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Montgomery County’s District 39 slate seeks out new voters

2013-06-10

King, Barkley, Reznik and Robinson file to run in reshaped district

by Ryan Marshall Staff writer

A team of Montgomery County incumbents running for re-election in Maryland’s General Assembly next year will have to win over some new constituents to do it.

A slate of Democratic lawmakers from District 39 have filed for re-election in a district in which the borders are shifting because of redistricting that will take effect in January 2015.

The slate of candidates includes Sen. Nancy King (D) of Montgomery Village, Del. Charles Barkley (D) of Germantown, Del. Kirill Reznik (D) of Germantown and Del. Shane Robinson (D) of Montgomery Village.

No other candidates had filed in the race as of Monday, according to records from the Maryland State Board of Elections.

The district will lose some territory around North Potomac and shift more toward Damascus and Clarksburg, leaving the candidates with about 5,000 new doors to knock on to introduce themselves, said King, 63, who will be running for her third term in the Senate.

Voters in the November 2014 elections will vote for their new representatives, even though the district lines won’t have officially changed, Reznik said.

The number of new voters is one of the reasons the group decided to announce their intentions to run early, Robinson, 36, said.

With the primary in June 2014, the group won’t have much time to campaign after the 2014 legislative session ends in April, making an early start more important, King said.

Barkley, 62, said the legislators will raise money individually, but also contribute to a slate account to pay for activities of the group.

Although the district has changed a lot geographically and added more Republican voters, Reznik, 38, said it remains largely Democratic.

But he said he thinks most people they represented before believe the members of the slate work hard to represent all of their constituents, regardless of party affiliation.

Barkley agreed that there are probably more Republicans in the new district, but said he wasn’t worried because he’s always worked well with Republicans in Annapolis.

Each member of the slate knows different policy areas, King said.

She said she deals a lot with education, while Barkley is good with finance, Reznik with health care issues and Robinson with environmental matters.

King said the General Assembly has to find ways to create more jobs in the next session and find more money for school construction in Montgomery County.

“Jobs is the key at this point,” King said.

The state contributed $35.094 million for school construction in fiscal 2014, according to James Song, director of facilities management for Montgomery County Public Schools.

Barkley said he’ll continue working on budget issues, while Reznik said he believes there’s lots of work still to be done to provide services to children with disabilities, particularly autism.

Robinson, the newest member of the slate, is seeking his second term. He said if re-elected, he’d like to continue working on environmental issues, such as drilling for natural gas in Western Maryland’s Marcellus Shale, protecting native plant species and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

He said his first term in the House of Delegates taught him that it’s not about any single piece of legislation, but instead focusing on a more long-term solution to a problem.

He said that even though each member of the slate of candidates for District 39 has an individual focus, their cooperation can help create a synergy for policy that could benefit the people they represent.

“I think [that] us coordinating is a good chance to do more for our constituent base,” Robinson said.

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