Candidate Survey: Eric Hiltpold for Calvert County Central Committee
County and District
BS Information Systems Mgmt, UMUC
Associate Member, Secretary, Calvert County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) – June 2016 – July 2017
Member, Secretary, CCRCC – July 2017 to present
Why are you running for office?
I want to partner with our neighboring County Central Committees where we share Legislative & Congressional Districts and serve the Republican voters of Calvert County and help to influence election outcomes with a conservative message, encourage Republican voter turn out, and where other voters can be swayed, help our candidates make the argument for conservative principles of government.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Dr. Tom Coburn (R) (US OK-2nd 1995-2001; US Senate 2005-2015)
Dr. Coburn, in my view, epitomizes the idea of a citizen-legislator & statesman, who viewed service to his constituents as a temporary yet sacred calling & obligation.
He kept his promise to self-term limit, and he worked doggedly for his constituents and the American people while in office, especially for his crusade against fraud & wasteful government spending, coupled with a solid fiscal responsibility message.
His candor, bipartisanship, and no nonsense attitude in speaking hard truths regardless of political consequences made him an admirable public servant, who deliberately chose to not have a long legislative career in politics, because he didn’t want to be part of the problem.
I consider that to be a strong characteristic of statesmanship.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
At present, Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Conservatism & the Republican Party have a 164 year history in the story of our Republic. Being a conservative, and considering the larger picture of our history, I am curious to observe, and now participate in, how conservatism, republicanism (classical liberalism) are going to be shaped in the future by the present atmosphere that our party has chosen to embrace.
The juxtaposition of the victories won by our party in 2014 in Maryland, and again in 2016 across the nation, will be interesting to observe in 2018, and in 2020 and beyond; at every level of elective office.
I see the principles of conservatism as enduring, and while politics has always been “destructive” in varying degrees, it will be interesting to observe if there ever will be a return to some semblance of civility, amongst people of good will, who want whats best for their communities and the country, but simply disagree on how to get there.
I am a Marine Corps veteran, served 2 tours in Iraq, and 23 years total active duty. I’ve served alongside Democrats, Republicans, Independents with views of every ilk from within their own politics, which we would discuss, argue and disagree about if the topic ever came up. However, when it came to the mission, and the time to put our lives in each other’s hands, we set our politics aside, and did the Nation’s bidding, as the apolitical institution that we are.
It is that experience, my experience in combat zones with fellow Americans from every corner of our country that convinces me, that there is much more that unites us, than divides us.
Where my Democrat-Veteran friends and I may passionately disagree, as we oppose each other in our political discourse and argument, I pray we continue to do so, with mutual respect, and not vilify each other.
Democrats are wrong.
But they are not evil.
What do you see as the role of the Central Committee?
I see the role of the Central Committee is to providing the infrastructure to:
1) Inform & Register Voters,
2) Recruit and Present Candidates and
3) Get Out The Vote!
None of which is possible without Raising Money!
What is the biggest issue facing your county Republican Party?
In my view, the biggest issue facing the Calvert County Republican Party is Voter Turnout.
Calvert County, at present is solidly in “The Red”, at the local level, and with our shared Legislative District 29 and St. Mary’s County.
However, Calvert shares in Legislative District 27 with Prince George’s and Charles counties where Senator Mike Miller has enjoyed solid footing for decades.
For the House of Delegates, District 27B, we share that district with Prince George’s County, and only lost in 2014 by ~700 votes!
I believe District 27B is “flippable” this year if we can get Republicans to the polls.
I further believe, we can flip District 27 at the Senate level, as we look for ways to coordinate and join efforts with our friends in the Prince George’s and Charles County Republican Central Committees.
A “County-centric Strategy” doesn’t work to flip Legislative (or Congressional) Districts.
We need a collaborative “District-centric Strategy”.
What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
1. Getting Governor Hogan re-elected.
2. Getting the 5 Senators and 7 Delegates needed to prevent veto overrides.
3. Keeping the conversation about Maryland, and not national issues in 2018.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I oppose abortion, with the exception of abortions necessary to save the life of the mother.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
Taxes and spending must facilitate economic freedom in Maryland. Where taxes and spending impede the free market and growth, they must be eliminated. Where taxes and spending create dependence on the government, it must be eliminated. Government should do for the people, what the people cannot do for themselves; that is the singular lens by which tax and spend policy should be viewed.
What is your position on gun rights?
Gun rights are guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. Law abiding Marylanders should be able to enjoy the freedom to own and carry the firearms of their choosing, for whatever purpose they deem appropriate as a matter of personal liberty.
Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?