Public Interest Podcast Endorses 88 Candidates for Elected Office in Maryland

153 candidates submitted completed candidate endorsement questionnaires to Public Interest Podcast. Their responses can be viewed here:

Public Interest Podcast endorses:

Anjali Reed Phukan, Comptroller, Republican Comptroller Statewide
Erik Lane - US Congress District 1 - Democrat Congress 1
Adam DeMarco, Rep-MD-03, Democrat Congress 3
Democratic candidate for Maryland's District 5, House of Representatives Congress 5
Andrew Duck, Candidate for U.S. Congress, Sixth District, Democrat Congress 6
United States Congress for Maryland District 8 Republican Congress 8
Ian Schlakman, Governor, Green Party Governor Statewide
Maria L Oesterreicher, Judge of the Circuit Court for Carroll County, Republican (this is a non partisan race, however) Judge Circuit Court Carroll
Judge of the Circuit Court, Anne Arundel County - Appear on both Dem/Rep Primary ballots. Judge. Only incumbent Judge Circuit Court
Marylin Pierre,  Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge,  Democrat Judge Circuit Court
Thomas Ashwell, Circuit Court Judge for Harford County, Liberatian. Not judge Judge Circuit Court
Rikki Vaughn, US Senate-D US Senate Statewide
Jennifer Dougherty, State Senate 3, Democrat State Senate 3
Donna Hines  the office of MD.State Senate Legislative  District 7 State Senate 7
Katie Fry Hester, Maryland State Senate District 9, Democrat State Senate 9
Lawrence Williams Senate District 10 Dem. State Senate 10
Robert Drozd, State Senate LD14, Republican State Senate 14
HONGJUN XIN, MD Senator, District 15, State Senate 15
David Jeang, State Senate District 19, Green party State Senate 19
Everett D. Browning Sr., Maryland State Senate, District 24 State Senate 24
Delegate Angela Angel, Maryland Senate District 25, Democrat State Senate 25
Ike Puzon, Maryland State Senate - District 26 State Senate 26
Tommi Makila, Maryland Senate in District 27, Democrat State Senate 27
Thomas Brewer, State Senate District 29, Democrat State Senate 29
Tracie Hovermale, Candidate for State Delegate District 33
J.D. Merrill, Democrat for Maryland State Senate in the 41st Legislative District State Senate 41
Adrian Petrus candidate for State Senate district 47 MD Democrat State Senate 47
Ed Tinus 38c State Senate 38c
Emily Shank running for State Delegate in District 5 as a Democrat. Delegate 5
Ryan Sullivan, Delegate candidate to legislative district 7 Delegate 7
Allison Berkowitz, Democrat for House of Delegates- D7 Delegate 7
Kevin Leary House Of Delegates District 8 Delegate 8
Joe Norman, House of Delegates District 8, Republican Delegate 8
Lauren Lipscomb, Democrat for District 10 House of Delegates Delegate 10
Nathan Feldman, House of Delegates (11), Green Party Delegate 11
Amy Blank, MD House of Delegates, District 11. Democrat Delegate 11
Malcolm J Heflin, Maryland House of Delegate-District 12, Democrat Delegate 12
Mark Weaver, Democratic Candidate for MD Legislative District 12 Delegate 12
Lily Qi, Delegate For District 15, Democrat Delegate 15
Tony Puca, House of Delegates 15, Democrat Delegate 15
Amy Frieder, House of Delegates - District 15, Democrat Delegate 15
Nuchhi Currier. House of Delegates District 16 MD  Democrat Delegate 16
George Hernandez District 17 Republican Delegate 17
Dr. Esam Al-Shareffi, Delegate (District 17), Democrat Delegate 17
Jon Cook, State Delegate in Dist 18, Green Party Delegate 18
Vaughn Stewart, Delegate, District 19, Democrat Delegate 19
George Zokle (, Democratic Candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates (District 20: Silver Spring/Takoma Park) Delegate 20
Ray Ranker, House of Delegates District 21, Independent Delegate 21
James E. McDowell Jr., State Delegate District 21 Prince Georges County Delegate 21
Winnie Obike, MD State House of Delegates, District 22 Delegate 22
LaTasha R. Ward, House of Delegates 24th District, Democrat Delegate 24
Donjuan  Williams, State Delegate, 24 , district, Democratic Delegate 24
Kent Roberson, Candidate for Delegate District 25, Democrat Delegate 25
Maryland House of Delegates Delegate 25
Sean Chao, Maryland House of Delegates for District 26, Democratic Party Delegate 26
Patrick Armstrong, Legislative District 32, Democrat Delegate 32
Mike Rogers House of Delegates District 32 Democrat Delegate 32
Eve Hurwitz, State Senate, District 33
Heather Bagnall, House of Delegates, District 33, Democrat Delegate 33
Pamela Luby Delegate for District 33 Maryland - Democrat Delegate 33
Keirien Taylor, MD House of Delegates, District 36, Democrat Delegate 36
Andy Hoverman, House of Delegates - District 39, Democratic Party Delegate 39
Sarah Matthews, I am running for a seat in the House of Delegate in the 40th Legislative District.  I am the Senior Citizen Candidate! Delegate 40
Terrell Boston Smith, MD House of Delegates - D40, Democrat Delegate 40
Dalya Attar, House of Delegates, District 41, Democrat Delegate 41
Dr. Richard Bruno for Maryland, House of Delegates, District 41, Baltimore, Maryland Delegate 41
Linzy Jackson, State Delegate 45th Legislative District Delegate 45
John Amankwah, house of delegates,  45th District, democrat Delegate 45
Rita Church  seeking a seat in the House of Delegates 45th legislative district my political  party is Democratic Delegate 45
Delegate - 1B Delegate 1b
Jordan Lyszcek Maryland House District 1C Delegate 1c
Kevin Samuel Thomas, Maryland State Delegate, District 23A (Bowie, Fairwood, Glenn Dale, South Laurel), Democrat Delegate 23a
Paul Manicone, M.D.; Candidate for State Delegate, district 23B Delegate 23b
Julia Nichols, Delegate District 29C, Democrat Delegate 29c
Doug Rathell, MD state delegate 30A, Republican Delegate 30a
Carmen Skarlupka, Maryland House of Delegates, District 30B - Democrat Delegate 30b
Harry E. Freeman; Maryland House of Delegates for District 31B; Democratic Party Delegate 31b
Steve Johnson, Democrat, running for  Maryland State Delegate district 34A Delegate 34A
Sarahia Benn For MD Delegate District 34A Delegate 34a
Charles T. Cephas, House of Delegates, District 37A, Democrat Delegate 37a
Democrat Delegate 37b
Ryan Trout, House of Delegates, District 3A, Democrat Delegate 3a
Ken Kerr, Delegate 3B, Democrat Delegate 3b
Daniel Nemec, House of Delegates District 42B, Democrat Delegate 42b
Aisha Khan, Democrat for House of Delegates District 44-B Delegate 44b
Steven M Bolen, MD State Delegate - 9A, Democrat Delegate 9A
Michael David Gross; Candidate for MD State Delegate - District 9A; Democratic Party Delegate 9A
Dan Medinger Maryland House of Delegates District 9B Democrat Delegate 9b

