Barkley looks to go another round in District 39 -- Gazette.Net


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This story was corrected at 4:45 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2013. An explanation follows the story.

Charles Barkley has served District 39 in the Maryland House of Delegates since he was first elected in 1998, and with his 2014 bid for re-election, he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

The Democrat incumbent, 63, announced his plans to run again last spring, hoping to continue his work on education and alcohol policy.

After working as a math teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools for almost 30 years, Barkley retired in 2002. Even with his teaching days behind him, education is still at the forefront of his agenda.

If re-elected, he hopes to increase educational funding. One way he intends to do this is by lobbying for state legislators to support Montgomery County’s likely request for money to increase school capacity to handle an influx of students.

To help fund expansion projects, the county plans to request up to $20 million from the state, to go along with $40 million from the county, Barkley said. The infusion of cash would let the county issue about $750 million in bonds to fund necessary construction projects, he said.

“Education has always been my top priority,” he said. “I’m lobbying for legislators to support that plan.”

As chairman on the alcoholic beverages subcommittee, Barkley also intends to work on amending state rules regarding growlers, which are refillable jugs of beer. The changes would streamline the process of using growlers, which is currently controlled by individual counties, and allow consumers to exchange or refill growlers at any location that sells them, such as bars.

Currently, growlers must be returned or refilled at the location where it was originally purchased. The process would benefit both the consumer and the brewery, Barkley said.

Barkley and the rest of his District 39 delegation — state Sen. Nancy King (D) of Montgomery Village, and Dels. Kirill Reznik (D) of Germantown and Shane Robinson (D) of Montgomery Village — have formed a slate to run for re-election.

“We work together as a team and we’ve covered a lot of issues in Annapolis,” he said. “We’re focused on running a team campaign.”

Xiangfei Cheng, a Republican from Montgomery Village, is the only challenger who has filed to run as of Monday.

District 39 includes Clarksburg, Germantown and Montgomery Village. It recently underwent state legislative redistricting that is set to take effect in January 2015.

Barkley said he had originally set a personal goal of raising $60,000 for his campaign. However, he has already surpassed that amount, explaining that he currently has about $80,000 in the bank. While much of the team’s active campaigning will begin in the new year, Barkley said he and his colleagues have been knocking on the doors of new constituents in Clarksburg and Germantown to introduce themselves as a result of the redistricting.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary mathematics education at Towson University in 1972, and a master’s in educational administration at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1982.

A resident of Germantown, Barkley is married and has two grown sons.

The primary election is June 24, 2014, and the general election will be Nov. 4, 2014.

jedavis@gazette.net

An earlier version of this story had an incorrect date for the general election.