What do Maryland state representative candidates think are the top issues facing Districts 37B and 38A on the Eastern Shore?
Delmarva Now/The Daily Times sent questionnaires to each candidate seeking office in Maryland House of Representatives Districts 37B and 38A. In District 38C, Wayne Hartman is unopposed in the general election.
Included were basic biographical questions, as well as opportunities to list websites and social media accounts so voters can learn beyond just answers to the questions we asked. Responses were limited to 500 characters — the equivalent of more than two tweets. Their answers are published unedited.
The questionnaire was sent in mid-June, and follow-ups were made with those who hadn’t responded. Those who didn’t answer by June 29 are listed below as “Did not respond.”
The primary is July 19, but early voting runs from July 7-14.
Meet the candidates
Nicole L. Acle
Occupation: Registered dietitian
Primary residence: Wicomico County
Christopher T. Adams
Occupation: Business owner /incumbent State Delegate
Primary residence: Hebron
Occupation: Owner – Hutchinson Home Services LLC Woolford
Primary residence: Dorchester County
Occupation: Mayor and volunteer for several nonprofits
Primary residence: Galestown, MD.
Susan E. Delean-Botkin
(Unopposed in Primary)
Did not respond.
(Both unopposed in Primary)
Charles James Otto
Did not respond.
Todd J. Nock
Did not respond.
What makes you the best candidate for this office?
Acle: In 2019, I was appointed and then elected to the Wicomico County Council for District 2, which is the largest rural area of the western part of the County.
My tenure on the Wicomico County Council has provided greater insight about how government, including the state government, affects citizens locally. It has confirmed and strengthened my view that government must be carefully controlled to promote and not destroy our constitutional rights.
Hutchinson: I have strong personal character and integrity. I am honest and trustworthy. I will have full transparency. I am a business leader and not a politician. I have experience as an executive, a small business owner and a community leader. I am always willing to step up, be a leader and lead by example. I think critically, listen, debate, negotiate, collaborate and when time to make a decision, I do so based upon the facts. I am a servant leader. I will provide exceptional constituency services.
James: 37b is rural and small towns. I have been a small-town mayor for 16 years. I love the Eastern Shore of MD. I grew up here, I know people here, I listen to people and I carry through on my promises.
Adams: My voting record reflects past campaign promises and is recognized by CPAC as the most conservative of the Shore elected officials. In 2021 I was also awarded Legislator of the Year by the Maryland Retailers Association as I fought for small businesses during the pandemic. Most importantly I deliver strong Eastern Shore values through experienced constituent services to citizens needing to connect with government proving that is possible to be both effective and conservative in Maryland.
What is the top issue facing this office, and what are your plans to address it?
Acle: The biggest issue is that citizens have lost faith in their government. Confidence and trust in elected officials affect everything. Without officials dedicated to accountability, transparency and responsibility to the citizens, constituents have no power over what happens in the crucial areas of law enforcement, education and the economy. Officials who live in the government “bubble” will not know what their constituents want or need. They will not keep them in mind when legislating.
- Refunding and supporting law enforcement by providing them the resources and respect they deserve.
- Improving public safety and reducing crime with tougher sentencing for repeat and violent offenders.
- Improving our educational system by returning to traditional educational programs and values, transparency in educational curriculum and protecting the safety of our children.
James: People’s way of living on the shore. This includes inflation, rules and regulations, and safety.
Adams: The Legislature continues to take action without due consideration from agriculture and our watermen. Nearly all economic development on the Eastern Shore is attributable to Maryland agriculture and seafood production. This is a basic concept that must continually be reinforced with legislators from Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. Our future success depends on defending these key industries that define our Eastern Shore heritage and hard-working values.
What steps would you take to increase transparency in your office?
Acle: I will update constituents by maintaining communication with them via the standard methods, social media, e-mail, etc; meet with municipalities and county agencies every three months to hear what their concerns and needs are, and conduct periodic town hall meetings with citizens throughout District 37 B to answer their questions and listen to their opinions and concerns.
- Allow maximum disclosure of information.
- Publish key information timely.
- Promote an open government.
- Clearly define exceptions to information requests.
- Fulfill information requests rapidly.
- Provide an independent review if a request is denied.
- Minimize all costs associated to information requests.
- Hold meetings open to the public
- Repeal laws that are inconsistent to maximum disclosure of information.
- Protect whistleblowers.
James: Monthly newsletter every month, not just in election cycle. I’m always available by cellphone.
Adams: Maryland has some of the strongest Public Information Act laws in the nation. I fully comply with those laws and have a record of voting to strengthening those laws, including on HB1058 (Integrity in High Office Act of 2021).