Endorsements were evaluated based upon standardized criteria. Endorsement decisions were not taken lightly and, because Public Interest Podcast is non-partisan, in no way was Party affiliation considered in the endorsement process. Endorsements have been issued based exclusively upon candidate responses to the survey questions with a preference for affirmative responses to these questions. No other information (i.e. campaign viability, incumbency, etc.) was taken into account in considering the issuance of our endorsements. 

88 endorsements were made from a pool of 153 submitted questionnaires. Questionnaires were submitted to every candidate running in Maryland for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, State Senator, State Delegate, and Circuit Court Judge. Endorsements were limited to the number of possible victors in any single race and only considered candidates that submitted a completed questionnaire. 

Public Interest Podcast Candidate Questionnaire

Public Interest Podcast consists of conversations with politicians, activists, advocates, and others who seek to improve the world. The podcast strives to provide a meaningful and entertaining window into the inspiration and perspiration that drive a diverse array of individuals to advance the public interest. Our hope is that Public Interest Podcast can:

  1. Create stronger positive associations with public service as an attractive and accessible calling for everyone.

  1. Reveal and accentuate our common humanity by creating a platform for positive civil discourse.

  1. Empower listeners to take ownership of and exert influence upon their own community, government, and society.

  1. Fill the vacuum left by the disappearing Fourth Estate (i.e. traditional journalism), especially with regard to local and state issues, thereby increasing informed voter turnout by familiarizing voters with their elected officials.

