Sen. Addie Eckardt seeks re-election
— Sen. Addie Eckardt of Cambridge is running for re-election for Maryland’s Senate Legislative District 37.
For the past 32 years as an elected official, Eckardt’s areas of focus were economic development, health care, workforce preparation and education, and planned development to preserve the environment and history of the Eastern Shore.
As Senator, Eckardt passed legislation addressing abandoned properties in local communities through the work of the Task Force to Study Tax Sales in Maryland. She established the Task Force on Rural Internet, Broadband, Wireless, and Cellular Service to connect every last mile of Maryland, and also provided greater safety through new improvements on state Route 404.
“I want to finish the work we’ve started,” said Eckardt.
She was influential in the reconstruction of the Dover Bridge, protected local pharmacies from unnecessarily high reimbursement costs, secured funding for community partners such as Delmarva Community Services, the YMCA of the Chesapeake, and more.
“Seeing legislation and policy in place and knowing that it works at the local level is really important to me.”
As a Delegate, Addie worked on the Hyatt Project, the relocation of the Eastern Shore Hospital Center, the Visitors Center at Sailwinds, the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center, expansion of the historic tax credit program, legislation that established heritage areas, Arts and Entertainment Districts, the Regional Councils, Children’s Health Care, the Senior medication program, Medbank and the integration of Mental Illness and Addiction services.
“We’re in a high anxiety society,” she said, elaborating on the crucial role families play in instilling a sense of self in young people, alongside strong will and assertive attitudes.
In 1986, she served two terms as Chair of the Dorchester County Central Committee before her 1994 election to the Maryland House of Delegates 37B.
Her Senate Legislative Committee assignments on the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee included working on the State budget overseeing the Health and Human Services, education funding, personnel and pension issues, and lowering tax rates for all Mar ylanders.
“From a legislative perspective, we work really hard to make sure children come to school ready to learn,” she said, speaking to the importance of preschool. “We’ve offered incentives for communities to do that.”
Since holding office, Eckardt said the biggest lesson she learned was engaging the private sector to provide resources like skills and funds to the individuals who need it, with just a little help from the government in comparison.
“Government money can’t provide services for everybody and everything,” she said, emphasizing the importance of knowing how to fundraise.
Eckardt also currently serves on the following committees: the Maryland State Behavioral Health Advisory Committee, Task Force to Study Tax Sales in Maryland, Task Force on Rural Internet, Broadband, Wireless, and Cellular Service, Maryland Commission on Suicide Prevention, Two Generation Family Economic Security Commission, the Maryland Environmental Trust, MidShore Regional Council, the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, and Women Legislators of Maryland.
Since her election to Senate, Eckardt received numerous awards and recognitions including the Award for School Funding and Public Health from the Maryland Association of Counties and the President’s Award from the Community Development Network of Maryland and the Rural Legislator Award from the Maryland Rural Health Association.
She was also endorsed by Gov. Hogan, the Maryland Farm Bureau, the Maryland Realtors and received 100 percent business rating by Maryland Business for Responsible Government.
“I have been impressed with the accomplishments of Gov. Hogan over the past four years,” said Eckardt. “His cabinet has been most responsive to the Eastern Shore and our issues and I am proud to serve with him.”
“We are experiencing challenging economic times and I believe the focus during these next four years will be to identify clearly the role and responsibility of state government and that of local government. Essential services and how to finance these will be the challenge,” she said.
“While individual families are struggling financially government cannot continue to balance the budget on the backs of the local jurisdictions and citizens. I will work to continue to balance both environmental and economic concerns while retaining local control.”
“We must improve our business climate in our region and attract new business while retaining and growing current business so that our counties are less dependent on government resources,” she said.
Eckardt said promoting job creation and bringing in more businesses is one of the best ways to keep a community safe.
She also recently said, “When everybody comes together for an initiative, then it makes it easier for every one to achieve that goal,” pointing to efforts behind the St. Michaels Family YMCA/Senior Center as an example.
Eckardt is a Masters prepared Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Nursing with over 30 years at Eastern Shore Hospital Center, and past part time as a School Health Nurse with the Dorchester County Health Department.
“My nursing background has helped me more than I ever envisioned in being able to identity a problem, looking at alternatives and bringing people together,” she said.
She currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, Dick. They have been married for 54 years and have three sons and nine grandchildren.
Eckardt and her husband are active members of Christ Church, the Dorchester County YMCA, and sing with the Chorus of Dorchester.
SEN. ADDIE ECKARDT