Maryland 2018 Primary Elections Voting Guide
The Hyattsville Life & Times reached out to candidates registered to run in our local primary elections. You’ll find unedited statements of those who submitted below. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
Candidate for Maryland State Delegate, District 22
Age: Not disclosed
Day Job: Delegate
Statement to the Voters: I am running for re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates, where I have served since 1991. I have lived in the City of Hyattsville since 1979, and served on the city council from 1987-1990. I hope to continue to serve our community and to use all my hard-won experience and leadership skills to advance the well-being of Hyattsville, District 22, Prince George’s County and the entire State of Maryland. Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done, especially in the areas of education, economic development and jobs, as well as in transportation, healthcare and public safety. As a leader in the House, I have been able help bring resources to our community and to advance progressive legislation. Most recently, I have lead a successful fight to pass landmark national legislation protecting pollinators from dangerous pesticides. I have also lead on issues as diverse as protecting victims of domestic violence and spearheading projects like the Purple Line.
My professional background is in journalism, and I edited several community newspapers before I ran for office. I also freelanced as a writer/editor, but after my election to the House of Delegates, I dedicated my full efforts to representing our district in Annapolis. As part of the way I go about my work as delegate, I attend two or three community meetings just about every week.
Candidate for the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee
Day Job: Supervisory Economist, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Community Involvement: ACORN canvasser; Hyattsville-Mount Rainier-Brentwood soccer coach; founding president, Prince George’s Soccer, Inc.; Riverdale Park Councilmember; Hyattsville Councilmember; Our Revolution-Prince George’s Steering Committee member
Statement to the Voters: Most people have never heard of the County Democratic Central Committee (CDCC). The CDCC is supposed to be our neighborhood’s voice inside the Maryland Democratic Party. Instead, it is often controlled by the party establishment.
Members are usually elected because they are on state senators’ slates. I’m a Bernie Democrat. I’m not on a slate.
I’ll work to create a Maryland party platform with compelling policies such as Medicare for All, College for All, and a $15 minimum wage.
CDCC MEMBERS: Appoint candidates to fill political offices when there is a vacancy between elections. Over a third of the members of the Maryland General Assembly were appointed to their first term. This gives the establishment too much power over new candidates; vote on state party issues; adopt official Democratic Party positions on ballot questions.
PRECINCT CAPTAINS: Prince George’s is one of only two counties in Maryland that don’t have a Democratic Party precinct captain. I’m already recruiting prospective captains who can represent our neighborhoods.
APPOINTMENTS: Three of our four District 22 state office holders were appointed. We didn’t pick them! Paul Pinsky was appointed to the Senate. Tawanna Gaines and Alonzo Washington were appointed to the House of Delegates. Anne Healey is the only one that we chose the first time.
The first choice is the most important: Once someone is the Democratic incumbent, they are in for good. I’ll work to return the first choice to the people by switching to special elections.
STATE PLATFORM: Unlike the Democratic Party in progressive states like California and Massachusetts, the Maryland Democratic party doesn’t have its own platform.
I ask for your vote. Find me on the last page of your Democratic primary ballot. Let’s build better Democrats together!
