All four Republican candidates for Maryland governor promised at Saturday’s debate to cut taxes, create jobs and, improve the economy of the Eastern Shore.
Candidates David Craig, Harford County executive; Ron George, a delegate from Annapolis; Larry Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman; and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar all took part in the debate held at Salisbury University. They are vying for the GOP nomination in the June 24 primary.
According to DelMarvaNow, all four GOP gubernatorial hopefuls pledged to restore highway user revenue that was halted during Democrat Gov. Martin ‘s tenure, to eliminate taxes that hurt the business community, and to create manufacturing jobs.
The newspaper summed up their offerings this way.
"Get rid of taxes, tolls," Craig said.
"It is all about the economy," added George. "Seventy-three thousand more people are unemployed than when the recession started."
Hogan said: "I'm fed up with politics as usual in Annapolis. We need to roll back O'Malley-Brown taxes and get government off our backs."
Lollar said he would wipe out "corruption, taxes, an increased poverty rate and shrinking the middle class."
Income taxes were a target of the candidates, reports The Washington Post, with Craig and Lollar outlining plans to phase out the state’s personal income tax over five years. Lollar also pledged to restrict growth in state spending to the rate of inflation or less.
George said that if elected, he would introduce “emergency legislation” to immediately lower income taxes by 10 percent.
Hogan, a member of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich’s administration, said he would first control spending and then reverse as many tax increases as possible passed during the O’Malley years.
The planned Purple Line and Red Line light rail projects were both criticized by Lollar and Craig.
Lollar said the state can’t afford either rail project, while Craig said he would not give money to the two reail projects at the expense of local road projects.