Justin Hol­l­i­day tosses hat into del­e­gate race

Dun­dalk na­tive seeks to un­seat in­cum­bents

The Avenue News - - NEWS - Fol­low me on Twit­ter @NRod­man_Ea­gle By NI­COLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

West In­ver­ness na­tive Justin Hol­l­i­day is toss­ing his hat in the ring. The life­long Bal­ti­more Counrt na­tive has of­fi­cially filed to run as a Demo­crat for del­e­gate of Leg­isla­tive District 6.

Hol­l­i­day and fel­low Demo­crat Me­gan Ann Mio­duszewski are the only two Dem­crats of­fi­cially in the race so far. They face off against Re­pub­li­can in­cum­bent Dels. Bob Long, Ric Met­z­gar and Robin Grammer, who have all filed to run for re­elec­tion.

Born, raised and still re­sid­ing in West In­ver­ness, Hol­l­i­day is the grand­son of steel­work­ers and auto work­ers.

“I came from a blue-col­lar fam­ily,” he noted in an in­ter­view with the Ea­gle and the

Av­enue last week. Hol­l­i­day is a new­comer, hav­ing never held or run for elected of­fice be­fore, though he does have some po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I started out with John Ol­szewski Jr.,” he said, not- ing that he worked on the for­mer Del­e­gate’s cam­paign for state Sen­ate in 2014. Ol­szewski Jr. would go on to lose that race to cur­rent state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-6).

(Ol­szewski Jr. him­self is cur­rently a can­di­date for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive).

Hol­l­i­day also spent time as an in­tern in U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Rup­pers­berger’s (D2) district of­fice, and he is a mem­ber of the River­side Demo­cratic Club.

Hol­i­day sees his can­di­dacy as about help­ing the area achieve more.

“I see the po­ten­tial in this district; I see the po­ten­tial in the peo­ple,” he said, adding, “I want to help them reach that po­ten­tial.

While he in­di­cated re­spect for his Re­pub­li­can op­po­nents, Hol­l­i­day ques­tioned whether or not the in­cum­bents have de­liv­ered on their prom­ises for the district.

“As leg­is­la­tors, I think they’ve proven to be in­ef­fec­tive,” he said.

“Po­lit­i­cally speak­ing, I think this cur­rent del­e­ga­tion has low­ered the stan­dard of what peo­ple ex­pect from their del­e­gates,” he con­tin­ued, adding, “Peo­ple don’t want ex­cuses; they want re­sults.”

Point­ing to his pri­or­i­ties, Hol­l­i­day in­di­cated a de­sire to ad­dress the opi­oid cri­sis in the district and across the state.

“I feel that’s one that’s been ne­glected,” he said.

The is­sue of ad­dic­tion is one that hits par­tic­u­larly close to home for Hol­l­i­day.

“Last year, my fa­ther lost his bat­tle with ad­dic­tion,” he said, not­ing, “I think we can do more.”

Hol­l­i­day also wants in­creased ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing. He noted a de­sire to in­vest in teach­ers, point­ing to what he sees as a ten­dency to pri­or­i­tize tech­nol­ogy over ed­u­ca­tors.

On the jobs/eco­nomic front, Hol­l­i­day in­di­cated a de­sire to lower taxes and tolls, “specif­i­cally for res­i­dents of this district,” he said.

He in­di­cated a will­ing­ness to con­sider a lower sales tax as well.

Hol­l­i­day also seeks to cre­ate “a healthy busi­ness cli­mate” through lower taxes and greater tax in­cen­tives for busi­nesses. He pointed to Vir­ginia as a model for what could be done in Mary­land.

The can­di­date ex­pressed a de­sire to bring of­fi­cials to­gether, of all par­ties and lev­els of govern­ment.

“I think we all need to work to­gether,” he said.

Re­gard­ing crime and pub­lic safety, Hol­l­i­day ex­pressed sup­port for Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s pro­posed “truth in sen­tenc­ing” leg­is­la­tion, which would lead to stricter manda­tory sen­tences for re­peat vi­o­lent of­fend­ers.

Ad­dress­ing the Re­pub­li­can wave that swept the elec­tions in 2014, Hol­l­i­day in­di­cated that Democrats have learned from the de­feat.

He noted that he has heard vot­ers say, “I didn’t leave the party; the party left me.”

“I do feel the party has made strides this time around,” he said, not­ing a re­newed fo­cus on bi­par­ti­san­ship and “pock­et­book” is­sues, with an “em­pha­sis on sav­ing tax­pay­ers money.”

Re­gard­ing so­cial is­sues, he is a “de­vout Catholic,” though he does sup­port gay mar­riage.

He is, he noted, “100 per­cent pro-Sec­ond Amend­ment;” he would not sup­port any ad­di­tional gun con­trol leg­is­la­tion.

“It’s about keep­ing guns in the right hands,” he said.

As Hol­l­i­day cam­paigns, he is aware that his youth may be an is­sue in some vot­ers minds.

“I’m sure that’s go­ing to play a fac­tor,” he said.

He added, “I think this district is in need of new blood, new ideas, new names.”

The Demo­cratic and Re­pub­li­can pri­maries will be held on Tues­day, June 26, 2018. The Mary­land Gu­ber­na­to­rial Gen­eral Elec­tion will be held on Tues­day, Nov. 6, 2018.

COURTESY PHOTO

Demo­cratic new­comer Justin Hol­l­i­day, pic­tured just af­ter fil­ing last month, is run­ning for del­e­gate in Leg­isla­tive District 6.

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