CLPA Policy Staff
Mid-term Elections 2022: District 21 State Senate Candidates (Prince George's County)
Now that early voting has begun, residents across the DC Area have begun to cast their votes. In most of the elections in Prince George's County, the candidates are running unopposed; however, the State Senate race in District 21 is one of the few that has two candidates running against each other. Below is a profile of the two District 21 candidates. It should be noted that, unless stated otherwise, the information presented below has not been developed by CLPA, but comes directly from the candidate's web pages. What you read below are the candidates describing their campaigns in their own words. This information should be used as a resource as voters make their final decision and cast their votes so everything can be found in one place.
State Senator District 21
Maryland's Legislative 21st District is one of the 47 districts of the Maryland General Assembly. It is also one of a few districts covering more than one county in Maryland, comprising parts of Anne Arundel County and Prince George's County. Jim Rosapepe, a Democrat, currently serves as State Senator for the district, a position he has held since 2007.
District 21 State Senate Candidates
Jim Rosapepe (Democrat-Incumbent)
Background (from campaign site)
Jim Rosapepe is a champion of working and retired families who has strongly supported efforts to create jobs, help small businesses, and protect senior citizens.
He works closely on local issues -- from schools and roads to development and crime control -- with the 21st District Delegates -- Joseline Pena-Melnyk, Ben Barnes, and Mary Lehman -- community leaders, Laurel and College Park officials, County Council members Mary Lehman, Dannielle Glaros, Deni Taveras, and Andrew Pruski, US Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and US Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Anthony Brown, and John Sarbanes.
As our Senator, he has fought to improve local public schools, boost the University of Maryland, and protect our environment. From 1987-97, he represented the 21st District in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he Vice Chaired the Ways and Means Committee. In 2006, Jim was elected to the Maryland Senate where he serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Budget and Tax Committee, and in the Prince George's and Anne Arundel Delegations.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton asked him to join his administration as U.S. Ambassador to Romania, where he worked to win friends for America and make the world safer.
Returning in 2001, Governor Glendening appointed Jim to the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, which governs the University. He continued to champion the College Park campus -- and he led the fight against Governor Bob Ehrlich's budget cuts to the University and against double-digit tuition hikes. He helped draft and pass legislation to restore the cuts and cap tuition hikes.
Policy Positions/Legislative Accomplishments
CLPA Note: Senator Rosapepe's policy positions for reelection were not made available on his website, however, as a member of the District 21 team, below is what they and Senator Rosapepe have accomplished in 2022.
Report on 2022 Maryland Legislative Session
Cutting taxes for seniors and working families
To help our constituents faced with rising prices, our top priority this year has been:
Income tax relief for retirees, reducing state taxes on retirement income for the overwhelming majority of Marylanders.
Ending sales tax on childcare products important to working families, including diapers, car seats, baby bottles, and toothbrushes.
Gas tax relief for drivers burdened by the skyrocketing gas prices.
Stopping health insurance price hikes
For years, we’ve worked to expand access to health insurance and to hold down rates. For the past two years, rates have been the lowest in America. To keep them down, we passed Senate Bill 395 which will continue to block rate increases.
Fighting climate change
We passed the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, SB 528, to cut greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent by 2031 and achieve net zero emissions by 2045. The law requires buildings 35,000 square feet and larger to reduce direct emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2040. Separate bills will convert the state’s car and light truck fleets from gasoline to electric by 2033 (HB 94) and establish a three-year pilot program to transition Maryland’s 7,300 school buses from electric to diesel (HB 696).
Cracking down on drag racing: Too many of our neighborhoods are plagued with
dangerous drag racing. We passed Senate Bill 612 to increase fines, make speed contests on Maryland roads a “must appear” violation mandating that drivers face a judge. It also allows police to impound vehicles on the spot that are caught racing.
Investing state budget surplus in local schools: President Biden’s economic
recovery plan created hundreds of thousands of jobs — and thus boosted state
revenues — creating the first budget surplus in a decade. We put $800 million
in a special fund for teacher salaries and other school needs. We also boosted state funds for schools in Prince George’s by $36 million and Anne Arundel by $54 million.
Boosting funds for community policing and victims of crime: To protect our
neighborhoods from crime, we increased state aid by $100 million to fill police
vacancies and expand victim’s services, violence intervention programs, neighborhood
public safety grants, and body cameras and de-escalation training.
