Sen. Munson wants to serve as long as possible

July 22, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

After more than 35 years as a state legislator, Donald F. Munson says he's just as eager and excited to serve as he ever was.

"I love my job," he said. "If I had my way, I'd be here forever. I love getting up to it in the morning and I love coming home from it at night. And I really adore the people that I work for in Washington County."

Munson, 72, of Hagerstown, is looking forward not only to a sixth four-year term starting next year, but one more term beyond that, beginning in 2015.

"Retirement is just something that I've never, ever even considered," he said.

Munson was in the House of Delegates from 1975 to 1991 before becoming a state senator. He's finishing his fifth four-year Senate term in District 2, which covers most of Washington County.


State senators are paid $43,000 per year.

After running unopposed in 2006, Munson has an opponent in the Sept. 14 GOP primary -- Christopher B. Shank, who is finishing his third term as a delegate.

No Democrats are running.

Shank has criticized Munson for voting to support $1 million for a multicultural center for Casa de Maryland, an advocacy group for Latinos and immigrants.

Critics say the group helps illegal immigrants.

Munson has said his vote was a mistake. During a recent interview, he apologized, saying, "I pushed the wrong button and did not realize" until after the day's legislative session was over, too late to ask to change his vote.

Munson said Shank can be seen as supporting Casa de Maryland by voting for the capital budget, which had money for the group. Shank has said legislators can't be expected to support every last item in a budget, but Munson said Shank's vote is fair game.

Although Shank has painted him as soft on immigration, Munson said he's not.

Munson said he supports Arizona's strict new immigration law and cosponsored an "E-verify" bill forcing employers who get state money to verify that workers are in the country legally.

Shank was a House co-sponsor.

Munson said constituents' main concerns this year are jobs, taxes and illegal immigration.

Like Shank, Munson has signed a Taxpayer Protection Pledge to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes."

Munson said he's twice voted, reluctantly, for tax increases during his time in the Senate, both times to protect University System of Maryland at Hagerstown funding.

A higher income tax on millionaires had little effect on Washington County, he said.

Donald F. Munson

Date of birth: Dec. 21, 1937

Address: 117 W. Magnolia Ave., Hagerstown

Education: Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1968

Occupation: State senator

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: State delegate from 1975 to 1991; state senator since 1991

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