State Sen. Brian Frosh has held office in Annapolis since 1987, when he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates representing the state’s 16th district in his native Montgomery County. He moved from the House to the Senate in 1995 and is currently the Democratic nominee for Maryland Attorney General.
His professional resume includes work on many ethics and environmental commissions. Protecting children and seniors, curbing violence, environmental stewardship, and consumer protection make up the key issues of his campaign. Recently Sen. Frosh took some time to tell us a little about his life philosophy and school us on the importance of the state’s top lawyer, a job he will face off for against attorney Jeffrey Pritzker in the general election on November 4.
Sum up your life philosophy in one sentence.
We have an opportunity to make a difference every day of our lives – I try to make the most of it.
What is the best advice you ever got? Did you follow it?
If you have a job to do, whether you like it or not, do it well. I always follow it.
What advice would you give a young person who aspires to do what you do?
Never underestimate the power of personal relationships to help you achieve your goals. I never won a single campaign or got a law passed without help from friends and colleagues. Put in the time to build substantive, trusting relationships throughout your life and you will be rewarded not just with personal success but, more importantly, a lifetime of friendship, support and wisdom.
What do you see as the cause behind low voter turnout (among both Republicans and Democrats) in the June primary?
Moving Election Day up from September to June drove down voter turnout. People were not used to the early date and many families were focused on finishing school and leaving for summer vacations. But I saw something deeper at work during the primary. Many question whether their elected leaders care about their needs. More voters than ever are skeptical their vote makes a difference. As a result, belief in government and the power of democracy is at an all-time low. I am committed to making government work for all Marylanders.
You’ve held office in the General Assembly since 1987. How has Maryland changed over that time? Based on your years of first-hand experience, what are the changes you’d most like to see?
Some of my colleagues from my first term would not recognize the Maryland of today. Growth has been staggering and we face challenges in jobs and traffic congestion that confound us. But we have made tremendous progress. Marriage equality, the DREAM Act, and death penalty repeal are now laws of the land. Women have significantly stronger reproductive rights and victims of domestic violence have greater protections. Protections for our precious natural resources have been strengthened. What has not changed is Maryland’s diversity. Communities from Baltimore City to the Eastern Shore are vastly different and their ethnic, geographic, and religious diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
In the years ahead, I want to see our diversity strengthen every part of the state. This campaign has taken me to every corner of Maryland, and no matter where I go I hear the same thing: people want to feel safe in their neighborhoods, have a good education for their kids, clean air to breathe and justice and equality. But achieving these priorities for one community does not have to come at the expense of another. That is the approach I have always taken and it is how I plan to do the job of attorney general.
Your platforms include keeping children safe from online predators, protecting senior citizens, protecting the environment, and so on. Is the state attorney general empowered to address these issues in a way that the state legislature is not? If so, how?
As a senator, I led the fight to enact the strongest law in the nation to prevent gun violence. As Attorney General, I will defend our landmark Firearm Safety Act from the lawsuit filed by allies of the NRA all the way to the Supreme Court.
As a senator, I fought for laws that protect homeowners from foreclosure and consumers from fraud. I fought for laws that protect victims from domestic violence. As attorney general, I will enforce these laws. I will also continue to advocate for policies that make Marylanders safe in their homes, at school and online and fight to ensure that every man, woman and child in our state has clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.
The attorney general’s office has an impact on the lives of all Marylanders that is often underestimated. The attorney general prosecutes perpetrators of identity theft and scam artists that target vulnerable adults and enforces environmental protection laws. The Office of the Attorney General represents every state agency from housing and health to budget and environment and counsels our government on following the law. Finally, the Attorney General defends the State when it gets sued and sues on behalf of the people of Maryland. Taken together, these many opportunities to defend the people’s interest are why I am running, because I want to be the people’s lawyer.
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