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Delegate candidates answer questions

August 29, 2010
  • William J. Wivell
File photo,

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail asked candidates in some contested races in the Sept. 14 primary election to respond to eight questions. The responses of candidates for each of those races will be published over two days.

The first four responses by candidates in contested Maryland House of Delegates races appeared Sunday. The Q&A's that have already run can be found on The Herald-Mail website.

Still to come

Sept. 5-6 -- Maryland Senate candidates

What has already appeared

Aug. 29 -- Maryland House of Delegates candidates

Aug. 22-23 -- Washington County Commissioner candidates

Aug. 15-16 -- Washington County Board of Education candidates


Republican and Democratic primary races uncontested

LeRoy E. Myers Jr., 58


14627 National Pike, Clear Spring



Ronald Lohr, 54

11210 Cresap Mill Road SE,




Democratic primary race uncontested

Neil Becker, 39

10811 Wyncote Drive, Halfway


Republican primary race, three candidates

Question: What role, if any, should the state play in enforcing illegal-immigration laws?

Andrew A. Serafini, 48


13918 Marsh Pike, Hagerstown


I find it interesting that this has become such a hotly debated issue. What part of illegal does not make sense? The most compelling argument for enforcing our immigration laws has come from those who have immigrated legally. They are very frustrated because they took the long, arduous and in some cases, expensive, road to follow our laws. The costs of illegal immigration are staggering, and I would encourage our state not to develop new laws but to simply enforce the existing ones.

Denny Stouffer, 56

23506 Ringgold Pike, Ringgold


We as a country have always welcomed immigrants to become law-abiding and productive citizens. ... It is not a problem to allow legal immigrants in this country, but we must secure our borders for the security of the United States. Law-abiding, accountable and productive citizens equals the American Dream. An analogy would be: I live in a house ... the door is closed and I invite those in that knock, otherwise it is forced entry ... So we the people of Maryland have to decide: ... are we in support of all illegal immigrants ... or do we mirror federal law and support laws already on the books?

William J. Wivell, 46

49 E. Water St., Smithsburg


I believe that the state can exercise its right under the federal law (287g program), just as local jurisdictions can do. Illegal immigrants can be identified by the Maryland State Police and other law enforcement agencies, and turned over to Immigration and Customs officials. Frederick County's Sheriff Jenkins recently made a presentation on the success of this program in that county. The program has not required additional personnel (just training), nor has it increased the jail population. If implemented properly, the program will protect residents here legally in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Question: Do you support charter reform as a way to give Washington County more power to create its own laws?

Serafini: I believe that government that is closest to the people works best. One of the surprises for me in Annapolis is how much time is spent on local issues. Many of these issues should be decided at the local level, where it is easier for people to engage in the policy-making process.

Stouffer: Charter home rule has advantages and disadvantages. ... There is more to the question of "do you support charter reform as a way to give Washington County more power to create its own laws?" such as what is going to be written in it? ... Charter makes it easier for bigger government, and the projected cost would be at least $100,000 per member with staff and offices. At this time, it is too early to decide on the charter, since it has yet to be written. I will not vote on a bill until I have read and fully comprehend the final draft.

Wivell: The answer to this question depends upon the charter document that is drafted. In general, I support charter home rule for Washington County. I did not, however, support the last charter initiative, as it did not give the necessary power and oversight to the residents, but instead concentrated it in the hands of a few. The proposed charter did not give the people the authority to take many items to referendum; thus I like to refer to it as "charter-light." It was basically charter home rule without the benefits.

Question: Do you support same-sex marriage, same-sex civil unions or neither? Why?

Serafini: No. I support the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Stouffer: Same-sex marriage and civil unions are neither; they are amicable arrangements at best. Marriage is between man and woman, thus becoming the nucleus for a family that is the very fabric of the human race. Not to be diluted or polluted by people who think otherwise.

Wivell: I do NOT support same-sex marriage or same-sex civil unions.

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