As we approach election season, you will see a lot of communication from candidates and incumbents running for office at all levels in Anne Arundel County. Voters will get inundated with mail, flyers, and literature in the coming months. As each candidate and their surrogates get their message out, it is important for voters to pay attention to the message that is being sent.
Not long ago, a political action committee funded by Delegate Nic Kipke (D31-B) and County Executive Steve Schuh sent out negative mail in the recent Annapolis Mayoral and City Council elections. There was also negative mail sent out recently on District 7 County Councilman Jerry Walker, who is running for a seat in District 33 for the Maryland House of Delegates. The messaging being sent was meant to disparage these candidates and not focus on the real issues.
As the Capital Gazette and other news outlets have pointed out, elections should be about issues. Thank you to voters for paying attention in the recent Annapolis elections to what was being sent out, and ignoring negative attacks that attempted to distract them from issues that truly matter. As we approach the 2018 election season, we need to remind all voters in Anne Arundel County to pay attention to candidates who fund negative mail and attacks. These campaign methods are a distraction, and also say a lot about those that fund them.
The upcoming County Executive and County Council races are very important to the future of Anne Arundel County. Issues like education funding, support for public services, protecting the environment, and growth should be debated in an honest fashion. In addition, voters need to know where candidates stand on immigration, individual rights, and discrimination. While the county may not deal with all of these issues, knowing one’s views can shed some light on their character.
My hope is that all voters, including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, hold all candidates accountable for where they stand on issues, and avoid the trap of negative messaging. It brings me great hope that in recent elections in Alabama and Annapolis, negative campaigning had the opposite impact. We must look toward the future of our country and community by focusing on issues that matter to voters. and avoiding negative campaign tactics.
Andrew Pruski is the Councilman for District 4 in Anne Arundel County.
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