Candidate Survey: Nic Kipke for Delegate, District 31B
Office Sought and District
State Delegate 31b
Fellow of the Public Policy Conflict Resolution Fellowship established by Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, University of Maryland, Baltimore and Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office, Some College at Anne Arundel County Community College
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Vice President, Reps & Associates, Inc.
Republican House Leader (2013-Present), State Delegate (2007-Present), Delegate to the Republican National Convention (2012), Volunteered on many Republican Candidate Campaigns
Why are you running for office?
I’m running for reelection to continue to support the positive changes Governor Larry Hogan is making in Annapolis. We had a long and unproductive time with O’Malley and one party rule. Hogan has brought the legislature to the center and it’s producing positive results for our state. As one of his strongest allies in the General Assembly, I am proud of what we are accomplishing to cut taxes, improve the regulatory environment so that employers can thrive, and so many other good public policies that enhance our quality of life. I also pinch myself often at the thought of the incredible honor it is to represent the area where I’ve lived most of my life. Helping people in our community, advocating for smart public policy, and fighting for taxpayers is what motivates me everyday.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
I have many but often I find myself thinking about Jack Kemp when I am asked this question. Aside from his successful career in politics, I respect the demeanor that he approached politics and I try to replicate his approach. He once said, “OUR GOAL IS NOT JUST TO WIN, BUT TO BE WORTHY OF WINNING.” I think that we are worthy by advocating for and advancing good public policy not just by winning elections.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
I don’t have a favorite but we have many in our family library. One that impacted me early in life was The Conscience of a Conservative.
What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
One of our most important obligations is to at least hold the line on taxes and ideally make them more competitive with the nation and especially with our surrounding states. We are vulnerable to losing retirees because of our oppressive taxes and many flee to lower tax states. Governor Hogan has been successfully cutting taxes on many retirees and I know he will continue to reduce taxes as Governor.
What is the biggest issue facing your district?
Many people in my district are self employed and buy insurance for themselves and their families in the individual health insurance market. The cost of health insurance in that market is outrageously unaffordable. This session I am working to pass legislation that will dramatically reduce the cost using an innovative method called reinsurance. It should reduce rates by approximately 30% next year.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
High taxes, crime, and gerrymandered districts.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I am pro-life.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
We need to cut taxes to make our state more competitive nationally and in our region. This requires a conservative approach to budgeting which is why I voted against O’Malley’s 2008-2013 budgets. Fortunately Governor Hogan was elected and I am proud to have supported budgets that spend only what we can afford.
What is your position on gun rights?
I strongly support the Second Amendment. I am proud of my A+ rating from the NRA and my life membership. I’ve also supported common sense legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of deranged people, violent criminals, and the mentally ill who threaten the safety of others.
What is your position on education?
I support public charter schools, limiting unhelpful testing, vouchers for students in areas with horrible schools, expanding vocational opportunities in high schools, passing a bill to authorize an Inspector General to investigate corruption in local school systems, among other reforms.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
I’m opposed to legalization but support the medical cannabis program.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
It needs to be reformed.
Legislators can receive $101 per day for lodging and $47 per day for meals during the 90-day General Assembly session. If elected, do you plan to accept these benefits? Why or why not?
I do not expense lodging in Annapolis, except when we have serious snow or ice and the legislative session continues its work, I do accept the per diem.
There is a culture of depravity and sexual harassment prevalent in the Maryland General Assembly. As a legislator, how will you work to end this culture of depravity and to ensure that those who commit these acts are removed from the General Assembly?
I am supporting legislation introduced this session that is supported by the Women’s Caucus to reform the way sexual harassment cases are investigated. The bill does many things but one important aspect is that it will authorize an outside and independent firm to handle complaints and investigations.