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|Maryland House of Delegates, District 5|
Stonko's website highlighted the following campaign themes:
My plan for education constitutes the backbone of my candidacy for the House of Delegates and is the primary reason that I am seeking office. I believe that I am in a position to make a real difference by affecting policy changes that will benefit our school system. Maryland’s schools are not preparing students for college level coursework or putting them into position to immediately enter the labor force. In the last decade businesses have changed, technology has become more innovative, and the rigor of our higher education programs has drastically increased. Unfortunately, our public school curricula has not taken the adequate steps to reflect these ubiquitous technological changes. More specifically, holes in the K-12 curricula have caused significant gaps in preparation for the next level. This is highlighted by the fact that the United States was rated 17th in education in recent reports. As technology has spread, the world's reliance on computers has become increasingly prevalent. Top CEOs, leading entrepreneurs, and corporate executives argue that some of the most important skills they look for in new employees is quantitative and analytic skills. Furthermore, students throughout Maryland graduate high school without a basic understanding of common computational tools like Microsoft Excel, which are imperative for real world business practice and for collegiate studies. Computers drive our world and computer coding has become a necessity for the work force, yet we continue to neglect giving our students these tools to succeed. With my education plan we will push for every student to have the opportunity to become familiar with recent technology and with primary computer programming languages. It is time that we invest in our students once again, and fight for their futures. We must prepare our students for the 21st century, while continuing to fight for stronger infrastructure, school choice, and spending that is focused on the classroom.
Business Climate in Maryland
High tax rates and burdensome regulations strangle Maryland businesses. Our legislators need to encourage businesses to relocate and stay in Maryland by providing them with laws that are beneficial to growth. This includes fighting against recently proposed legislation that requires combined reporting that only furthers the tax burden on business. I also plan to sponsor legislation that would lower the corporate tax rate from 8.25% to 6% so that businesses in Maryland will be on an equal playing field with businesses in our surrounding states. Furthermore, legislators should be advocating on behalf of research and development by supporting tax credits that encourage innovation and economic growth.
Taxes have increased at an alarming rate in Maryland. Maryland, like Washington, has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. In the 2013 session alone we saw an astronomical 86% increase on the Maryland gas tax and the implementation of a Rain Tax. It is time for Maryland to advocate for a pro-growth economy that focuses on bringing jobs back to Maryland while protecting the middle-class from high and unnecessary taxes. I will advocate for a lower corporate income tax and for reducing the highly regressive state sales tax. Maryland high taxation has put an unnecessary burden on our residents and slowed job creation. I will do everything in my power to fight for lower taxes.
To say that government spending has become out of control would be an understatement. During Martin O'Malley's tenure as Governor, the state budget has increased by over 7 billion dollars. It is time for Annapolis spending to be brought under control. The key is to cut unnecessary waste and to de-fund programs that are performing inadequately. My experience working within the state legislature has shown me that there are many areas where we can "cut the fat, without affecting the muscle." By streamlining the state government, we will be able to drastically reduce the size of the state budget and save millions for our taxpayers.
Second Amendment Rights
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
I believe in the strict definition of the text in the Constitution. The second amendment guarantees each of us our Constitutional right to defend ourselves and is the reason I have been a long time NRA member. Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly have taken unconstitutional measures to take away this right. It is our responsibility to respond to these restrictive actions. I have and continue to support action taken through the courts to overturn SB281. I will also work to repeal SB281 when elected to office. The grassroots movement is on our side and I believe that the Maryland people are, too. I will do everything in my power to protect and defend the second amendment.
I believe in land preservation throughout Carroll County and around the state for agricultural use. Farming has a rich history throughout Carroll County and I believe in protecting this tradition. Our farmers play an important role in our economy and we must defend them by supporting laws that protect their land for themselves and their future generations. As your Delegate, I will fight to protect the agricultural heritage of Carroll County.
I believe that life begins at conception and from that moment forward life should be valued and protected. When elected, I will fight to uphold this moral value in the General Assembly.
Our state and our country are at risk of losing the core values that our Founding Fathers fought so hard to protect. My generation is experiencing first-hand how big government slows business, raises unemployment rates, and infringes upon personal liberties. As a society we have neglected our intelligence and using a common sense approach to fixing government. Despite our country’s decreasing academic scores, high unemployment rates, and growing apathy, our country continues to stand out in one area; we believe that we can do better. I believe that we can do better. It is time to reshape conservatism. We can do that by changing the conversation and altering our approach; we will not just point out problems - we will find solutions. I believe that we have a marketing problem in the Republican Party, not a message problem. If asked, most American's identify themselves as conservatives; yet they continue to vote for liberals when they arrive at the polls. We must reshape our conversations and convince the American people and residents of Maryland that conservative policies are the best policies to fix our problems. It’s our responsibility to find these common sense solutions to fixable problems. Solutions that liberals can agree with and that conservatives can champion. I am running from a new perspective, promising to uphold the principles that the greatest generation fought so hard for, and my parents’ generation holds so strongly, while approaching issues from a new direction. We must change the conversation and find longstanding solutions.
Elections for the office of Maryland House of Delegates will take place in 2014. A primary election took place June 24, 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was February 25, 2014. Zachary Hands and Dorothy G. Scanlan were unopposed in the Democratic primary, while Haven Shoemaker and incumbents Susan Krebs and Justin Ready defeated incumbent Donald B. Elliott, Carmen Amedori, Joshua Stonko and Kevin R. Utz in the Republican primary.
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- Official campaign website
- Biography from Project Vote Smart
- Maryland Secretary of State - Official candidate list
- Maryland State Board of Elections, "2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election State Candidates List - House of Delegates," accessed May 9, 2014
- Joshua Stonko for State Delegate, "Issues," accessed June 18, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Maryland Secretary of State, "Official primary election candidate list," accessed March 3, 2014
- Maryland State Board of Elections, "Unofficial Results for the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election," accessed June 25, 2014
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