0
Votes

District 15, Delegate: Vote Tuesday, June 24; Early Voting Starts June 12

The Primary Election for Montgomery County is Tuesday, June 24. If you want some choice in who will represent you on County Council, as County Executive, in the Maryland General Assembly, now is the time to engage. If you think it doesn’t matter much, these are the people who make land use decisions, decide what to do with county property, who set tax rates, who decide how much money will go to schools, who control services that affect traffic and many other things that affect quality of life more than anything that happens at a national level.

State Delegates and Senators

Potomac is split between District 15 and 16. (See map on page 2.) Each resident is represented by one state senator and three state delegates from their district. District 16 includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase and parts of Potomac. District 15 includes parts of Potomac and the upcounty.

Longtime Sen. Brian Frosh (D-16) is running for Attorney General, and Del. Susan Lee (D-16) is running against Hugh Hill and J'aime Drayton in the Democratic primary. (J'aime Drayton did not respond to multiple requests for information.)

There are seven candidates vying for the three delegate seats in District 16.

In District 15, former delegate now State Sen. Brian Feldman is unopposed in the primary and will face Robin Ficker (R) in November.

Four candidates are seeking the three seats for Delegate in District 15.

Important Dates

  • June 12-19: early voting starts on the Thursday, June 12 and runs for eight days through the Thursday before the election. Montgomery County offers nine early voting centers. Voting hours each day at all locations will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The closest site to Potomac is at the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD 20850.
  • June 24, Election Day, voting places open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Candidates

Aruna Miller

photo

Aruna Miller.

Delegate, District 15 incumbent

I came to the U.S. from India when I was seven years old. I attended public schools, graduated from a state University, worked as transportation engineer, married my college sweetheart, and together we raised three daughters. In 2010, I had the incredible privilege to be elected as a Maryland state delegate. I am an immigrant living the American Dream.

I want to work hard to build this Dream for all Marylanders, just as previous generations helped build mine. It’s a Dream of social and economic justice, having access to education, healthcare, the freedom to pursue one's career ambitions without discrimination, and most importantly, to be good citizens in our communities. I am running for re-election because I know that through thoughtful public policy, greatness for all can arise.

I have lived, worked and raised my family in Montgomery County for almost 25 years. I currently have the honor of representing the people of Maryland’s Legislative District 15 which includes the Western Montgomery County areas of Potomac, North Potomac, Germantown, Darnestown, Poolesville, Clarksburg, and Boyds. District 15 is the largest legislative district in Montgomery County, spans from rural to urban, contains much of our cherished Agricultural Reserve, and is home to a diverse, highly educated and entrepreneurial population.

A priority for Potomac residents is an investment in education, strengthening Maryland’s economy, protecting the environment and advancing social justice. I believe I will be a great candidate to fight for these priorities.

In the House of Delegates, I currently serve on the Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Maryland’s tax & public education policies and I serve on the Business Climate Workgroup whose mission it is to improve Maryland’s business climate. I have a proven record of working together with citizens, legislators, and advocacy groups to pass progressive policies that have made historic breakthroughs, repaired long-standing social and moral injustices, expanded education and economic opportunities for Marylanders.

My role as a transportation engineer with over 25 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of roads, transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities gives me unique insight into one of the most pressing issues for our county. Whether it is providing missing section of bikepath along River Road or Goldsboro Road, evaluating sidewalks along Tuckerman Lane or adding lane capacity and bus stops at intersections, Potomac residents have often reached out to me for assistance.

As a parent, I will continue to make sure all of our children are protected.

Below are my priorities:

Provide Quality and Affordable Education: For Maryland to be a leader in the 21st century global economy, we must continue to invest in our #1 rated public schools, close the achievement gap, incorporate computer code language in K-12, and prioritize STEM education. We must ensure our community colleges and universities are accessible and affordable.

Strengthen Maryland's Economy: Maryland’s economy begins with building sustainable industries by developing a pipeline of trained, skilled and educated workers that will fuel emerging industries. We must invest in STEM education in colleges, bridge the gap between research and commercialization, modernize the regulatory process and support small businesses which represent 97 percent of Maryland’s employers.

Invest in 21st Century Transportation Infrastructure: Improving and expanding transportation must include walkable, bikable, transit-friendly communities, preservation of our existing transportation system and the expansion of highway and transit networks. We must prioritize the Corridor Cities Transitway which will relieve congestion & spur economic activity along the I-270/MD355 Technology Corridor which accounts for 60 percent of the county’s jobs.

