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Candidate Survey: Keith Johnson for Caroline County Commission
TheDuckpin.com Candidate Survey
District, if applicable*
Masters of Criminal Justice and Public Administration: Liberty University
Currently serving on the Denton Town Council.
Social Media Accounts*
Why are you running for office?*
My family and I call Caroline County, Maryland home. I believe in serving the community and believe the county is facing a critical period in its history. The values and priorities of Caroline County residents often conflict with the values and priorities of the majority in Annapolis. The impact is often felt in our wallets through unfunded mandates, taxes, and policies that negatively impact Caroline County. As a County Commissioner, I can be an advocate for the residents in Annapolis, but I understand that advocacy is not the solution and will not be the most impact, as a minority population that is often ignored. My goal is that as a county, stop being a reactive county, hoping to survive and become a proactive county that plans to succeed. Caroline County residents deserve a government willing to serve them, serve their interests and look towards growth that provides employment opportunities, recreation, improved services, public safety, and public infrastructure. My vision is not a metropolitan Caroline County, but a county that preserves its agricultural foundation and exploits the existing local infrastructure of the Towns of Federalsburg, Preston, Ridgely, Greensboro, and Denton for economic growth that attacks the increasing tax burden on each resident.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?*
I look to several political role models including Patrick Henry, Ronald Regan, and George W Bush as role models in public service. It is undeniable that each of the men has or had faults, but they possess human qualities worth emulating. Patrick Henry is intriguing because, despite his numerous failures, he never quit and was always devoted to service. Ronald Regan and George Bush both displayed a sense of humility in public as presidents, which I believe is fundamental in serving others.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?*
"Statesmanship, Character, and Leadership in America" is one of my favorite books on political leadership, because it focuses on the commitment to being a servant leader above all else.
What will be your top priority in office?*
My top priority is for Caroline County to develop a Strategic Plan that becomes a guiding document for the vision and roadmap for Caroline County. Developing a roadmap with objectives, goals, and benchmarks to guide the county's budgeting and operations, will provide the government and residents with a clearer picture of the focus of the government. The county needs to focus on collaborating with the stakeholders throughout the county to build a plan that benefits the entire county with improved services, reduced tax burdens and improved economical conditions.
What is the biggest issue facing your area?*
The growing tax burden endured by a relatively flat tax base will have to absorb the cost of doing business and inflation without the relief of an expanded tax base.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?*
- Implementing the Police Accountability Boards - Blueprint for Excellence (Kirwan) and School Board Policies - The Impact of Inflation and taxes
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)*
My faith prevails on life issues. I do not believe government should support or encourage abortion that terminates the life of a healthy baby. However, in the same breath, if the government does intervene it must be prepared to address the challenges of adoption, foster care, and medical care. I do understand that medical abortions occur as life-saving medical decisions or when a baby's life is no longer viable for medical reasons.
What is your position on taxes and spending?*
Government has a duty to be conservative and transparent in the budgeting process that determines the rates of collection for taxes. The government has a responsibility to justify spending and limit spending conservatively.
What is your position on gun rights?*
I understand the language in the 2nd Amendment may give rise to an argument against individual gun rights; however, the decision in Heller, affirmed the right. Maryland and federal legislators' attacks against the law-abiding citizens' right to possess a firearm are an insult to every law-abiding citizen. Law-abiding citizens are not a threat to public safety, they are the ones intended to be protected from harm. I am not offended against standards for the issuance of a license to carry, because while the right is affirmed in the Constitution and through Court decisions, the simple mention of "well trained" indicates to me that Founding Fathers respected firearms and the responsibility that came with carrying a firearm.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?*
I personally do not see the value in the government promoting the recreational use of any intoxicating substance. The use of recreational legalization of marijuana is bound to happen as a political grandstanding issue. My fear is that will come at a time when effective enforcement for impaired driving has been attacked by legislators and there is still not a standardized test for enforcement.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?*
I believe it is more of "checks and balance" to ensure the government maintains the revenue source generated through the taxes than a public safety net.
What is your position on land use, growth, and development?*
The property rights of the individual of the property owner must be a priority. The government should have to show a compelling argument to limit property rights. Those arguments include the protection of public health and public safety.
What is your position on crime and public safety?*
The State of Maryland and many prosecutors are creating an environment ripe for the increase of quality of life crimes and violent crimes that impact the public safety of the residents. While I believe in redemption, part of redemption comes through the consequences of adjudicating a crime that considers the impact on the victim. Public Safety should be a priority in every jurisdiction because it is an investment in protecting the lives and property of others. I believe in accountability for law enforcement but I do not believe the legislators made decisions in the Police Accountability Boards, that make sense or address the issues they grandstanded on.
What is your position on county tax caps?*
Tax caps have an intended purpose and often protect taxpayers from poor planning and spending by the government. Without complete transparency and open government, they are necessary.
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?*