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Red Maryland GOP Leadership Candidate Surveys

Red Maryland distributed this candidate survey to the candidates for the contested officer positions: 1st Vice-Chairman, 2nd Vice-Chairman, 3rd Vice-Chairman, and Secretary. The surveys are posted, below, separated by the office.

1ST VICE-CHAIRMAN

Brandon Cooper
Age
30

County
Prince George’s County

Education
Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Howard University. Juris Doctor from University of Maryland School of Law.

Career/Occupation
Law

Political Experience
Recognized as the 2017 MDGOP Man of the Year and 2013 MDGOP Young Republican of the Year for my contributions to the Maryland Republican Party. Chairman of Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee, Vice Chair of the Maryland Young Republicans, RNC Media Surrogate during the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Chair of the Howard University College Republicans, Vice Chair of UMD Law Federalist Society, and my very first political job was at the Republican National Committee during the successful 2010 retake of the House of Representatives.

Website
No answer

Social Media Accounts
No answer

Why are you running for this position?
First off, I am not running just to hold a title or to prepare for a future political run. I am running to apply my record of successful service to the Republican Party to help continue the strengths of MDGOP and improve upon our weaknesses. Specifically, I want to help MDGOP focus on improving three areas: Communications, Grassroots, and Fundraising. We need vice chairs that have experience in executing initiatives for the benefit of the Republican Party and have demonstrated ability in building a stronger Republican Party in all 23 counties and the City of Baltimore. Most importantly, as the MD Democrats are focusing on expanding their presence in rural and suburban areas of Maryland, the Republican Party needs to strengthen our presence in urban and suburban areas as well. I am the only candidate running that has solid experience in building a party in these areas.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
It’s a tie – Mark Levin and Thomas Sowell. I believe both of these men are powerful communicators of conservative principles. I believe that the way to grow the Party is to be a strong and articulate advocate of conservative principles. We do not need to moderate our positions but boldly communicate them to all Marylanders so they understand why our policies benefit them and their families!

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell. This book perfectly frames the current political debate between progressives and conservatives. It explains why our fellow citizens embrace progressive ideology even though historical evidence shows that their policies are destructive. The book also lays out how we can push back on the idea that government intervention is the cure to all the problems that plague society. I am foremost a Republican because I believe in limited government and this book reinforces why government intervention is often — not always — a negative versus a positive.

What do you see as the role of the Executive Committee?
As a member of the Executive Committee, I believe its role is underutilized. The Executive Committee should be the senior advisor of the State Party. We represent each of the 24 jurisdictions and most of our members are elected by voters — not party insiders. Currently, the Executive Committee is only convened four times a year for a very limited Executive Committee Meeting that is mostly an update from Party bosses. While I cannot unilaterally make changes to how the Executive Committee is used, I believe we should at very minimum have a mechanism to receive feedback from the executive committee more than four times a year. We should also receive monthly updates from Party bosses on the progress of the State Party instead of the current three-month updates.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
Poor grassroots. Ineffective communications. Non-aggressive fundraising.

What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
The most important lesson from the 2018 Election is that we need to promote REPUBLICANS and let candidates promote themselves. We focused on promoting select candidates and the other 100+ Republicans running across the state were left on their own. If we promote the Republican brand overall — in addition to targeted races — then all candidates can benefit from it. We need to boost our communications to improve the brand of the Republican Party in urban and suburban areas so that our candidates can run on issues.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I am pro-life across the board. I believe abortion should be limited (not banned), assisted suicide should not be legalized, and that the death penalty should not be used.

What is your position on taxes and spending?
I believe taxes are too damn high! Economists such as Milton Friedman and Art Laffer have written extensively about taxation and how lower taxes result in INCREASED tax revenue. This has been proven with every single tax cut in the past 30 years, including the Trump tax cuts. However, if you cut taxes, you also have to cut spending or else the revenue gains will be washed away. I support REASONABLE taxation and REASONABLE spending on basic government programs.

What is your position on gun rights?
I am very strong on protecting the 2nd Amendment — the right that protects all of our other rights. I oppose the Red Flag law as currently written. It was well-intentioned but does not address the real problem of gun violence – mental health and illegal guns. One reason I went to law school was to better understand Constitutional Law and our rights as citizens.

