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McDermott announces run for state senate seat

9/19/13 | By Sheila R. Cherry

MARYLAND—Del. Michael McDermott (38B-R) filed a petition to run for the state senate seat for Legislative District 38 on Sept. 16, launching a direct challenge to incumbent Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38).

In a Sept. 17 statement announcing his election bid, McDermott described himself as “a strong voice for Eastern Shorues and common sense spending.” During the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly, he conducted an intensive campaign to defeat Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun bill, which placed restrictions on some in-state gun purchases, and tried to dissuade local gun manufacturers from leaving the state after it became law.

McDermott called a redistricting plan that placed his residence 30 miles outside his new legislative district “the retribution and politics that come to those viewed as a threat to the status quo of the General Assembly.” He added, “From the way I was redistricted, it is more than obvious that my core beliefs, which they wanted me to compromise, are not their beliefs.”

In his statement, McDermott promised to continue his efforts in legislative committees, speaking out and fighting for his constituent’s rights.

“I want people to know that, if elected, they will be getting a strong voice for the Eastern Shore,” he said.

According to his biography, McDermott is a career law enforcement officer who has also served in the House of Delegates since January 2011. He is the Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division for the Worcester County Sheriff's Office and previously served as the Chief of Police for the Town of Snow Hill.

In his legislative career, McDermott serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Judiciary Committee and as Chairman of the Worcester County Delegation. He was a two-term mayor of Pocomoke City.

In a Sept. 17 interview, McDermott said he wanted to continue to advocate for Eastern Shore interests and for the area’s constituents who favor more limited government.

He also said he would work to address the regulatory environment in Maryland, which he called “obnoxious.”

“We are absolutely kicking ourselves in the rears in terms of regulations” on businesses in the state, he said. McDermott said he would help the state return to being “business friendly” by pushing for a moratorium on further job- and development-stifling regulations.

“We suffer disproportionately more in rural areas,” he said, citing local agricultural industries that have been targeted by regulation. He hopes to increase recognition of farmers as environmental conservationists and to defend local watermen and fishing traditions.

McDermott called the state’s energy policies restrictive, especially on the Lower Eastern Shore that also depends on tourism dollars. He said he did not mind the promotion of renewable energy, “as long as the taxpayers are not footing the bill.”

He disagrees with Mathias on Maryland’s current energy policy path, which he said “needs to be reversed.” 

McDermott also criticized the state’s current education policy, which he said is making Maryland “the best place to get an education and the worst place to get a job.”

Mathias said that he remains “focused and dedicated to representing my constituents and their needs in the district.”

Vice Chair Joan Gentile said the Worcester County Republican Central Committee was “extremely proud to back Mike McDermott in his venture for the state senate.” She added, “He’s absolutely the right man for the job and for all people” and “Maryland would be fortunate to have him as a state senator.”

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