Safeguard Our Environment: Environmental priorities include to 1) protect the quality of our water, specifically the Chesapeake Bay, by addressing the significant backlog in storm water infrastructure repairs; 2) maintain the health Maryland’s largest commercial industry, farming, by safeguarding our AgReserve; 3) switch from dirty energy sources to clean, homegrown, renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal.

Provide Gender Equality: The U.S. is the only industrialized country that does not provide paid family leave. Paid parental leave has enormous social, health, and economic benefits and should be a partnership between government and businesses. In 2014, I introduced HB1299 Income Tax – Rate and Subtraction Modifications – Parental Leave for Employees. I will work to revise our outdated labor policies are reflective of a workforce where both parents work.

Protect Our Children: I authored HB 724 (2011)—Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree— Statute of Limitations to increase time for minors to report sexual offenses from 1 to 3 years; HB1272 (2012) to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors; HB589 (2012) to ban the sale of mephedrone and MDPV in Maryland; HB883 (2014) to study starting bell times later for schools in Maryland, first in the nation as a statewide study. I will continue to fight for our children and focus on increasing access to mental health care for college students because their health is critical to the health of Maryland.

I hope the residents of Potomac will give me the opportunity and honor to represent them again at the Maryland General Assembly.

Campaign website: www.arunamiller.com

Lives In: Seneca, Darnestown

Occupation: Transportation engineer

Education: Bachelor’s of Science, Civil Engineer

Experience:

  • Maryland House of Delegates, 2011-Present
  • Delegate for Obama, 2012 Democratic National Convention
  • Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC), At-Large Member, 2006-2010 Committee/board memberships:
  • Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB), Commissioner
  • Business Climate Workgroup, Maryland House of Delegates
  • Black Rock Center for the Arts
  • Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation
  • Indian Biomedical Association
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
  • Maryland Women’s Caucus, Treasurer
  • Coalition of Asian Pacific American Democrats (CAPAD) Maryland
  • Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County.

Bennett Ruskoff

photo

Bennett Rushkoff.

Since graduating from Princeton University and Yale Law School, Bennett Rushkoff has devoted most of his career to public interest law, including 24 years enforcing consumer protection and other public protection laws at the federal, state, and local levels. He has fought to protect consumers, charities, public funds, and market competition.

Rushkoff currently serves as chief of the Public Advocacy Section for the D.C. Attorney General's Office, where he manages nine attorneys and seven other staff. He is also chair of the D.C. Mayor’s Task Force to Combat Fraud. He previously worked as a Federal Trade Commission attorney, and as a Special Assistant to the Maryland Attorney General.

As a government attorney enforcing public protection laws, Rushkoff has:

  • Recovered millions of dollars from perpetrators of health care fraud, telemarketing and internet fraud, and investment fraud.
  • Helped to protect homeowners from mortgage foreclosure abuses and foreclosure "rescue" scams.
  • Won a legal victory leading to the creation of a $1 billion foundation from the assets of a health insurer that had abandoned its nonprofit mission.
  • On behalf of Maryland Attorney General Joe Curran, drafted and successfully lobbied for passage of a bill to help combat telemarketing fraud in Maryland.
  • Investigated and filed suit against a D.C. Councilmember, exposing his scheme to divert youth baseball funds to his personal use.

As an adjunct professor of law, Rushkoff has taught advocacy at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and state and local government lawyering at Georgetown University Law Center.

A lay minister for social justice at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville, Rushkoff has rallied and lobbied with members of his congregation for marriage equality, offshore wind power, and repeal of the death penalty. He has also served a three-year term on the congregation's board of trustees, including one year as president.

He has been active in his community, serving as coordinator of an annual Manna food collection drive and an annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup site.

Rushkoff is an avid runner and completed the 2013 New York City Marathon. His favorite running route is the beautiful Muddy Branch Park trail.

Rushkoff grew up in New York City and its suburbs. After attending New York public schools from kindergarten through high school, he received his A.B. degree from Princeton University, where he majored in public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School.

Bennett Rushkoff and his wife, Karen Whitesell, have lived in Montgomery County since 1997. Karen is a physical therapist at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland. Their two children have attended Montgomery County public schools continuously since kindergarten, and both are now students at Wootton High School.

"I am running for Maryland state delegate because I want to take my fight for justice from the courtroom into the chambers in Annapolis. I pledge to stand up for our children, our senior citizens, and our environment.”

Healthcare: "We can help to ensure quality health care for all by adding a public option to Maryland's health care insurance exchange. The public option would offer health coverage that maximizes benefits for policyholders, not profits for shareholders. Patient welfare must come first."