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
No

Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
No

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
No

Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?
Yes

Melanie Harris
No response received

Michael Higgs
Age
46

County
Montgomery

Education
B.A. from University of Maryland, and J.D. from George Washington University Law School

Career/Occupation
Director, MD Dept. of Assessments & Taxation

Political Experience
First Vice Chair of MDGOP – 2 yrs (current)
Chairman of Montgomery County Central Committee – 3 yrs
Chairman of Trump Montgomery
Chairman of District 17 – 2 yrs
Worked for Congresswoman Morella
Active member of UM College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom
(and lots more…)

Website
n/a

Social Media Accounts
Friend me on Facebook!

Why are you running for this position?
I want the MDGOP to be a professional organization with the fundraising, technology and grass-roots outreach necessary to overcome the shadow cast by any single candidate’s race on our side or any blue-wave coming from the other. We have made tremendous progress in these areas, but we have much more work ahead to accomplish these goals.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Maybe more hero than role model, but Andrew Breitbart had such a unique way of calling out the progressive left in an incredibly honest, pointed and direct manner, and yet he was always able to do it with a smile. We lost a tremendous advocate for conservatism when he was taken from us too soon.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
I’m going a bit more contemporary here by sharing my favorite podcast – The John Batchelor Show. This incredibly insightful show brings on-the-ground reports from around the world of grossly under-reported stories, top conservative economists, news from science and space exploration, truly fair-minded reporters analyzing the issues that most matter in US politics, and fascinating interviews with authors of history. I cannot recommend it enough to stay informed and knowledgeable.

What do you see as the role of the Executive Committee?
The primary roles of Executive Committee are to (1) raise enough money to build a sustainable infrastructure that outlasts any single election cycle, (2) see that the county committees have all of the tools they need to accomplish their missions locally, (3) message and market the party to build our brand and grow our voter base, and (4) recruit the most conservative candidates that can win races in their districts.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
(1) We need to show people what the MDGOP truly stands for, and stop allowing the mainstream media drive the narrative for us. Our common values resonate with the voting populous, but too many are turned off by the R label to see that.
(2) We need to build a sustainable party infrastructure that outlasts any one candidate or campaign.
(3) We need to find enough new voters to offset the recently energized suburban women anti-Trump voting bloc that turned out in unprecedented numbers in this election.

What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
All of our candidates matter, and they all deserve our respect and support. While the results were certainly not what we were hoping for below the top spot, it most be noted that Maryland fared FAR BETTER in this election than any other state in the Northeast. We gained a seat in our Senate (one of only 3 states in the US to accomplish that) and we lost fewer House seats than most. This was a tough year for state parties all across the country, not just in Maryland.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
Life is a precious gift and should be protected.

What is your position on taxes and spending?
Lower tax rates boost economic output, something we have seen work every time it has been tried. Reducing government spending is not merely theory for me, I take it quite seriously as part of my job.

What is your position on gun rights?
The Constitution grants us the right to own firearms, not the government. While I am an avid hunter, the 2nd Amendment is not about hunting, it is about the right of the people to protect their own property and liberty.

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
No

Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
No

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
Yes

Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?
Yes

2ND VICE-CHAIRMAN

Tony Campbell
Age
53

County
Baltimore

Education
Doctorate

Career/Occupation
Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Towson University

Political Experience
Republican Nominee, United States Senate – 2018

Website
campbell4maryland.com

Social Media Accounts
https://www.facebook.com/Campbell4Maryland
https://twitter.com/campbell4md?lang=en

Why are you running for this position?
It is my goal to build the Republican Party by communicating why our Conservative ideals and principles should matter to people in their everyday lives. I am bold and fearless in taking our message to every part of Maryland. We need to do a better job of engaging on our core issues. We should not be afraid of communicating why Constitutional liberties such as the 2nd Amendment are key to making sure we have safe neighborhoods. As 2nd Vice Chairman, I will be that voice.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan. President Reagan was able to communicate his Conservative ideals in an effective manner which galvanized the American people. In four years, our country went from the malaise of the late 1970s to believing it was “Morning in America.”

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
John Locke’s – Two Treatises of Government. The purpose of our system of government is explained in Locke’s writing. His understanding that each person has a God-given right to property is the center of Conservative political thought. It is that center of individual right of property (life, liberty and estate) which should be at the center of our activism.

What do you see as the role of the Executive Committee?
To build the Republican Party and steer the State Central Committee (and its counties) through the development of a coherent, Conservative message which can be used by every candidate throughout Maryland.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
Logistical Deficiencies, Limited pro-active Conservative messages focused on voters, Lack of Independence

What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
Lack of messaging of why people should vote for Republican candidates. The other side did a good job of telling people why they should vote Democratic. We did not provide any meaningful counter of why people should vote Republican.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
Pro-Life; Against Assisted Suicide

What is your position on taxes and spending?
Lower taxes. I campaigned for a Balance Budget Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

What is your position on gun rights?
I was endorsed by the National Rifle Association for US Senate.

