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McDermott announces run for state senate seat

MARYLAND—Del. Michael McDermott (38B-R) filed a
petition to run for the state senate seat for Legislative District 38 on Sept.
16, launching a direct challenge to incumbent Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38).

In a Sept. 17 statement
announcing his election bid, McDermott described himself as “a strong voice for
Eastern Shore values and common sense spending.” During the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly, he conducted
an intensive campaign to defeat Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun bill, which placed
restrictions on some in-state gun purchases, and tried to dissuade local gun
manufacturers from leaving the state after it became law.

McDermott called a redistricting
plan that placed his residence 30 miles outside his new legislative district “the
retribution and politics that come to those viewed as a threat to the status
quo of the General Assembly.” He added, “From the way I was redistricted, it is
more than obvious that my core beliefs, which they wanted me to compromise, are
not their beliefs.”

In his statement, McDermott
promised to continue his
efforts in legislative committees, speaking out and fighting for his
constituent’s rights.

“I want people to know that, if elected, they
will be getting a strong voice for the Eastern Shore,” he said.

According to his biography,
McDermott is a career law enforcement officer who has also served in the House
of Delegates since January 2011. He is the Commander of the Criminal
Investigation Division for the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and previously
served as the Chief of Police for the Town of Snow Hill.

In his legislative career,
McDermott serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Judiciary Committee and
as Chairman of the Worcester County Delegation. He was a two-term mayor of
Pocomoke City.

In a Sept. 17 interview, McDermott
said he wanted to continue to advocate for Eastern Shore interests and for the area’s
constituents who favor more limited government.

He also said he would work
to address the regulatory environment in Maryland, which he called “obnoxious.”

“We are absolutely kicking
ourselves in the rears in terms of regulations” on businesses in the state, he
said. McDermott said he would help the state return to being “business
friendly” by pushing for a moratorium on further job- and development-stifling regulations.

“We suffer disproportionately
more in rural areas,” he said, citing local agricultural industries that have
been targeted by regulation. He hopes to increase recognition of farmers as
environmental conservationists and to defend local watermen and fishing

McDermott called the
state’s energy policies restrictive, especially on the Lower Eastern Shore that
also depends on tourism dollars. He said he did not mind the promotion of
renewable energy, “as long as the taxpayers are not footing the bill.”

He disagrees with Mathias
on Maryland’s current energy policy path, which he said “needs to be

McDermott also criticized
the state’s current education policy, which he said is making Maryland “the
best place to get an education and the worst place to get a job.”

Mathias said that he remains
“focused and dedicated to representing my constituents and their needs in the

Vice Chair Joan Gentile said
the Worcester
County Republican Central Committee was “extremely proud to back Mike McDermott
in his venture for the state senate.” She added, “He’s absolutely the right man
for the job and for all people” and “Maryland would be
fortunate to have him as a state senator.”