Candace B. Hollingsworth
Prince George’s County Council, District 2
Day Job: Mayor, City of Hyattsville
Community Involvement: Councilmember, Ward 1, City of Hyattsville (2011-15); board member, ECO City Farms (2012-16); vice president, Hyattsville Elementary School PTA (2010-14); board member, Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (2011-12)
Statement to the Voters: It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your mayor for the past three years. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished together—expanding city services, addressing litter issues, improving our parks and public spaces, completing long-awaited projects, increasing youth and senior programs, and more—all while being fiscally responsible and civically-minded. However, there is more work to be done that, unfortunately, cannot be done from the mayor’s office. It’s the important work of creating affordable housing; remedying the overcrowding and performance challenges in our local schools; making development, zoning and land use decisions that benefit our community; bringing the Gateway Arts District to its full potential; and ensuring that cities receive their fair share of development impact fees to address their growing communities. These are the responsibilities that demand a proven leader on the county council to represent our district. It’s more than keeping the momentum; it’s about accelerating our efforts to make up for what has not been done at the county level over the past four years. We need leadership that understands the difficult issues, and then takes the initiative to tackle them. As mayor, I’ve demonstrated my ability to do this for Hyattsville, and I will continue to do so — with even more fervor — as your next county council member. What we have accomplished in Hyattsville has been the result of the continual work of the mayor and council, our staff and residents like you. You have consistently asked me to step up to the plate and act on your behalf when others will not. This endeavor is no different. I am asking for your support so I can step up to the plate of governing our great city and our neighboring areas because the need is great. I humbly ask for your vote on June 26.
Candidate for Maryland State Delegate, District 47-A
Day job: Cheverly town councilman
Community involvement: Town halls on race relations and other issues
Statement to the Voters: If elected, I will serve Prince Georgians and Hyattsville residents by focusing on issues like education, crime, discrimination, immigration, senior citizens, health care and good, sustainable economic development. I will help end the school system scandals, promote early childhood literacy and invest in coding education for children in elementary school, middle school and beyond. I will embrace community policing that reduces crime, is smart on crime and is fair on crime to promote better public safety and better race relations. I believe in town halls as a way to get community input and foster important dialogues about these issues. I also will support legislation to restrict state law enforcement officials’ cooperation with federal immigration authorities. And I will support programs that allow senior citizens to age in place.
I also understand that there are many changes taking place in Hyattsville and along the Greater Route 1 Corridor, so, now more than ever, the Hyattsville community needs a champion that will listen to their concerns about these changes. I will be that champion for Hyattsville residents. And, as new residents inevitably enter the community, I am committed to supporting more resources for current residents to prioritize giving them the ability to remain in the community they have come to love.
Candidate Maryland House of Delegates, District 22
Day Job: Student at Howard University
Community Involvement: Former vice president of membership for the Prince George’s County Young Democrats; member, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club; member, Parkdale High School PTSA
Statement to the Voters: We need more leaders that share our values and understand the struggles of working families. For far too long, far too many of our families have been ignored and haven’t been able to get ahead. It’s time our community sends someone to Annapolis that will have our back. I’m running because our community deserves a delegate with new energy, committed leadership, and bold progressive policies for affordable housing, quality education, greater access to health care, economic security and transportation improvements. Throughout my career, I have consistently stood for change, from advocating for under-represented groups — including LGBTQ students within the Prince George’s County Regional Association of Student Governments — to working alongside fellow Maryland Democrats like Rep. Elijah Cummings, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Del. and Joseline Peña-Melnyk, and serving as a staffer for the Legislative Latino Caucus in Annapolis. I was raised in New Carrollton, attended school at St. Mary’s Landover Hills, and graduated from Parkdale High School. I know the challenges and triumphs our community has faced. I am prepared to carry that type of leadership to Annapolis, and I’m confident that together we can move our communities forward.
Candidate for State Delegate, District 22
Day Job: Doctoral candidate, University of Maryland
Community Involvement: 40 Days for Life coordinator at St. James; member of Nigerian Catholic Community at St. Jerome; secretary of African Prayer Group at St. Mark
Statement to the Voters: NO NEW TAXES. Period.
I am running as a Republican for state delegate because we are crushed under the burden of heavy taxes. From the city to the county to the state, we pay the government too much in taxes!
In 1954, four Republicans were re-elected to the Maryland House of Delegates to represent Prince George’s County for the last time. They were Albert R. Hassall, William R. Hughes, John F. Lillard Jr. and Harry E. Taylor Jr. Regrettably, no Republican has been elected to represent Prince George’s County in the House of Delegates since then. I am running as a Republican for state delegate because I am convinced that it is time for new leadership in Annapolis.
