Candidate Survey: Tony McConkey for Delegate, District 33
Office Sought and District
Delegate District 33
Univ of Maryland BA Govt & Politics, BS Marketing, JD
Delegate District 33 2003-2018, Republican State Central Committee 1995-2002
Why are you running for office?
To protect and improve the quality of life in my community and the State of Maryland.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan, Wayne Gilchrest
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
“The Fall of the Roman Empire.” We are the richest state in the richest country. We will be destroyed from within by our own decisions very much like the Romans.
What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
Fiscal restraint and lower taxes. I think high taxes is hurting our quality of life by driving people and jobs out of the state. High taxes split up families and rob communities of the great benefit of so many of seniors that are forced to leave Maryland to cope during retirement.
What is the biggest issue facing your district?
Traffic congestion. I support efforts to expedite a third Bay Bridge, and Governor Hogan’s proposal to use public private partnerships to expand major highways without taxpayer expense as has been done in Virginia. Also the state has to restore highway user revenues and capital funding to build and maintain more county roads.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
The growing attitude against punishing criminals (including illegal aliens), the high tax policies that is driving wealth away, and the unaccountability of the public schools.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
100 percent pro-life including euthanasia of the elderly. I believe abortion should be outlawed except to prevent the death of the mother.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
Maryland Taxes are higher than what is necessary to provide quality education and the core functions of government. I have served for the last seven years as the Republican leader on the budget committee. We have made real progress in reducing the growth of spending, while fully funding education and other core functions all without a tax increase for the last four years. Under the eight years of the previous governor taxes and fees were raised more than 40 times, which I opposed.
What is your position on gun rights?
I believe all law abiding citizens should have the right to own and carry guns for personal defense.
What is your position on education?
Parents and taxpayers should have more direct control of public schools. I believe the problems in public schools is a leadership problem and not a funding problem. Anne Arundel County schools are in the top TEN school districts nationally out of more than 3000 in terms of the amount per pupil spent on administrative functions. The problem is not the amount of money spent on our schools but how the money is spent. Moreover the AACPS has repeatedly shown an arrogance that they know better than parents what is best for their children. Parents and taxpayers need more control.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
Against legalization. I voted for medical marijuana with the promise that it would be limited to the truly sick.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
Believe it works well in our county.
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 accept the meal allowance. It is part of my compensation as a legislator and is fully taxed as normal income. Politics has prevented regular increases in legislator salaries with only one $7,000 raise voted in 20 years (2003-2022). The meal allowance totals about $4,000 and is a regular part of the salary. I don’t think my constituents feel $54,000+/- (combined salary plus meal allowance) is extravagant. In 16 years I have never used the lodging allowance.
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 disagree that the problem is as prevalent as portrayed in the media; however, I support zero tolerance for offenders. I am fortunate that I live close enough that I spend every evening at home with my wife and children, but still I believe the problem is limited to just a few bad actors.