Senate election profiles
EASTON — Holly Wright is running for state Senate in District 37 and is on a mission to be a leader who will stand up for working families.
“At a time when wages are stagnating, schools are deteriorating and retiree benefits are under threat, this district can no longer afford Addie Eckardt’s tired conservatism that ignores the big issues and focuses on small business tax credits,” Wright said.
“I have felt my Christian faith, its first principles, have been hijacked by conservatives politically,” she said.
Wright, a Democrat, said the fundamental expectations of her faith are caring for the hungry, sick and those in prison, which explains the Bible verse Matthew 25:34 inscribed on her campaign material.
Running against incumbent Addie Eckardt, Wright’s campaign prioritizes four issues: increasing the minimum wage, early childhood education, controlling the cost of prescription drugs and voting rights.
Wright has 20 years experience in public health, working at the state and regional level.
“Throughout that career, I worked with legislators, they lobbied me, I spoke before their hearings,” she said. “I know what it looks like to see a legislator who knows the needs of the district and fights for them.”
She said she supports a phased-in increase in the minimum wage to $15 over four years, with a slower rate of increase for small businesses that may struggle with labor costs.
This priority is in due part to data documented in the Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed Report from 2016, a study of financial hardship.
According to the report, over 35 percent of white working families on the Mid-Shore cannot afford a household budget that covers housing, child care, food, transportation and health care. For AfricanAmerican and Hispanic communities, this figure is over 50 percent.
Speaking to universal pre-K, or governmentfunded early childhood education, Wright said this is something we know works.
“It helps kids socially learn how to get along with each other, and you can pick up on some behavioral issues early,” she said.
Wright said with pre-K, children are more likely to read by third grade, which also correlates with graduating from high school.
“I am for fully funding pre-K for 4-year-olds, and to have it means-tested for disadvantaged families for 3-year-olds,” she said.
As per controlling prescription drug costs, Wright said she feels strongly about establishing a board (Drug Cost Review Commission) at the state level to examine costs of new medications and determine whether those expensive costs are appropriate.
“It’s not right when you go to the Walmart pharmacy and you see people leave their medications on the counter because they cannot afford to pay for them,” she said.
Another major facet of Wright’s campaign is her support of same-day voter registration.
“In District 37, historic for the birthplace of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, Addie Eckardt continues to sponsor bills on voter ID, which absolutely are intended to suppress the vote,” Wright said.
Wright also pointed to Eckardt’s vote against early voting. “Anything to make voting less convenient, this really offends me in the district of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass,” she said.
After traveling across the world in a military family, Wright claims the entire United States as her home. She now enjoys cooking, entertaining dinner guests and reading.
She is an active member of New St. John’s United Methodist Church in Wittman, and also took training to be a chaplain at the hospital in Easton and the Regional Cancer Center in Easton, and with the New Hope Jail Ministry at the Talbot County Detention Center.
Wright has a daughter, Emily Phelps, a sister and brother-in-law in St. Michaels, and a yellow Lab named Peach.
Holly Wright, a Democrat, is running for state Senate in District 37.