Supporting our community:
$9.7 million for rebuilding Route One in College Park and $13.7million for modernizing Route 175 in Odenton.
To fix potholes and improve local roads, we increased state funding by $25.4 million for Prince George's and $22.2 million for Anne Arundel.
State grant to preserve affordable single family houses in College Park.
More than $200,000 to improve the Waugh Chapel Swim Center in western Anne Arundel County.
$400,000 for the Student Activities Center at St. Vincent Pallotti High School.
$1 million to help restore the Dam ruins on the Patuxent River in Laurel.
$5 million to build more affordable graduate student housing.
$750,000 for the Hope House addiction treatment center In Laurel.
$200,000 to construct a new playground for the Al Huda school in College Park.
Specifically, to help small businesses train skilled workers and young people get good careers, Senator Rosapepe won $25 million to expand apprenticeships in healthcare, IT, public safety, and other occupations.
Lee Havis (Republican)
Background (from campaign site)
Born and raised in Prince George’s County, Lee attended all local public schools. After high school, he attended the University of Connecticut, receiving a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1965. And, in the following year, he obtained a one-year degree in Foreign Trade at the American Institute of Foreign Trade in Glendale, AZ.
Peace Corps and Law From 1966-68, Lee served in the US Peace Corps as an assistance professor in the faculty of engineering at the University of Panama. On return to the US, he was employed briefly at the US Patent Office, which led to his studying law at the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), where he received a J.D. in that field in 1973.
From 1969, Lee began his career in education, starting as a preschool teacher, which eventually led to his organizing a local in-home tutoring program, Trust Tutoring, and then later in 1979, the International Montessori Society (IMS). As founder and director of IMS, Lee conducted research and teacher training in the field of scientific education, sharing an innovative technology he developed through publications and over 150 workshops he conducted for teachers all over the world.
Public Interest Affairs
Since the 1970s, Lee has also been active in citizen affairs and politics in Maryland, such as a volunteer in various political campaigns, and as a grassroots organizer of such groups as Maryland Public Assembly, Patriot Vetting Committee, and Free State Patriots. He has also spoken out on Hispanic affairs, lower taxes, and more citizen accountability in elections and public safety. In 2016, Lee created the group “Citizens for a Better Prince George’s County,” to support greater public awareness and citizen action in these matters.
Republican Party Activity
After 2000, Lee joined the Republican Party and served on the Prince George’s Republican central committee from 2013-2018. In 2014, he was elected president of the Northern Prince George’s Count Republican Club and served in that role until 2018, when he initiated a campaign for Maryland State Senate in Legislative District 21. In 2020, Lee was also a candidate for Congress in District 5, which includes a large portion of Prince George’s County. Now, as a candidate for Maryland State Senate again in LD21, he continues his commitment to bring better representation in Annapolis for the citizens of his local area.
Policy Positions/Legislative Accomplishments (from campaign site)
Fair and honest elections must be assured to eradicate all potential for voter fraud. For this, there must be no outside private funding and an end to unsupervised drop boxes and mail-in ballots. In addition, voter rolls must be fully and regularly purged of inactive and illegal voters. Also, voter ID should be required, and paper ballot counting, rather than machines.
Improving quality and value in education comes through free market competition and choice in the field rather than centralized government control through censorship and monopoly. So, greater direct parent choice and accountability is needed in public education, such as through wider access to innovative charter schools and a full range of non-government alternatives.
High Maryland taxes discourage a robust economy, home ownership, and job growth. Instead, such increasing taxation on businesses and individuals promotes waste, unaccountability, and inefficiency in government spending. Lower taxes will reduce such wasteful spending and support a better quality of life through the normal functioning of a strong and healthy economy that benefits all.
Free Market Solutions
A job in the free market economy is the best social program. The state can therefore best address the needs of the economically disadvantaged by support for job growth and opportunities for employment in the free market economy. In this purpose, reducing taxes and lifting government restrictions on entry-level employment is important to enable progress towards eventual self-sustaining gainful employment for all instead of perpetual government dependency.
The state can best reduce crime by a policy of strict laws enforcement and police presence, especially in high-crime areas. Local police and law enforcement authorities must work closely with the law-abiding members of the communities they serve, as well as with federal laws enforcement agencies, such as those responsible for enforcement of immigration laws relative to illegal aliens. There must be no “sanctuary” for those who violate state or federal laws and endanger the safety and well-being of citizens.