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
No

Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
No

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
Yes

Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?
Yes

JoeyLynn Hough
Age
42

County
Frederick County

Education
BS Criminal Justice with Concentration Addiction Counseling

Career/Occupation
Homemaker/Fundraiser

Political Experience
2017-2018 2nd Vice-chairman of Greater Frederick Republican Women’s Club
2017 The Conservative Club of Maryland Conservative Woman of the Year
2017 Maryland Republican Woman of the Year
2016 Team Leader Faith & Freedom Coalition
2016 Elected Trump Delegate Republican National Convention
2016 One of the 112 authors of Republican Party Platform
2016 Served on Republican Party Platform; Subcommittee-National Security & Defense
2016 Western Maryland Trump-Pence Campaign Coordinator
2016 Maryland Congressional District 6 Chairman for Trump campaign
2014-present Elected member of the Frederick Republican Central Committee
2014-2015 Chairman of the Frederick Republican Central Committee
2010-present Volunteer Coordinator Delegate & Senator Hough campaign
2005-2007 Director of Maryland Republican Assembly
2002-2010 Volunteer Senator Mooney and Congressman Bartlett Campaign

Website
Www.joeylynn.com

Social Media Accounts
No answer

Why are you running for this position?
I’m running for 2nd Vice Chairman to provide leadership and experience in grassroots and fundraising to build a stronger Republican Party. We need action and not just talk.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Margaret Thatcher~she was an underdog who transcended into a political phenomenon. She did not compromise her principles and remained steadfast in her conservative ideology and values.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say It’s What People Hear, by Frank J. Luntz.
Communication is the essence of politics. You can have the greatest ideas and solutions to problems, but if you can’t communicate then your message is lost.

What do you see as the role of the Executive Committee?
To elect Republicans. When we look
At our party leadership we should be able to point out what they tangibly did to
help win elections. The role of the State Party is to raise money and carry our grassroots efforts like door knocking and absentee ballot mailers.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
We have to elect more Republicans! We are a super minority in the General Assembly and in many of our largest counties.The focus of our efforts need to be on the following:
1). Raising money for campaigns
2). Grassroots for candidates
3). Unity behind our nominated Republican candidates

What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
We were out worked and out organized on the ground. Most Republican candidates lost Early voting and absentee ballots. We cannot win, unless we as a party organize to fix this. We need real solutions for real problems.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I’m Pro-Life and do not support the taking of innocent human life thru abortion or assisted suicide.

What is your position on taxes and spending?
Lower taxes at the local, state, and federal level to drive a strong economy to encourage new businesses. Reduce government spending.

What is your position on gun rights?
Pro 2nd amendment ( the right to bear and keep arms). We need to enforce our current laws against criminals and stop targeting law-abiding gun owners with gun control, bans, and criminal penalties. We need to address the elephant in the room, mental health issues.

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
No

Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
No

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
No

Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?
No

3RD VICE-CHAIRMAN

Matt Adams
Age
49

County
Somerset

Education
DeVry

Career/Occupation
IT Consultant and Cancer Warrior

Political Experience
10 Years on the Somerset County Republican Central Committee with the last 4 years as Chairman.

Website
https://www.fightformaryland.com

Social Media Accounts
https://www.facebook.com/FightForMaryland/

Why are you running for this position?
I am running for 3rd vice-chair of the Maryland Republican Party to unite the central committees with the executive board in the coming years. It is my belief, together we can win the #Fight4Maryland!

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
All those who have run before me to represent the people and make a difference no matter how small.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Not a book reader. I like to experience political things as opposed to reading books about them.

What do you see as the role of the Executive Committee?
Identify the issues of ALL the Central Committees and use the full power of the State Party to lean into and work to influence important situations to make a difference in the outcomes. Many hands can make for light work.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
The lack of a strong message, and a weakened brand has resulted in diminished engagement. We must return to our conservative roots and regroup if we are to survive.

What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
Maryland’s conservative Republicans are in danger of extinction.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I am a pro-life conservative.

What is your position on taxes and spending?
Lower taxes and more responsible spending is the only answer.

What is your position on gun rights?
The 2nd Amendment was enacted to protect the 1st. ALL responsible law abiding citizens should be permitted to own and concealed carry any weapons of their choice.

