Candidate Survey: Chris West for State Senate, District 42

Chris West


Office Sought and District
State Senate, District 42

Gilman School ’68; Williams College ’72; University of Pennsylvania Law School ’75

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Political Experience
Executive Director, Maryland Republican Party 1995-1996; Chair, Baltimore County Republican Party 1998; General Counsel, Maryland GOP 1982-2002; State Delegate, District 42 2014-2018


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Why are you running for office?
To represent the residents of District 42, to support Larry Hogan, to improve Maryland’s business climate and our system of public education and to ensure that our citizens can obtain necessary healthcare at a cost they can afford.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush did their best to hold the line on taxes while keeping big government from taking over our lives.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Robert Caro’s “The Means of Ascent” is a fantastic saga of how Lyndon Johnson nearly killed himself to steal the Texas U. S. Senate election of 1948. It portrays real human beings at their most heroic and most venal.

What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
Keep the lid on higher taxes while continuing to move the State forward.

What is the biggest issue facing your district?
We need two new high schools (Towson and Dulaney), and we need to make sure that solar panels go on rooftops instead of on productive farmland.

What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
Jobs, education and taxes

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
We should stop all abortions after a child is viable (unless the mother’s life is genuinely at risk). PAS is deader than a doornail and won’t be re-introduced until long after I have retired.

What is your position on taxes and spending?
Grow the State’s economy and increase available State funding in that way rather than by raising taxes.

What is your position on gun rights?
I support the entire US Constitution, including the Second Amendment.

What is your position on education?
We need to fix our failing schools, not sweep their problems under the rug. I am very sceptical that Pre-K education is worth the enormous cost to do it right.

What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
Opposed. There is no way to test drivers for being under the influence short of transporting them to a nearby medical facility and drawing blood.

What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
It’s a constant mess, but the powers are so entrenched, it would take constant strife to dislodge them.

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?
My daily commute from Annapolis to Towson during the morning and evening rush hours would take three hours, so I stay in Annapolis mid-week and generally spend much of that time working. I take part of the food allotment reflecting that one or two nights a week, I have to pay for my dinners, and most days, I pay for my lunches.

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 don’t know how you stop depravity other than to have nothing to do with it. We passed a strong bill this year to try to deter sexual harassment.

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