Candidate Survey: Andrew Duck for House of Delegates, District 4
TheDuckpin.com Candidate Survey
Office Sought *
House of Delegates
District, if applicable *
Political Party *
Bachelors Degree in Public Administration, Graduate work in Economics
Retired Army Officer
Political Experience *
Never held elected office. Active in grass-roots political organizing for more than 10 years.
Social Media Accounts *
Please provide a link to a photograph you wish to have associated with your survey. Files for download will not be accepted. *
Why are you running for office? *
I am running to fill the seat vacated by Del. Dan Cox. As a Soldier I took an oath to "protect the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic". I still am bound by that oath. The insurrection on January 6th was an attack on our Nation and our Constitution. I am embarrassed that my Delegate assisted in organizing that attack. We need better representation in Annapolis that will work to get things done for our district, including better health care access, improved infrastructure, and equality for all persons.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why? *
Harry Truman. He was a no-nonsense corruption fighter. He took responsibility. "The buck stops here" is a good motto. He always fought for the little guy.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why? *
Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff. It explains how to communicate with people by understanding how they process information and explain positions in their terms (framing and cognitive linguistics). It is a simple quick read. Also important is On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder, which is very relevant in our current situation. I am currently reading The Narrow Corridor by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson and The Federalist Papers.
What will be your top priority in office? *
Getting Things Done. The government should provide needed public services in an effective and efficient manner, to include health care, infrastructure (both transportation and social infrastructure), and equal justice. We must build resilience into our systems, so they do not break when we have a pandemic or other emergency. We must address inflation. I will work to increase the number of health care providers, especially mental health care providers., as it does no good to have health insurance if you cannot get an appointment with a doctor or mental health professional.
What is the biggest issue facing your area? *
Managed growth. Frederick County is the fastest growing county in Maryland and infrastructure has not kept up with the growth which has already occurred. We need toll-free HOV lanes all the way to Frederick, improved transit options, safer highways with adequate capacity, and modernized sewer and water infrastructure. Future development should provide low-income housing, as Frederick County residents cannot afford the houses now being built, and should be focused in current population centers to preserve our agricultural heritage. Adequate infrastructure should be built prior to additional growth.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland? *
Inflation, Infrastructure, and Economic and Social Justice.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide) *
Life issues are important religious issues. The government should not impose one group's religious views on other people.
What is your position on taxes and spending? *
I believe we need to fund government, but government should be effective, not enormous. I support progressive income taxes. You should pay a higher tax rate when you are earning more, and a lower tax rate if you are earning less. Our current tax system has too many loopholes because lobbyists have gotten favorable tax laws passed which allow wealthy political donors and corporations to evade taxes, while working people are left with the burden of funding public services. I oppose tolls. We already pay taxes for roads, we should not be taxed a second time for the same public service. I will work to provide high-quality public services, to include free public education to train our workforce, adequate health care available to all, and transportation infrastructure to allow people and goods to move without being stuck in traffic for hours; and we should pay for that by closing the loopholes which have been put in place.
What is your position on gun rights? *
You have a right to own a firearm, unless you are a criminal or mentally unstable. But we have a responsibility to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable persons. I support responsible gun safety laws, to include mandatory registration of firearms (no "ghost guns" - register them) and mandatory background checks on all sales, to include mental health checks. If you are on the no-fly list, you should not be able to buy a weapon. If you have a restraining order issued by a judge, you should not have access to a weapon. We must do a better job at providing mental health services, but we should keep firearms away from people with known mental health issues. We need better education on firearm safety, and we should ensure that firearms are stored properly to prevent unintended access by irresponsible people.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana? *
I support de-criminalization of marijuana. We should focus our law enforcement efforts on more serious crimes. If marijuana is legalized by referendum, we should ensure that a significant portion of the tax revenue is devoted to the study of the health impacts of marijuana use, both to identify legitimate medical uses and dosage rates for cannabinoids and to identify and quantify negative impacts of marijuana use. We can then use those funds for drug treatment programs. We must be prepared to address the negative societal impacts of legalization. Many are looking at legalization of marijuana as a revenue source, while not addressing the societal costs. In the long run, this will not produce the budget windfall which is expected.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol? *
I do not plan to change the current system for the sale and distribution of alcohol.
What is your position on land use, growth, and development? *
(See previous answer above) I support managed growth. Frederick County is the fastest growing county in Maryland and infrastructure has not kept up with the growth which has already occurred. We need toll-free HOV lanes all the way to Frederick, improved transit options, safer highways with adequate capacity, and modernized sewer and water infrastructure. Future development should provide low-income housing, as Frederick County residents cannot afford the houses now being built, and should be focused in current population centers to preserve our agricultural heritage. Adequate infrastructure should be built prior to additional growth.
What is your position on crime and public safety? *
I support Community Oriented Policing. We need to address crime and provide for public safety in a manner which is administered in a fair and equitable manner for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, social class or gender orientation. The best way to do that is to enable law enforcement personnel to get to know the people they are providing law enforcement services for. We must move away from an adversarial approach to public safety and de-militarize the police. Police should be there to "protect and serve" the community, and we have not resourced them to perform the "protect" part adequately, much less the "serve" part We need better, more uniform, training for all police departments within Maryland. We should provide mental health care partners with our law enforcement teams, so that we can address mentally disturbed persons adequately. Law enforcement should be able to de-escalate rather than have no option but to resort to force. We should have community-oriented intervention prior to crimes occurring, instead of ignoring problems until after crimes are committed. My nephew was serving as a police officer in Myrtle Beach, SC and was killed in the line of duty responding to a domestic violence call. I will always support efforts to improve police safety. The best way to do that is to promote methods that give police officers the supportive resources they need to address problems before they become violent.
What is your position on county tax caps? *
I believe counties should address their tax policies at the county level in a way the meets the needs of their citizens.
For candidates for the General Assembly: Legislators can receive $101 per day for lodging and $47 per day for meals during the 90-day General Assembly session. If elected, do you plan to accept these benefits? Why or why not?
Yes. I will accept those funds when I am required to work long hours in Annapolis and driving to and from Frederick County will not allow me to drive safely between locations. Because the Legislature does not meet year-round, the work often cannot be performed in a normal 8 hour workday. My focus will be on doing the job I am elected to and doing it to the best of my ability, even if that means working late and prevents me from sleeping in my own bed at night. I spent 20 years in the Army, which required long periods away from my home and family. While I will always prefer to be home, I am willing to make a sacrifice to serve the public.
Was Joe Biden legitimately elected President of the United States in the November 2020 Election? *
Do you pledge to accept the results of your election? *