Md. state senate candidates weigh in on issues

September 05, 2010
  • Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R - Washington/Frederick

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail asked candidates in some contested races in the Sept. 14 primary election to respond to eight questions. Candidates who are unopposed in the primary were not asked to respond to the questions.

The first four responses of candidates for the Maryland Senate were published Sunday. Below are their responses to the final four questions.

The Q&A's that have already run can be found at


No Republican or Democratic primary race. One GOP candidate, no Democratic candidates.

George C. Edwards, 62


23 N. Pennsylvania Ave.,

Grantsville, Md.



Two Republican candidates. No Democratic primary candidate.

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

Donald F. Munson, 72



117 W. Magnolia Ave.,



Now that the federal court has gutted the Arizona Immigration Law, there is currently little direct action the states, including Maryland, can take. I do believe that to the extent permitted by federal law, all local and state police agencies should enforce all existing immigration laws, and that each and every illegal immigrant should be deported. An excellent example of what I am talking about is the enforcement of immigration law being used by the Frederick County Sheriff's Department under the 287(g) agreement.

Christopher B. Shank, 38

324 Chartridge Drive,



I support Arizona's immigration law and will sponsor a similar bill in Maryland. I also support and have sponsored legislation requiring the deportation of incarcerated illegal immigrants. Maryland must stop giving taxpayer money to those who employ and otherwise support illegal immigration. We must be certain that every company doing business with Maryland participates in the E-Verify program and is not employing illegal immigrants. We must end taxpayer funding of organizations like Casa de Maryland ... We must also tighten up the state's driver's license program so illegal aliens are not permitted to obtain a license.

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

Munson: No. Charter reform is an idea whose time has not yet come. It will someday, but until then, the county commissioner system we have works perfectly well.

Shank: Home rule concentrates too much power in the hands of a county council with legislative powers at the expense of the county's citizens. For example, the home rule effort in 2008 did not contain safeguards for petitioning bills to referendum, protections against eminent domain or a tax cap. Additionally, citizens in counties with home rule pay higher taxes than those without home rule. I am opposed to home rule and fought against the effort in 2008. Home rule leads to more government, not less.

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

Munson: I don't support same-sex marriage. Marriage should be limited to one man and one woman. I'd consider supporting civil unions, depending on the definition of a civil union and on the wording of the legislation necessary to create them. I don't support civil unions as just another name for same-sex marriage. I will not vote for same-sex marriage.

Shank: I believe that a marriage consists of one man and one woman, and I support a constitutional amendment defining it as such. Civil unions are a step along the way to legitimizing same-sex marriages, and I have opposed them and will continue to oppose them. Special rights for specific groups of people are not appropriate. The State of Maryland has a compelling interest to preserve the traditional definition of the family.

Question: Does Maryland need to legalize table games to keep up with Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware?

Munson: Yes. Maryland should legalize traditional table games. Maryland must compete with our neighboring states for revenues. The adoption of traditional table games will require a constitutional amendment and, hence, the vote of the people of Maryland. The process will be time-consuming and difficult. This decision is really up to the voters of Maryland. Table games must have very strict oversight and very strong regulation to make sure they stay honest.

Shank: The citizens of Maryland voted to approve a limited slots program through a constitutional amendment in 2008, but due to a variety of reasons, including political ones, the slots program is not yet up and running. Because of the way the constitutional amendment was written, any decision on the legalization of table games will ultimately rest with the citizens, who would have to approve any expansion (of) commercial gaming through referendum. I would defer to their judgment on this issue.


No Republican primary race.

Alex X. Mooney, 39


8319 Sharon Drive,



Two Democratic candidates.

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