I am running as a Republican for state delegate to ensure that no new taxes are passed in the Maryland General Assembly without an equal tax cut.
If you agree with this proposition, I sincerely ask for your vote on June 26 and November 6. While I am unopposed in the Republican primary, I would still appreciate your vote on June 26 as a sign of your support for my candidacy.
You can learn more about my campaign at the following: www.winnieobike.com, @WinnieObike and firstname.lastname@example.org. To order a yard sign: visit www.winnieobike.com/orderasign
Finally, please join me to walk in the Greenbelt Labor Day parade on Monday, Sept. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon. The parade route is along Crescent Road from Greenhill Road to Southway. I hope to meet you then!
Candidate for Maryland State Delegate, District 47A
Day job: Full-time state legislator
Community Involvement: Former treasurer of the Gateway Community Development Corporation; Mount Rainier City Council Member, 2007-2014; organizer of the Mount Rainier Centennial, Mount Rainier House Tour and MR/Gateway 5K Run
Statement to the Voters: As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, my work is concentrated on issues of revenue and education. With education, the job of the legislature is to make sure there is enough revenue coming in to the county to ensure it has adequate revenues to provide a first class education for the students in Prince George’s County. We provided a record amount of funding for K-12 education and appropriated $15 million as a first step toward providing free community college education. We will be implementing the recommendations of the Kerwin Commission and will have to raise approximate $3 billion to do that. On the issue of taxes, my priority has been to make sure that our seniors and other residents on fixed incomes can get tax relief from the increased property taxes in our area. In the past two years, the legislature passed bills that I introduced to ensure that tens of thousands of people in our county receive the Homestead and Homeowner tax credits. We also increased the renters tax credit to give our renters relief from the increasing high rents in our area. In order to ensure adequate revenue to fully fund education, transportation, public safety and other priorities, I have introduced and will again introduce legislation to close corporate tax loopholes and raise the taxes from the multimillionaires who live in our state.
Prince George’s County Council, District 2
Day Job: Current County Council member
Community Involvement: President, Presidential Park Condominiums; member, Maryland Climate Change Commission; member, Cultivating our Sisterhood International Association; member, Association of Black Princeton Alumni; member, Association of Latino Princeton Alumni; member, Association of National Society of Black Engineers; member, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; member, Association of Barnard in Washington Alumni
In her capacity as Prince George’s County Council member, Deni has done Clean Up, Green Ups twice a year and in bulk trash events in specific neighborhoods within District 2. She has also led community organizing campaigns to support her Take Pride (quality of life) and Unity initiatives.
Statement to the Voters: Deni Taveras was elected to her first 4-year term on the Prince George’s County Council in 2014 for District 2. During the last three years, Deni has provided leadership to restore fiscal responsibility, enhance government services, improve our schools, protect the environment, and promote smart growth opportunities to safeguard neighborhoods and revitalize blighted commercial areas. Each year, she has provided oversight and voted to approve a balanced budget. This year, the Prince George’s County Council allocated $2.1 billion for Prince George’s County Public Schools, which is the highest allocation ever made to our school system by the county. This included funds to construct six schools to alleviate overcrowding and eliminate the use of school trailers in District 2. This also includes $42 million for the Hyattsville Elementary School reconstruction and $90 million for the Hyattsville Middle School reconstruction.
Deni has focused on investing in infrastructure and revitalization, with $5.7 million for the Hamilton Street Garage, $6.8 million for Hyattsville Justice Center Garage, and $30 million for road repairs and more frequent median maintenance, litter removal and tree trimming.
Deni was able to approve an allocation of over $1 million to nonprofits serving District 2, with many in the Gateway Arts District. Deni also pushed for investments in affordable housing, neighborhood stabilization, and healthy family initiatives, with an allocation of $6.6 million for the Housing Investment Trust Fund and $1 million to combat domestic violence.
