With all of Maryland’s top-ticket seats up for grabs in November, candidates for the state’s subsequent tax collector leaned Thursday night time into their backgrounds to elucidate to voters why they’re greatest fitted to the place.
“That is an extremely vital election. For the primary time since 1998, we’ve got an open seat for state comptroller, and … we haven’t for 100 years had each statewide seat open on the poll,” Baltimore Del. Brooke Lierman, the Democratic nominee for the place, mentioned at a digital discussion board hosted by the League of Ladies Voters and moderated by Maryland Issues founding editor Josh Kurtz.
In the course of the discussion board, Lierman and Republican Harford County Government Barry Glassman largely agreed about updates that the workplace wants — higher digital infrastructure, an enhanced workers, and a concentrate on offering extra alternatives for small, Black, brown and women-owned companies to get authorities contracts.
Of Maryland’s top-ticket races, Lierman’s and Glassman’s battle for the comptroller seat often is the closest.
Lierman, a civil and incapacity rights lawyer and a mom of two elementary school-aged youngsters, has been endorsed by outgoing comptroller Peter Franchot, who’s a middle-of-the-road Democrat.
She described herself as a superb match for the place based mostly on her expertise as a lawyer and lawmaker, and as somebody who has seen and felt the consequences of inflation.
“All people brings their completely different lived expertise to the workplace, and I feel my mixture of representing working individuals, representing individuals with disabilities, working with companies across the nation on procurement, coupled with my expertise as a mom as a guardian … I understand how a lot the price of milk is and the way a lot it’s gone up over the previous few years, in addition to working within the legislature, you already know, on the Appropriations Committee, actually understanding how the system works and the best way to do higher whereas additionally with the ability to be bipartisan,” she mentioned.
Franchot, who has held the seat since January 2007, is retiring after shedding within the Democratic major in a bid to interchange outgoing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
The governor, lawyer common and comptroller are the one statewide elected positions in Maryland. All three seats are up for election in November.
If elected, Lierman could be the primary lady to carry the place and to be straight elected by voters to a statewide workplace.
The comptroller oversees state earnings tax assortment; imposes state taxes on gasoline, alcohol and tobacco; and has a seat on the three-person Board of Public Works, which approves main state contracts. The place comes with a wage that ranges from $145,500 to $149,500 yearly.
Lierman, who’s rounding out her second time period within the Maryland Home of Delegates, represents neighborhoods in South Baltimore. Drawing from her position within the legislature as an advocate for the setting and supporter of Maryland public faculties, amongst different points, Lierman was energized and detailed in her proposed strategy to the workplace.
“Because the [chief financial officer], the comptroller’s workplace is actually important to constructing a extra equitable sustainable and affluent state,” she mentioned.
Her platform has largely revolved across the potential of the comptroller’s workplace — what it could actually do versus what it presently does.
“Because the tax administrator, there’s a lot that the comptroller’s workplace can do. You’re not simply taking in cash — you’re offering a service, proper?” Lierman mentioned. “The comptroller is a service supplier, is the elected CFO of the state and has to do huge issues whereas additionally sweating the small stuff.”
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Glassman, born and raised in Harford County, has been concerned in Maryland politics for over 30 years, together with eight on the Harford County Council, 9 within the Home of Delegates and 7 within the Senate.
“I‘m the one candidate not noted of the six remaining candidates that has really ran an area authorities,” Glassman mentioned as he launched himself Thursday night time.
Glassman, who has disavowed gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox and lawyer common nominee Michael Peroutka — the extremist Republicans who be part of him on the prime of the ticket within the November election — has been endorsed by Hogan, demonstrating the rising rift within the get together within the state.
Hogan, who endorsed his former cupboard member and political protege Kelly Schulz, has publicly acknowledged that he doesn’t help and won’t vote for Cox within the common election.
Hogan, who’s a number of months shy of reaching his time period restrict, has flirted with a possible 2024 presidential bid.
Glassman leaned on his expertise with income estimates and with unbiased funding as county govt — particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic — and on his background as a legislator to elucidate why he’s suited to change into comptroller.
“It’s a very technical, fiscal, fiduciary position, and I feel we want expertise to do this and it’s solely a part of the job,” he mentioned.