Schools: "We need to get more of our children out of 'portable classrooms' and into permanent school buildings. Only by maintaining state funding for our public schools, and ensuring adequate local funding, can we attract and retain the most talented teachers, keep class sizes manageable, and provide sufficient school facilities."

Environment: "We need to promote clean, safe, and renewable energy by developing Maryland solutions, like offshore wind power and utility-sponsored home energy conservation, rather than expose our land and people to the risks of fracking. It is time for an environmental policy that recognizes that the quality of people's lives will always depend on the quality of our air, our land, and our water."

Senior Counsel, Civil Division (12/98 – 3/04)

As head of the Office’s unit for consumer protection, antitrust enforcement, and public utilities work, generated sufficient monetary recoveries in consumer protection and antitrust cases to fund six new attorney positions. Made the Office into an active participant, and sometimes leader, in state attorney general groups for consumer protection, antitrust, and tobacco. Served as lead counsel for D.C.’s lawsuit against the gun industry.

Maryland Attorney General’s Office

April 1997 - Dec. 1998 Baltimore, Maryland Special Assistant to the Attorney General. Served as lead counsel for major consumer protection enforcement matters. Led 24 states in FTC/multi-state investigation of the termite control industry. Drafted and successfully advocated for passage of a telemarketing fraud bill.

Missouri Attorney General’s Office

May 1994 - March 1997 Jefferson City, Missouri. Special Chief Counsel. Served as lead counsel for major antitrust and consumer protection matters. Won a summary judgment that led to the creation of a billion-dollar health care foundation from the assets of Missouri’s largest Blue Cross company. Won a $10 million trial verdict against Direct American Marketers, Inc. for mailing deceptive sweepstakes solicitations into Missouri. Led multi-state attorney general investigations of resale price maintenance and deceptive price advertising, yielding settlements totaling $8.4 million.

Federal Trade Commission

May 1991 - April 1994 Washington, D.C. Staff Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Service Industry Practices. Served as lead attorney for consumer fraud investigations and prosecutions.

Obtained court injunctions against marketers of rare coin and art investments.

Criminal defense practitioner

July 1990 - May 1991 Washington, D.C. Court-appointed counsel under Criminal Justice Act program

Represented indigent defendants in criminal cases in D.C. Superior Court. Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan March 1987 - July 1990 Washington, D.C. Law firm associate specializing in litigation and regulatory counseling. By Authority: Friends of Bennett Rushkoff, Karen S. Whitesell, Treasurer 3. Federal Trade Commission Oct. 1984 - March 1987 Washington, D.C. Staff Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection

Litigated complex investment fraud cases in federal district courts. Prepared formal comments for FTC’s competition advocacy program. The Hon. Albert J. Engel Sept. 1983 - Aug. 1984 Grand Rapids, Michigan. Law clerk to a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Sixth Circuit.

Education

Yale Law School - J.D. 1983

Yale Law Journal editor.

Note, “A Defense of the War Powers Resolution,” 93 Yale L.J. 1330 (1984).

Princeton University - A.B. 1980 cum laude

Major: Public Policy, with emphasis on Economic Problems and Policies, at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Teaching

University of Baltimore Law School Jan. 2013 – Apr. 2013

Adjunct Professor of law

Taught Introduction to Advocacy class for first-year law students.

Georgetown University Law Center Aug. 2007 – Dec. 2008

Adjunct Professor of Law

Co-taught “State and Local Government Lawyering” with Professor Peter Edelman and supervised students’ work at D.C. Office of the Attorney General.

Bar Activities and Writing

Steering Committee member, D.C. Bar’s Antitrust and Consumer Law Section, for two elected terms (2000-2003 and 2003-2006), including two years as Chair.

D.C. Bar Practice Manual, serving repeatedly as a writer or reviewer for the Consumer Protection and Antitrust chapters.

Coauthor: “The 1988 Justice Department International Guidelines: Searching for Legal Standards and Reassurance,” 23 Cornell Int’l L.J. 405 (1990) (with Donald I. Baker).

By Authority: Friends of Bennett Rushkoff, Karen S. Whitesell, Treasurer 4.

David Fraser-Hidalgo

photo

David Fraser-Hidalgo.

David Fraser-Hidalgo was born in Quito, Ecuador and grew up in Montgomery County.

In October 2013, Fraser-Hidalgo campaigned for and won a special election by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC), and was appointed by Governor O’Malley to live out the term as a delegate in the Maryland General Assembly. He has taken on many hot-button issues, such as increasing the minimum wage, decriminalization of marijuana and the Fairness to all Marylanders Act. Fraser-Hidalgo is currently campaigning for a delegate seat within the House of Delegates for four more years.

