For­mer Naval of­fi­cer Dou­glas runs for U.S. Se­nate

Says he brings sta­bil­ity, se­cu­rity other can­di­dates don’t

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - By MICHAEL SYKES II msykes@somd­news.com Twit­ter@SykesIndyNews

Mary­land, as a state, is over­whelm­ingly Demo­cratic. Most of the leg­is­la­tors rep­re­sent the Demo­cratic Party and a ma­jor­ity of the citizens, es­pe­cially in cen­tral ar­eas of the state, lean to­ward the left.

But Richard Dou­glas (R), a for­mer United States deputy as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of de­fense and an Iraqi war vet­eran, is look­ing to zig where ev­ery­one else is zag­ging.

Dou­glas be­lieves he has the best shot to rep­re­sent the Repub­li­can Party in the race for re­tir­ing Sen. Bar­bara Mikul­ski’s (DMd.) United States Se­nate seat against who­ever the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion is. And he be­lieves his ex­pe­ri­ences make him the most qual­i­fied can­di­date for the seat over­all.

Dou­glas’ fa­ther was an Army mem­ber and he de­cided to join the Navy in the 1970s. His mil­i­tary sense, he said, as well as his sound de­ci­sion mak- ing abil­ity make him the best can­di­date for his party and the state.

“It gives some­thing no­body has, and I in­clude the two mem­bers of Congress on the Demo­cratic side,” Dou­glas said. “That is di­rect on-the­ground ex­pe­ri­ence with the armed forces and na­tional se­cu­rity.”

Dou­glas said he knows the value of the na­tion ex­tend­ing its pres­ence across the world per­son­ally and the im­pact mil­i­tary life has on fam­i­lies. Not only over­seas, he said, but even fam­i­lies on home soil.

“There’s only one per­son who served in the war in Iraq in the race. I just think that’s strange and it re­ally does set me apart. It doesn’t make me a bet­ter Amer­i­can but it sure as heck will make me a bet­ter senator,” Dou­glas said.

Dou­glas said if there was more mil­i­tary ex­pe­ri­ence in the Se­nate right now the country “prob­a­bly would not” have a nu­clear arms deal with Iran. Peo­ple who serve in the mil­i­tary “un­der­stand what the Ira­nian govern­ment is re­ally about,” he said, and would have bet­ter pro­tected the peo­ple of the United States.

“The face that the Ira­nian govern­ment shows you in Geneva when it’s ne­go­ti­at­ing is not the same face it shows you in Iraq or Afghanistan,” Dou­glas said. “For mem­bers of congress, there is too much re­luc­tance to do their job right now. They’re too timid. We have to ask hard ques­tions and hold peo­ple ac­count­able.”

The Repub­li­can Party has an up­hill bat­tle in Mary­land and Dou­glas knows it. Right now, Con­gress­woman Donna Ed­wards (D-Md., 4th) and Con­gress­man Chris Van Hollen (D-Md., 8th) are both grab­bing head­lines in their runs for Mikul­ski’s seat.

Dou­glas said he is not con­cerned with the Demo­cratic race just yet. “It’s about win­ning my own party’s nom­i­na­tion right now,” he said. But Dou­glas said his mil­i­tar y ex­pe­ri­ence plus his five years served in the se­nate as an at­tor­ney to the Se­nate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee give him the leg­isla­tive ex­pe­ri­ence nec­es­sary to get things done.

Peo­ple are go­ing to vote for who is best equipped to deal with the is­sues they want to talk about, Dou­glas said.

Peo­ple al­ways talk with him about na­tional se­cu­rity and the Iran deal, he said, but he knows he has to be well-versed in other is­sues such as ed­u­ca­tion, hous­ing is­sues and other is­sues that mat­ter “closer to home.”

“If I’m los­ing my house on the court­house step in Bal­ti­more City or Prince Ge­orge’s or Wi­comico or Al­le­gany Coun­ties, I’m not think­ing about Iran,” Dou­glas said. “Where we have to do a bet­ter job as peo­ple who pre­tend to be lead­ers in this state is to think more about them.”

Dou­glas, who lives in Prince Ge­orge’s County, said peo­ple need three things: Jobs, homes and a fu­ture.

There is no rea­son why busi­nesses should not want to come to Mary­land with a port city in Bal­ti­more, prox­im­ity to Wash­ing­ton, D. C., and amaz­ing hu­man cap­i­tal, he said. But it takes will and time to make the state more friendly to busi­ness and in­vest­ment.

“We’ve got to make sure peo­ple have some­thing to be­lieve in,” Dou­glas said. “That’s what I bring to the ta­ble that other peo­ple won’t.”

Dou­glas has been en­dorsed by U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), for­mer U.S. Am­bas­sador John Bolton and re­tired Mary­land Na­tional Guard Gen­eral Steven Blum.

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