The most significant health challenges in Maryland relate to growing mental illness and excessive use of drugs, both legal and illegal. To address these issues, citizens must have freedom to choose their own personal medical care, rather than be subjected to government mandates, based on dubious scientific data, which disturb and debilitate normal functioning and well-being in a free society.
Transportation and Planning
Government must plan and maintain road, rail, and other modes of transportation to assure efficient transit of people from one place to another. Reasonable zoning laws and enforcement must control undue density of building size and location, so as not to strain the transportation system. Costs and interference with local communities must be kept to a minimum, which means that all such decision-making must be done in close cooperation with those communities directly affected by any changes, to assure the well-being of all.
Honest, Responsible Government
Government is a contract of public trust between elected officials and the people to serve the best interests of all citizens in an honest, responsible manner. Decision-making must, therefore, NOT be employed to benefit special interests, through special political or economic favor, over and above those of all citizens.
Hunger in Maryland Recently, my campaign was contacted about the problem of “Hunger in Maryland”, citing “over 800,000 Marylanders, or more than 1 in 10 households, live in poverty and struggle against hunger.” (www.mdhungersolutions.org) As a former Peace Corps volunteer in central America, I learned a bit about the problems of poverty and hunger from my first-hand experience. However, hearing about such a problem in Maryland and the United States is particularly distressing. How can this be in a land with so much greater blessings of abundance, freedom, and opportunity for success and well-being for all?
As an innovator in the field of scientific education, I have studied this problem with some interest. At bottom, the cause of poverty and hunger in society is a failure of character development and education of youth.
In Maryland, government especially has a hand in this failure, by its dysfunctional system of “public education,” which is more about indoctrination of youth to dependency on others than fostering progress and learning towards personal responsibility, self-reliance, and practical life skills. This failure is especially visible in recent times by the alarming increase of drug addiction, mental health issues, and broken home life. The failure has been made even worse by the actions of the government related to the covid pandemic. During the past two years, we have seen the negative influence of government mask and vaccine mandates, social distancing, and cruel interruptions of normal social and economic life for all.
As director of a local in-home tutoring program, focusing mostly on services to foster care children, I am especially aware of the harm of broken homes and the lack of normal care of children through responsible parental guidance. While the government must step in to rescue children from circumstances of grave physical harm, the long-term solution must take a more positive, proactive direction to restore and support the conditions for a healthy, normal life in society. For example, support the healthy function of a free market economy where jobs are plentiful, and parents are given greater freedom and direct responsibility for the education of their children.
Sadly, the current direction of the General Assembly has been absent in taking such measures. In fact, the direction has been to work in the opposite direction of higher taxes and more oppressive policies based on censorship, monopoly, and centralized control of normal social life, which is especially harmful in the critical field of public education. The message of my campaign is to help eradicate poverty and hunger in Maryland by working to restore a vibrant free market education and economy of choice, competition, and opportunity for all. In this way, all citizens can freely participate and benefit from the great blessing of freedom that is the foundation and heritage of our state and nation.
No to Speed Cameras
Have you ever received a “speed camera” ticket in the mail? If so, you have already probably figured out that it is NOT about traffic safety, but rather a clever way for devious state and local politicians to gouge the citizens for more government revenue without calling it a “tax." Since 2009, this “driver’s tax” has been expanded to stop sign and school bus passing violations, with penalties as high as $250 for each one.
Even if you have a reasonable explanation for how the “violation” occurred, the inconvenience of spending hours waiting to try the matter before a judge in traffic court discourages most offenders to just pay up without an argument. And even in court, there is no guarantee of success. (cameras don’t lie!)
To correct this issue, we need a new breed of state and local politicians in Maryland who will say NO to these fake taxing schemes. As a state senator, I would certainly seek an end to these types of devious, hidden taxes.
Needed in the Maryland General Assembly is a move to lower taxes, such as by ending the “speed camera” penalty tax. Speed “indicators” that don’t charge automatic penalties is a sensible alternative where there is a special need to slow down.
Election Day Voting Information
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. If you want to vote by mail, you must request a mail-in ballot from the State Board of Elections or your local board by November 1st. Voters' mail-in ballots must be postmarked or placed in a designated ballot drop box by 8 pm on November 8th
As stated before, early voting has begun and will be held for eight days. The last day to vote early is Thursday, November 3rd. Polls will be open from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm and can be done at any early voting center in the county you live in.
For more information about what is required to vote or timelines, visit the Maryland State Board of Elections website.