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THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS

In the battle for the ballot, here are the final round of comments from Equiery readers regarding candidates and issues. Good luck to all on November 2.

JB Jennings – He is One of Us

from Lauren Rider of Bel Air

J.B. Jennings was elected to serve as Delegate in the Maryland Legislature in 2002, and is now running for State Senator for District 7.

He is one of the few real horse people in the Maryland legislature. He owns a boarding farm with his wife Michelle, and he can routinely be seen

Feeding, turning out, blanketing, wrapping or doing whatever the horses need. He and Michelle live directly above the stalls (and get to listen to them kick the walls all night long in the winter time.)

He has spent 12 years in the equine feed industry and understands all aspects of the equine industry and it various challenges. In the Maryland State Legislature, he has always been a friend of the Maryland equestrian community, and has been an ardent supporter of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, helping to secure annual funding for the Board through the Maryland Feed Fund.

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Dr. Eric Wargotz: Horses are Ag! He gets it!

from Royce Herman of Centreville

Two years ago,when Eric was president of the Queen Annes County Council, he was a great help to me when I pushed to change the zoning to allow equestrian activities on private agriculturel land. Thanks to his help, we finally got this passed. Eric has pledged to me personally that, if elected, he will continue to support the equine industry as a Senator as he has in the past. His opponent, the current Senator, has never even bothered to reply to my inquiries. I ask that you support Dr. Eric Wargotz by voting for him for U.S. Senate.

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Jockey Club on the Future of Laurel Park if Slots go to Arundel Mills

At a news conference the morning of Friday, October 29, 2010 at Laurel Park, Maryland Jockey Club officials said the future of Maryland racing is in the hands of the citizens of Anne Arundel County. A vote against Question A on Nov. 2 will keep slots out of Arundel Mills shopping mall and give Laurel Park a chance to compete for the Anne Arundel Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) license, which would create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue, as well as protect thousands of horse racing industry jobs

“The Cordish Companies have said that it is illegal for slots to be located at Laurel Park and that if Question A is defeated the county will not ever have a slots facility,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “That is just a massive misrepresentation intended to confuse the voters.  Laurel Park is an authorized slots site according under the law and to say otherwise is dishonest.”

“If Question A passes there will be a complete overhaul of Maryland racing,” added Chuckas. “Bowie will be closed, Laurel Park will be closed for live racing and turned into an off-track betting facility and there will be just 40 days of thoroughbred racing at Pimlico during the spring. I am not trying to use scare tactics. These are the facts.”

“This is about the economy and the state of Maryland,” said Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association president Richard Hoffberger. “If the slots go to Arundel Mills, it means the loss of 15,000 jobs in the horse industry and open space with the defection of farms. Whatever jobs that are being created at the mall can be generated at Laurel Park as well. Putting slots at Laurel Park would have the added benefit of saving thousands of jobs, while creating new ones.”

In 2008, when residents believed slots would go to Laurel Park, three of the four communities (Laurel, West Laurel and Maryland City) overwhelmingly supported the slots referendum because they believed it was an appropriate location for a 4,750-slot machine casino.

“Laurel Park impact fees have funded new fire engines, our library, improvements on Route 198, and new technology for our schools,” said Raymond Szyperski, Chair, Laurel Impact Fund Advisory Committee, Maryland City resident. “The impact fees from slots at Laurel Park will go a long way to improve our community.”

“If we vote against Question A, Laurel can get the jobs and revenue from slots and we’ll prevent the loss of thousands of jobs at the track and in the horse industry,” said Rayburn Smallwood, Chief, Maryland City Volunteer Fire Department, Maryland City resident

“I don’t want to see another housing development built where Laurel Park is now,” said Jeanne Mignon, teacher, citizen activist, and 17-year Russett resident. “The track has always been a good neighbor, plus it has a large natural buffer zone that protects the residents.”

Laurel Park is positioned to be years ahead of the construction at Arundel Mills.  Last December, Laurel Park project manager Walter Lynch provided a detailed listing of the permits issued and already approved for the Laurel Park property, while Arundel Mills has yet to secure permit approvals.

“If we are successful Tuesday, the Maryland Jockey Club is ready, willing and able to submit a first-class bid to the VLT committee,” added Chuckas. “The Laurel Park location can generate more money for the state. We are located closer to the D.C. suburbs and farther away from the proposed Baltimore City slots site.”

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To read prior articles and opinions on Question A, please visit The Equiery archives or click on Racing News in the right hand column of your screen.

Useful Sites

In which voting district do I live?

Where can I find a complete list of all candidates?

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