As voter turnout has been generally trending downwards over the past few decades, political expenditures have generally been increasing to unprecedented amounts. Public Interest Podcast believes that the proper functioning of our democracy depends upon widespread participation in it. The following questionnaire is designed to ascertain the extent to which you support measures to make ours a more inclusive and participatory democracy.

Please complete and return this questionnaire by 5pm on Wednesday March 14th to be considered for an endorsement by Public Interest Podcast. Should you have any questions please email 

Open Primaries
1.     In recent years the fastest growing block of voters in Maryland has been unaffiliated or independent voters. These voters are unable to participate in Maryland’s closed primary elections even though the Maryland General Assembly has permitted both the Republican and Democratic Parties to open their primaries to all registered voters. Increasingly our elected officials are effectively selected in competitive primaries since most areas of the state are dominated by a single party.

Do you support opening up our primary elections to all registered voters?

Automatic Voter Registration
2.     The concept is simple. Under our current voter registration system, in order to become a registered voter one must first register to vote. If no action is taken then the individual will not become a registered voter. This is an opt-in system. Automatic voter registration seeks to reverse the default option so that whenever an eligible voter visits the Motor Vehicle Administration they will be automatically registered to vote unless they are already registered or they choose not to be registered. Thus this is an opt-out system. The result will be an increase in registered voters. 

Do you support automatic voter registration in Maryland?

Special Elections
3.     Under Maryland law when a vacancy in the Maryland General Assembly arises the governor shall appoint a replacement of the same party as the individual who vacated his or her seat. The tradition in Maryland has been that the governor appoints whoever is nominated for that appointment by the local party apparatus (of the same party as the legislator who is vacating his or her seat). This denies voters the opportunity to select their elected officials sometimes for years at a time.

Do you support instituting special elections to fill legislative vacancies?

4.     According to the U.S. Constitution every decade there is a U.S. census and legislative districts must be adjusted to account for population shifts. In Maryland the districts have been “gerrymandered” or drawn in such a way so as to favor one party over the other. This effectively disenfranchises voters, diminishing their ability to participate in our democracy.

Do you oppose gerrymandering?

Hierarchy in Annapolis

5.     The Maryland General Assembly has 188 members. It is historically a top-down institution with much of the power of its respective bodies vested in the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the President of the Senate. They wield their power to form committees and appoint legislators to leadership positions within those committees. This system creates strong incentives for legislators to prioritize the will of leadership above the will of their constituency.

Would you support the dilution of this concentration of power by requiring that committee chairs be elected by committee members (instead of be selected by the Speaker or President)?

Civic Education
6.     Democracy is dependent upon informed engagement by its constituent members. Civic education forms the foundation upon which members of our society are taught about their role and responsibilities in our system of government.

Do you support measures to improve civic education in Maryland that include but are not limited to requiring that all students pass the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Test in order to graduate from high school? 

Promote Public Service
7.     Upon graduation from high school or college some nations require their young men and women to perform national military or civil service. These programs build a sense of common identity, experience, and commitment to service. In some jurisdictions within Maryland students are required to complete a certain number of hours of community service in order to graduate from high school.

Would you support the creation of an umbrella program in Maryland that would guarantee every Marylander between the ages of 18-26 the opportunity to perform 1-2 years of public service within Maryland should they elect to do so?

Clean Campaigning
8.     Voters are continually bombarded with negative political messages. Political media coverage often focuses on the most controversial candidates and the scandals they become embroiled in. Though campaigns can do little about negative media coverage of incumbent or aspiring elected officials, campaigns can elect to avoid using smear tactics as part of a negative campaign against their opponents.

Will you refrain from personal attacks against your opponent that have no relevance to the responsibilities of the office you’re competing for?

Public Financing of Campaigns
9.     The insidious influence of money in politics is daily increasing the extent to which our elected officials are accountable to large dollar donors, political action committees, and other special interest groups at the expense of their constituencies across Maryland. Public financing of elections magnifies the effect of small dollar donations by the electorate, allowing candidates who rely on voter donations to compete with those who rely on special interest contributions.

Do you support public financing of state legislative elections?