District 21 A Tough Road For One Odenton Man
Scott DiBiasio is seeking to represent District 21 in the House of Delegates. But can a Republican from Anne Arundel County win?
Under normal circumstances, being a Republican in Anne Arundel County wouldn't be a burdensome thing. But Scott DiBiasio knows he's facing an uphill battle in his quest to represent District 21 in the Maryland House of Delegates.
The Piney Orchard resident is well aware of the Democratic dominance in District 21 over the years, but said it's time for a change in representation.
District 21 has unusual borders that curl from College Park up to Laurel and Jessup, and then east to the portion of Odenton that includes Piney Orchard. Most of the district is located in Prince George's County, leaving many of the more conservative residents of Anne Arundel County at the mercy of more left-leaning voters to the south.
But DiBiasio, 36, said he is up to the challenge of knocking off one of the Democratic incumbents, Ben Barnes of Greenbelt, Joseline Pena-Melnyk of College Park and Barbara Frush of Beltsville. He offered little direct criticism of the Democratic candidates, but said they were too aligned with the policies of President Barack Obama and Governor Martin O'Malley.
"I am running on a platform of creating jobs, lowering taxes," DiBiasio said. "All of those things have been foreign to the current leadership in Annapolis."
Jason Papanikolas and Kat Nelson, both of Laurel, are also on the Republican ticket along with Libertarian Bryan Walker, also of Odenton.
DiBiasio, who works in Washington as a lobbyist for a real estate professional association, said he would work to make Maryland a more attractive place for businesses to relocate, and supports efforts to protect the first and second amendment.
A fiscal conservative, DiBiasio said he'd work to cut down on government waste, pointing to a recent decision by the Maryland Board of Public Works to approve $72 million for six new Medevac helicopters.
"It's just one very small example of wasteful spending we cannot afford at this time," he said. "There are probably 100 or 200 examples of wasteful spending that exist in the budget right now that we need to get rid of."
He said he is opposed to the new health care plan passed into law this year, because it violated his belief in small government and the ability of states to control their own destiny.
"The passage of the Obamacare program was the latest in the taking of states rights and mandating programs they may not necessarily want or afford," he said.
Looking more locally, DiBiasio said he would push for more funding for upgrades to public transit, including MARC Train, which he rides daily. He also hit local officials for being unprepared for the new workers arriving to the area because of BRAC.
"We've known about BRAC for going on five years and there has been very, very little that has been done in the Odenton area in terms of upgrading and improving the infrastructure to accept those that are presumably going to be moving to the area," he said.
If elected, DiBiasio said he'd fight for redistricting to give voters in Anne Arundel County a bigger voice. When census figures come out next year, he said he will recommend District 21 be split into two sections.
"The Anne Arundel County portion of the District has grown significantly over the last few years, and that part of the District now supports having its own delegate," he said. "Right now, the Anne Arundel County portion of the District is just not represented in Annapolis. That portion of the District needs some representation."