $600 year for my healthcare (Tricare for Life), it should be affordable for others as well.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing your district and how do you propose to resolve those issues?

Our District has many issues from the Northern Counties, Central Bay Counties, and the Lower Shore. However, the most significant concern for all counties is our Environmental protections. First, we must sign to Paris Accords again to bring back federal guidelines comply with emissions goal set for 2030 to help in reversing climate change. We can enact legislation to have our Federal EPA comply with protecting our environment, not delegate those responsibilities to private sectors or states via current deregulation attempts. Once done, we must fund our Chesapeake Bay protection fund to assist our communities, their commercial interests, and the companies protecting our Bay and Shores. We can set goals for sea commerce, tourism transit, and our education to protect bay for future generations. We would support the Green New Deal act because it encourages new jobs for our environmental infrastructure by providing more technical and technology jobs to companies in current zoned industrial and commercial areas, not our agricultural lands. Our Rural communities used not to have power or telephone, and that was up until the communications act of 1934 happen. Now each home needs broadband, and they also need a renewable source of energy. We must also ensure renewable options in wind or Thorium, create more home solar grids, and provide new battery storage for homeowners and industrial uses.

Jennifer Pingley

Jennifer Pingley is a registered nurse and is seeking to win the Democratic Primary June 2.

1. Why are you running for office?

I am a lifelong Cecil County resident. I live here. I work here. I volunteer for my local fire house. I have personally put enough coins in the skee ball machines at Marty’s Playland in Ocean City to own them. I am deeply invested in District 1 thriving so that my children and grandchildren will choose to live here too. I got into politics as an advocate for healthcare workers and patients. I completed an internship in DC and have been advocating on Capitol Hill ever since. I am motivated by what I see. Right now, I see the negative impacts of the current administration on District 1 and the nation. I see the preference for big business over average people. I see tax cuts and bailouts for large businesses that don’t trickle down to us. I see the rights and protection of our workers being stripped. Each year, I see fewer and fewer H1B visas being issued to our legal, migrant workers. I see climate change causing the rising water levels to encroach on our lands and increase flooding throughout the District. Yet, wet are not engaged in a specific and defined plan to combat climate change. I see the state of healthcare and I know we can absolutely do better. In the end, I’m just a normal person trying to solve the problems of everyday people like me. This is something I believe our current representation has moved away from. As a nurse, I am a professional advocate who works well with all types of people. I am particularly good in a crisis and when working with people that I don’t necessarily agree with. I know this makes me the best candidate for the job.

2. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing the country and how do your propose to resolve those issues?

Currently, the country is still amidst a COVID-19 crisis. We are still fighting amongst ourselves for improved, but still limited quantities of PPE, testing supplies, and tests. We are unable to perform antibody tests en masse to establish if this is the first wave or if the first wave was silent and this is the second wave. We are still rationing tests for the virus, though the testing backlog appears to have disappeared in Maryland. I am a firm believer that if the Defense Production Act had been used in February, we would be in the final stages of opening up. We all acknowledge that war is ‘good’ for the economy. So, why isn’t war against COVID-19? America is a production powerhouse. Enacting Defense Production should have been a boon to keep the economy afloat, preserve jobs, and reduce our reliance on other countries for our supplies. These other countries are currently fighting their own COVID-19 war, we are not their priority. I never thought I would have to say this. We need to legislate a limited Congressional power for Defense Production in the event that the President refuses to use his.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing your district and how do you propose to resolve those issues?

The most pressing issue besides COVID-19 is infrastructure. We need to fully fund the Highway Trust Fund, expand the public transportation system, invest in green technologies, and continue to fight for rural broadband services. We need broadband for new businesses to grow here. Current businesses and farming can benefit directly from the communication, location, and information access. We all can benefit indirectly by being able to attend school digitally, up to and including collegiate level. Expanding business and jobs requires roads to be in good repair for logistics and commuting. Investing in green energies brings jobs, economic stability to a farming or tourist economy, and helps to combat the rising waters encroaching on our land related to climate change.

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