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
No

Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
Yes

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
No

Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?
No

Shannon Wright
No response received

SECRETARY

Mark Uncapher
Age
No response

County
Montgomery

Education
BA, George Washington University;
JD, New York Law School

Career/Occupation
Attorney, Trade Association Executive

Political Experience
Current MD GOP Secretary;
Montgomery County Chair 2008-13 & 17-8, Treasurer 2013-17.

Website
facebook.com/MarkUncapherMDGOP

Social Media Accounts
Twitter @mark_Uncapher

Why are you running for this position?
In addition to filling the formal responsibilities of the Secretary’s position, I intend to continue to focus on strengthening the state party message and communications activities.

Getting our message out remains one of the daunting challenges we face as a party in Maryland, especially given the partisan hostility of the major media outlets covering our state. Yet while other state parties have a dedicated communications staff person, we have not had the resources to do so. Combining the Secretary position with more advanced communications strategies strengthens us.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan – He created the the modern Republican conservative voting coalition.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln effectively harnessed the talents of a diverse group of Republicans, who while they did not agree on many things, all shared a common commitment to the fundamentals.

What do you see as the role of the Executive Committee?
Just as I did in 2016, I am running as part of a slate of candidates led by Dirk Haire. Our team approach has strengthened the party. Each of us has had a clear idea of our responsibilities and how we can work together to complement each other in support of the party.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
Winning elections by recruiting strong candidates and providing those candidates with the infrastructure and resources to wage competitive campaigns

What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
Republicans in blue states faced very intense demographic headwinds.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
support protecting the most vulnerable in society and respecting the sanctity of life

What is your position on taxes and spending?
support a limited and restrained government

What is your position on gun rights?
strongly support the second amendment

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
No

Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
No

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
Yes

Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?
No

Anne White
Age
No response

County
Anne Arudel

Education
B.S. Syracuse University

Career/Occupation
Professional experience includes banking, coaching, web design, and small business ownership. Currently, retired and volunteer for several organizations

Political Experience
Formerly, fairly apolitical (always voted but never actively involved with any campaign) until the 2012 election spurred me to become involved. Began attending CPAC and State Party conventions, joined the AAGOP as Secretary in 2016, and have served as a grassroots volunteer and candidate support for several County and Statewide candidates, Election Judge, and Voter Registrar.

Website
N/A

Social Media Accounts
Follow various individual an organizations on Facebook an Twitter, but do not post anything.

Why are you running for this position?
To continue to be involved and serve the Republican Party using my skill-set the best way possible to move our Party forward in a positive direction.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Several come to mind. At a national level, I’d say Susan Collins for having the courage to do her own exhaustive research in considering the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court and the delivery of her epic speech to the Senate.
Locally, I’d say all of our amazing candidates who put themselves “out there” to run for office in an effort to improve our State.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Again, several come to mind, but, right now,I would say “Trump’s America” by Newt Gingrich. I found it to be an insightful, well researched in depth analysis of why and how we are where we are in the current political environment.

What do you see as the role of the Executive Committee?
To operate an effective political organization to promote the principles and platform of the Republican Party; to work toward the election of Republican nominees; to oversee and provide effective leadership for all of the county central committees; to raise money to support statewide candidates with appropriate strategy in order to gain seats in the Maryland legislature; and work with the RNC.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Maryland Republican Party?
1- Unifying all Republicans under our core values – considering “policy over personality”
2- Growing our party numbers as we strive to spread our message of why life is just better under Republican leadership.
3- Working ahead to 2022 to identify and develop good candidates and increase the number of Republican representatives in the State House.

What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
The need to increase legal Republican voter registrations to build our numbers and spread the Republican message of limited government, support for the Constitution, and fiscal conservatism to “independent” and less informed voters
We had amazing candidates at all levels and did everything we could as a Party to promote and elect them, but the Dems did it more.
We also need to change the approach to gathering polling data to include the latest technology and the widespread use of cell phones.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
Childbirth is a miracle. That being said, if women choose to have an abortion for whatever reason, they should just pay for it themselves.

What is your position on taxes and spending?
Taxes in Maryland are among the highest in the country. As Republicans, we must eliminate wasteful spending and continue to endorse fiscally conservative policies.

What is your position on gun rights?
Pro 2nd Amendment but with proof of proper training required for licensing, and background checks for mental health issues.

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party primaries should be open to independent voters?
No

Do you believe that the state party and the county parties should be allowed to endorse in primary elections?
No

Do you believe that Maryland Republican Party auxiliary organizations should have a vote on the Maryland Republican Party executive committee?
No

Would you support limiting the terms of Maryland Republican Party officers to eight consecutive years in the same office?
Yes






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