Justin Holliday tosses hat into delegate race
Dundalk native seeks to unseat incumbents
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.
Democratic newcomer Justin Holliday, pictured just after filing last month, is running for delegate in Legislative District 6.