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6th Congressional District seat candidate: 'It's time to pass the torch'

State Sen. David R. Brinkley says he has better chance at retaining the seat for Republicans

February 08, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • Brinkley
Brinkley

Editor’s note: This is one in an occasional series of profiles about candidates running for election in the 6th Congressional District.

As Western Maryland’s economy is hammered by federal and state budget decisions, someone experienced is needed to step in and help, according to state Sen.David R. Brinkley.

Brinkley, R-Carroll/Frederick, is trying to defeat U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlettin a Republican primary for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District seat.

Despite having his home redrawn out of the 6th District in the fall, Brinkley said, “I still feel that I’m a Republican that can win that seat.”

Members of Congress don’t have to live in the district they represent.

Bartlett “has served us well,” but Democrats in power in Annapolis recarved the 6th District specifically so state Sen.Robert J. Garagiola, D-Montgomery, could win it, Brinkley claimed.

“It’s time to pass the torch,” Brinkley said, arguing that he has a better chance of retaining the seat for the Republicans than Bartlett does.

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He pointed to a list of political endorsements he has lined up — including three Republicans in the Washington County legislative delegation — by the day he officially announced his candidacy.

“I think that I can be a great advocate and voice for Western Maryland,” especially against unchecked federal spending, Brinkley said.

Brinkley said he has a record of not being an obstructionist in Annapolis, but as someone who offers solutions.

Two years ago, he and Sen.E.J. Pipkin, the current Senate minority leader, crafted an alternative plan to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed budget. Elements of the alternative plan were adopted, Brinkley said.

O’Malley’s proposal for fiscal 2013 includes the Brinkley-Pipkin idea of shifting half of the state’s teacher-pension liability to the counties.

Brinkley said his philosophy as a legislator is “OPM,” meaning it’s “other people’s money.”

The main issue in the congressional race is “the economic disparity between Western Maryland and the counties to the east,” Brinkley said.

Overall, Maryland is no longer attractive for businesses and has been “hostile to any kind of natural resource production,” such as gas drilling, he said.

He said those are issues at both the state and federal levels.

As a congressman, Brinkley said his mission would be “ensuring that you can get the proper infrastructure.”

He said broadband connectivity is critical, especially since some people still have dial-up Internet connections.

He also stressed the importance of tourism in Western Maryland and the multiplier effect tourism dollars have.

Asked if he had specific criticisms of Bartlett, Brinkley said he would not have voted as Bartlett did last year to raise the country’s debt ceiling.

Bartlett has said he voted in favor of that because it prevented the nation from defaulting and cut government spending more than it increased debt.

Brinkley is one of seven Republicans challenging Bartlett in an April 3 GOP primary. The others are Del. Kathryn L. Afzali, former Del. Robin Ficker, Robert Coblentz, Brandon Orman Rippeon, Joseph T. Krysztoforski and Peter James.

The field on the Democratic side includes Garagiola, John Delaney, Ron Little, Dr. Milad L. Pooran and Charles Bailey.

Candidate at a glance

Name: David R. Brinkley

Date of birth: Sept. 24, 1959

Hometown: New Market, Md.

Education: Attended Gettysburg College for two years, then received bachelor’s degree in government and politics from University of Maryland at College Park in 1981; received certified life underwriter and chartered financial consultant accredidation through American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Occupation: Estate and financial planner with Advisors Financial Group

Political party: Republican

Political experience: State delegate from 1995 to 2003; state senator starting in 2003; has served as minority whip and minority leader in the Senate; has served on Frederick County Republican Central Committee

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