Former Naval officer Douglas runs for U.S. Senate
Says he brings stability, security other candidates don’t
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.