My name is Bob Cockey and I am hoping to become your next state senator for the 12th legislative district. The 12th legislative district covers parts of Howard and Anne Arundel counties. I am a lifelong Marylander who grew up in the Marriottsville area.
I have been married for over 36 years and I am a proud father and community advocate. For over 40 years, I have served Marylanders as a restaurant owner where I have employed countless folks in the Greater Baltimore area. I hope to continue my service to others as a state senator for District 12.
WHY I'M RUNNING
Like most small business owners, I realized that as soon as the pandemic hit, our state government was failing us in many ways. This is particularly true for small business owners. Since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, there have been few economic safety nets for small businesses in our area. Many of my fellow restaurant industry folks could no longer afford rent, federal support grants were an uncertainty, and making a profit was incredibly difficult under stay-at-home orders. We were left largely to fend for ourselves. Some of us had to restructure our businesses to stay afloat, and so many small business owners relied on mutual aid to make it through.
The same holds true for our employees. When the pandemic hit, issues of healthcare access, transportation, and fair wages fell onto the shoulders of small business owners. We were left to bridge the gaps for our employees and survival for small business owners and our workers was in spite of the government, not because of it.
I share my story because it is the story of many District 12 residents, both small business owners and non-business owners alike. It is a story of resilience and perseverance. At present, we have too many legislators who pride themselves on being among the most partisan, the most divisive, and the least civil in the Maryland General Assembly. We can and should do better. We should put aside partisan bickering and pay-to-play politics and instead, focus on issues that matter greatly to District 12 residents—less crime, lower taxes, better schools, and more economic opportunities.
As a businessman, I know the mechanics of how to account for budgets, develop strategies to achieve targeted metrics, and help working families. My service has never ended and as your next state senator, I will link my service to impactful policymaking for District 12 residents.
ISSUES & POLITICAL CONCERNS
FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
I support state measures to hold contractors accountable to cost overruns, which mismanage funds coming from the state-funded capital grants. I also support keeping our public schools as well funded as possible.
SUPPORT THE POLICE
As the defund-the-police movement gains traction in various localities, I am in support of a simple measure: Halt state support for city councils or county councils who have opted to defund the police. My answer is straightforward: If your city or county council wants to defund their police, don’t expect the state government to make up the difference.
Maryland ranks among the top four most taxed states in the nation. There should be no doubt that high taxes depress our economy: new employers look to other states to set up shop, small business owners shut down, retirees leave our state because of high taxes, and our middle class is often left with the bill on social spending. As your next state senator, I will fight to reduce the tax burden on families, seniors, and small businesses.
CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP IN PUBLIC EDUCATION
I am passionate about reducing achievement gaps based on income and race as I firmly believe that a child’s zip code and race should not determine whether they have access to a world-class education. In addition to improving outcomes, I am committed to establishing private sector-public school partnerships to ensure opportunities to combine academics with paid work.
CONSERVATION & THE ENVIRONMENT
As a state senator, I will work hard to restore and conserve our environment. I am particularly interested in securing funding to rebuild sewage infrastructure. For decades, poor infrastructure has spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage into local waterways. I support common sense legislation to improve our environment such supporting record investment in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund.
PROTECTING VICTIMS OF CRIME
I support restoring justice for the victims of crime. I know too many folks who have been impacted by the crimes of a child molester, burglar, drug dealer, gang member, or a repeat offender. I am bothered by the lack of seriousness when it comes to repeat offenders and the lack of judicial transparency. As a state senator, I will fight hard for the victims of crime in addition to ramping up community-based diversion programs for first time, non-violent offenders.