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Meinelschmidt wants to improve business climate

July 23, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

Hagerstown residents are "frustrated with the representation they have" in Annapolis, state delegate candidate Cort Meinelschmidt said.

"No one's paying attention to them," he said.

Meinelschmidt -- a Republican running against Del. John P. Donoghue -- said Maryland, under Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, has been driving away new business through excessive taxation.

Meinelschmidt, a financial adviser at Centra Bank, said Maryland has one of the worst business climates in the country largely because of its taxes. The Maryland General Assembly has raised individual income, corporate income, sales and cigarette taxes in recent years.

He noted that in 2007, the state legislature passed a controversial computer services tax, which later was killed and replaced with a higher income tax on people earning at least $1 million.

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Meinelschmidt, 31, of Hagerstown is the only Republican running to represent Subdistrict 2C, which roughly matches the borders of the City of Hagerstown.

Donoghue, a Democrat, is seeking a sixth four-year term.

The general election will be Nov. 2.

Meinelschmidt said voters are talking about jobs and spending, mainly the need to cut expenditures at the state and federal levels.

He said an example is Baltimore getting $130 million in state transportation funding -- and hoping to use $10 million to start an Indy Car race -- when the rest of the state shares $10 million.

Democrats in power thwart Republicans' attempts at more sensible spending, such as eliminating furloughs for state workers, he said, calling it "an example of one-party rule."

He has criticized the state for having what he called a high number of insurance mandates that drive up costs.

He said he wants to be the "most active" delegate he can be and accused Donoghue of skipping important community events.

Meinelschmidt said those appearances are one way, although not the only way, an elected official should stay in touch with the electorate.

Delegates are paid $43,000 per year.

Cort Meinelschmidt



Date of birth: Feb. 13, 1979

Address: 901 Dewey Ave., Hagerstown

Education: Working on a bachelor's/master's dual program through Thomas Edison State College, a distance-learning institution; College for Financial Planning-Accredited Asset Management Specialist; attended Central Texas University, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; First Line Leadership Development Program, U.S. Navy, Little Creek, Va.; attended Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training, U.S. Navy, Newport, R.I.

Occupation: Financial adviser for Centra Bank

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: First run for office

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