(Nov. 23, 2017) Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C) believes that her next calling is a place in the Maryland Senate and she’s challenging incumbent Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) in the 2018 election to get there.
“For real and lasting change, Gov. (Larry) Hogan needs more team players in the Maryland Senate. As I’ve thought about the election, I believe I can do more for the shore as your senator,” Carozza told a crowd of supporters and public officials on Sunday at Ocean City Elementary School.
“I will continue to stand up with the governor and fight for you. I will always put the interest of the shore first.”
Carozza, 56, formerly served as a congressional, Defense Department and Governor’s Office staff member with roots with Ocean City. She handily won her first election in 2014 with 73 percent of the vote.
Hogan endorsed Carozza, characterizing her as a friend who has worked with him every step of the way, starting before he decided to run for office.
“When I formed Change Maryland [in 2013], one of the first people to reach out to me was Mary Beth. She sat down with me in my real estate office and told me the things that were bothering her,” he said. “It sounded a lot like the same reasons I was thinking about getting involved.”
The pair were unlikely candidates, Hogan said, but the Republican party flipped 20 of 23 Maryland counties in the gubernatorial race and caused the “biggest upset in the nation.”
“Our state was way off track, with 43 tax hikes in a row. It was crushing our economy,” he told the crowd. “We were 49th in overall economic performance in 2013. Now we’re seventh. We went from losing jobs to gaining them. We have the second-highest job growth in America — and it would not have happened without Mary Beth Carozza.”
Carozza, in turn, said she was proud to be one of Hogan’s “strongest partners” but they still have work to do to in Annapolis together.
“I’ve thought long about this: Gov. Hogan needs to be re-elected to a second term. As a Republican senator, I would be in a position to uphold his vetoes on bills like the paid sick leave bill and work closely with him on strategies,” she said. “I’d be a stronger, more effective partner as he continues his leadership role to change Maryland for the better.”
If elected, Carozza hopes to support “shore priorities” like regulatory reform for poultry farms and defeat legislation to make Maryland a sanctuary state, should it arise again after dying in senate committee last spring. She also vowed to see the battle against the opioid epidemic to the end.
Although Hogan said he was “not a partisan guy,” Carozza’s campaign falls in line with the Republican “Drive for Five” effort to unseat five Democratic senators – Mathias is one of those targeted by the GOP —- to overturn an almost century old veto-proof majority.
Hogan said that he “respects” Mathias, but that he votes to support the “liberal agenda” of House Speaker Mike Bush and State Senate President Mike Miller.
“I’m playing goalie. I’m trying to stop bad things from happening: billions of dollars in tax increases and spending… the very crazy liberal agenda,” he said. “I’m trying to get good things done. And time and time again, the current senator votes with them, and Mary Beth Carozza votes with us.
“I have to believe the very best person that would do the best job is your delegate,” Hogan continued. “[She] is working so hard, she spent here her whole life here and she cares about the people of Ocean City.”