Posted: Friday, June 6, 2014 2:00 pm
By Jane Bellmyer [email protected]
NORTH EAST — Although he’s been active in the Republican Club of Cecil County, this is Kevin Hornberger’s first try at elected office.
The 32-year-old married father of one actually has his name on two ballots: the Maryland House of Delegates District 35A seat and the Cecil County Republican Central Committee.
In the race for delegate, Hornberger is up against John C. Mackie, Jr., and Mary Podlesak in the June 24 primary. The winner will face five-term incumbent Delegate David R. Rudolph in the November general election. Rudolph faces no contest in the primary.
“The person I’d be taking out is an entrenched incumbent,” Hornberger said. “The days of things going on as they are (is) over.”
Hornberger is focusing his campaign on three major issues: the cost of living, Second Amendment rights and the drug problem in Cecil County. He said all the new regulations and taxes, plus increases in other fees and taxes is making it hard for residents and businesses alike. He’s upset that Maryland appears to be “leading the charge” in restricting gun ownership.
“That’s totally against my belief system,” he said.
Hornberger said his age makes him especially alarmed by the county’s high drug abuse and overdose death rates.
“The drug problem has hit my generation harder than the peers of most of the current elected officials,” he said. While he does not support decriminalizing marijuana, Hornberger does see the need for its medicinal use.
“If someone is suffering and that’s the only recourse, the yes, but it should be prescribed by a doctor,” he said. On the other hand, he said more needs to be done to stem to flow of prescription pain killers. “There has to be adequate oversight.”
If elected, Hornberger said he would work with the county executive and county council on state issues with a direct impact at home.
“Absolutely. I’ve been meeting with (County Executive) Tari Moore, the economic development department and the chamber of commerce. I attended their conference to make sure I’m abreast of their concerns.”
Among those issues is the implementation of Common Core curriculum in county schools.
“I don’t like the oversight. It takes too much authority away from the teachers. It doesn’t let them teach the way they were trained,” Hornberger said. “Washington D.C. should not be deciding what’s happening in our schools. I have a son at Bay View Elementary School. I know how screwy it is. Parents are just as lost, if not more than the kids are. Who is going to be the victims?”
According to Hornberger, budget autonomy is the key.
“That way we don’t have to rely on (federal) funds,” he said. “The way the teachers’ pensions were dropped on us, we might as well go that way anyway.”
About four years ago, the state began transferring the contributions to the pension system to the counties as a way to cut the state budget.
Another issue in his sight is Plan Maryland.
“It infringes on our property rights. As soon as Annapolis wants to start making payments on my property, they can have a say with what can be done,” he said. “I hope the next governor will do away with that.”
Once in Annapolis, Hornberger hopes to be assigned to either the economic or environmental matters committees.
“My hope is they’ll assign me to one of the strong committees,” he said. “I’ll be able to make a difference in Annapolis.”