Deni Taveras has lived in the District since 2005 with her dog Lucky. She was orphaned at the age of eight and grew up with her grandmother. Taveras holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Barnard College, a dual master’s degree in public affairs and urban regional planning from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a master’s degree from the University of Utah, also in chemistry.
Candidate for Maryland State Delegate, District 22
Day Job: Housing & community development manager, CASA of Maryland
Community Involvement: Hosted 16 Monthly Table Talk meetings in communities around District 22, two Color & Class events in Greenbelt, two PTA ice cream socials in Hyattsville and three Back2School block parties and community resource fairs in the Palmer Park community.
Statement to the Voters: Alonzo T. Washington is a life-long resident of Prince George’s County and a proud graduate of its public schools. The oldest of six children, he grew up under difficult circumstances, which caused his family to be homeless for a short time and occasionally reside in some of the county’s troubled neighborhoods. Raised by a strong single mother who believed in the power of education, Alonzo became the first member of his family to attend college. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in criminal justice.
Appointed to the House of Delegates in 2012, Alonzo worked tirelessly to gain the trust of his constituents and was identified as a “rising star” in Maryland politics by the Washington Post.
Since winning his first election in 2014, Alonzo’s legislative agenda has been characterized as bold and progressive as he has focused on closing the student achievement gap, implementing free tuition for community college, and reducing poverty in Prince George’s County. He has authored and passed over 30 bills out of the House of Delegates on a wide range of topics, including college affordability, economic revitalization and criminal justice reform.
Alonzo has worked closely with Hyattsville officials and residents on numerous issues. He has partnered with the city to hold the State Highway Administration accountable for traffic and pedestrian safety measures along Route 1 and Queens Chapel Road, increased investments in school construction funding to rebuild the Hyattsville Elementary and Middle Schools, and hosted ice cream socials with Hyattsville PTAs to provide residents with the opportunity to speak with the county’s administrators about the state of our schools.
Alonzo has been a strong and constant presence around the Hyattsville community, attending city council meetings, Hyattsville parades, Zombie Runs and National Night Out events.
Candidate for Delegate, District 22
Day Job: Attorney
Community Involvement: Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee, At Large, District 22; president of the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club; member of the City of Greenbelt Planning Advisory Board; vice chair of the Prince George’s County Commission on Common Ownership Communities; former general counsel for the Prince George’s County History Preservation Commission; former chair of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Fund; former member of the DNC Youth Council; former president of the Prince George’s County Young Democrats; former executive committee member of the Young Democrats of America; member of the Kiwanis Club of Mitchellville; member of the Prince George’s County Historical Society; member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter; member of Metropolitan Baptist Church
Statement to the Voters: My commitment is to be accessible, accountable and transparent to the residents of Prince George’s County and the City of Hyattsville. In my job as an attorney, I fight for my clients who are facing difficult issues and looking to make their lives better.
My mom was a single mom who didn’t get a chance to finish college. We lived with my grandparents in D.C. I always say that my grandfather was my real father. He was a bricklayer with just a 6th grade education, who taught me that it is always important to work hard and be honest about who you are and what you believe. My grandmother, who cleaned houses, was the spiritual leader in our home.
I first got involved in politics after law school. I was working, but I wanted to do something more and give back to my community. Unlike the big corporations, Maryland families don’t have a lobbyist pushing for ideas and policies that will help the everyday person get a job, obtain good quality education or put food on the table. Too many of our neighbors are working two to three jobs to keep a roof over their head and put food on the table every night. They aren’t getting ahead, and they are trapped in a cycle that can push a person with a job loss or unexpected medical bill into foreclosure.
Growing up, we worked hard to save every penny, clip coupons on Sundays and look for the best deal. I know where we can save and when we need to invest in Maryland families.
I ask that you send me to Annapolis because I understand your worries. So I just humbly ask you for your vote and your support so that I may be your voice in Annapolis as your delegate.
Maryland Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 26. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can find your polling place by using the Maryland State Board of Elections Polling Place Lookup tool.