Delegate Kathleen Dumais

Democrat, Maryland House of Delegates District 15

Blending experience, freshness in the legislature

The loss of several long-serving state politicians in September’s primary and the retirements of several other legislators opens the door for some new faces in Montgomery County’s delegation to the state legislature Annapolis.

In the general election, now less than two weeks away, there are three open Senate seats, although one race is unopposed, and six open House of Delegates seats.

Unlike four years ago when numerous Democrats waltzed into office unopposed, the county’s Republican Party was able to field candidates for almost every seat this time. However, many of the challengers were last-minute entrants who knew very little about the political process. But a few have the potential to hold future office if they stay involved in the political scene.

Voters can choose up to three candidates in the House races

District 15

Three of the district’s four state representatives elected in the last election were newcomers to Annapolis. Sen. Robert J. Garagiola, and delegates Kathleen M. Dumais and Brian J. Feldman, all Democrats, won their first terms in 2002 and headed to the State House alongside veteran Del. Jean B. Cryor, the lone Republican. All four deserve another term.

Garagiola has positioned himself as an emerging leader in the Senate, and has been tackling the welfare of our children as the chairman of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families.

Cryor has proven to be an independent voice in Annapolis. Her 11 years of service on the Ways and Means Committee, now as a ranking member, affords the county and district a strong voice.

Dumais has earned respect for her legal knowledge and her expertise in the area of family law. Feldman has focused on the state’s growing biotech industry, helping to create the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Act that provides tax credits for investors in Maryland’s small, early-stage biotech firms. This is an area where more delegates need to become involved.

The House of Delegates’ race did feature two promising newcomers — Chris Pilkerton (R) of Potomac and Craig L. Rice (D) of Germantown. While we can’t recommend them over the incumbents, we’d like to see both continue to pursue their goals of public service. Our communities could only benefit from their ideas and involvement.

District 15 includes portions of Bethesda, Potomac, Darnestown, Poolesville, parts of Germantown and several upcounty communities.

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