He attended Montgomery County public schools. He earned a BA in history from St. Mary’s College (St. Mary's Public Honors College) in Southern Maryland. Fraser-Hidalgo graduated from the Montgomery County police academy and served the Wheaton district.

Fraser-Hidalgo worked for a non-profit education organization in Washington, D.C. before becoming an owner and partner in the Silver Spring-based Sandglass Systems, a website development firm. He currently is employed by Regus International (Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces) as an area sales manager.

In 2010, he was a candidate for District 15 delegate, where he came in fourth (three seats, six candidates). Fraser-Hidalgo is a devoted community leader in Montgomery County and has held these roles: President of the Boyds Civic Association, chair of the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee, vice president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County, member of the District 15 Democratic Caucus, Graduate of Leadership Montgomery (’08).

Fraser-Hidalgo is married with two children and resides in Boyds.

http://fraserfor15.org/

Kathleen M. Dumais

photo

Kathleen M. Dumais.

Delegate, District 15 incumbent

www.KathleenDumais.com

Relevant Experience

Maryland House of Delegates: 2003 to the present; elected in 2002; 2006 and 2010.

House Parliamentarian: 2007 to 2010 (appointed by the Speaker)

Vice Chair, House Judiciary Committee: 2011 to present (appointed by the Speaker)

Education

JD, University of MD School of Law, 1983

BA, Mount Vernon College, Washington, DC, (cum laude) 1980

Delegate Dumais lives in the Willows in Rockville near the Universities at Shady Grove and has lived in Montgomery County for over 30 years. She is a member of the firm Ethridge, Quinn, Kemp, McAuliffe, Rowan & Hartinger in Rockville, Maryland and concentrates in family law. Her practice includes complex divorce and custody matters, and she often serves as a court-appointed Best Interest Attorney for children in custody disputes. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

She received the 2014 “Casper R. Taylor, Jr. Founder’s Award” from Speaker of the House, Michael E. Busch, a distinct honor given to a sitting member of the House each year for their steadfast commitment to public service and the integrity of the House of Delegates.

Delegate Dumais continues to be acknowledged for her outstanding work in the area of family law. She received the prestigious 2010 Beverly A. Groner Family Law Award from the Maryland State Bar Association Family & Juvenile Law Section. She also received the 2010 Rita C. Davidson Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland and the 2010 Dorothy Beatty Memorial Award from the Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc. Further, Ms. Dumais received the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the George Washington University, Mount Vernon College.

Consumer and business publications have also recognized Delegate Dumais. Over the past six years, she was included in the “Top Divorce Lawyers” article in Bethesda Magazine. For more than a decade she’s been named as one of the top 50 divorce lawyers in the Washington Metropolitan area by the Washingtonian magazine and was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2005, 2007 and 2009 by the Daily Record and is now a member of the Daily Record’s “Circle of Excellence.” She has been recognized by the Maryland “Super Lawyers” publications over the past eight years and has been one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in this same publication for the past seven years.

Additionally, Delegate Dumais received the 2005 Legislative Award from the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV); the 2007 Public Policy Award from the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA); the 2008 Legislator of the Year Award from the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW); and the 2009 Public Policy Award from the Maryland Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). The Maryland States Attorneys Association selected Delegate Dumais as the Legislator of the Year in 2011. In 2014, Delegate Dumais will receive the one of Legislative Leader Awards from the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police.

Delegate Dumais’ Legislative Work:

As a family law attorney, I am in a position to be an effective advocate for those who are most vulnerable, such as victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and I have a clear understanding of needed reforms in the areas of divorce, custody and juvenile law. I am currently a member of the Commission on Child Custody Decision-Making, which is a legislative commission formed as a result of legislation I sponsored and I am a member of the Judicial Conference’s Commission on Access to Justice, where I serve as the House of Delegates appointee. During the course of my 12 years in the legislature, I have been instrumental in strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence; improving child support guidelines and enforcement of child support orders; and working to make the court system more accessible to all Marylanders.

I am the oldest of eight and have 22 nieces and nephews. As the daughter of a former MCPS principal, education has always been a focus for our family. Plus, as a former teacher myself, I understand the needs of both children and teachers in our classrooms. Therefore, ensuring that funding for K-12 education continues to meet the needs of our children and post-secondary education remains affordable continue to be my most important objectives.

As vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, I have been honored to take the lead on many tough issues. I was the floor leader in the House on many important, historical issues, including civil marriage, repeal of the death penalty, and gun safety. I hope to continue to fight for Maryland’s working families. It has been my honor and privilege to represent the District 15 in the House of Delegates for the past 12 years, and, I hope to continue to be able to do so with your vote.