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The three Democrats seeking to become Maryland's next attorney general clashed in their first debate at the University of Maryland-College Park last night.
Qualifications to become the state's top legal officer were a big topic of discussion among the trio. Polls show Baltimore County delegate Jon Cardin in the lead, but he is now battling back against attacks that he missed 75 percent of votes in the committee he served on in the General Assembly during the last four years. Cardin said none of those missed votes affected whether a bill was passed.
"We have to balance our roles as a family person. As a parent, and as a husband. And as a legislator. I am confident that I did 100 percent of the work," Cardin says.
But longtime Montgomery County senator Brian Frosh has pounced on the allegation.
Meanwhile, Prince George's County delegate Aisha Braveboy has not served in Annapolis as long as Frosh or Cardin, but highlighted her work as an attorney.
"I am the only candidate who answered the call of former Chief Judge Bell, when he called for all attorneys in the state of Maryland to be trained to represent families facing foreclosure," Braveboy says.
Other questions touched on Maryland's poor record on open government and transparency. Each candidate gave an example where they broke with their party on that. For Braveboy, it was the redrawn 2011 Congressional map.
"Maryland failed on that. As attorney general, I will open up that process so that you the citizen can be fully engaged in redistricting in Maryland," she says.
Cardin talked about his opposition to the speed cameras.
"I thought that it was creating some uncertainty and non-confidence because people thought this was a money-grab," Cardin says.
For Frosh, he mentioned that he finally allowed live streaming of audio of votes in the senate committee he chaired: judicial proceedings.
"I took the most controversial bill that has been dealt with in my committee or any other committee for the last 20 years — the Firearm Safety Act — and I live streamed the eight hour voting session," Frosh says.
The winner of the Democratic primary will be the overwhelming favorite in the general election over the lone Republican running: corporate lawyer Jeffrey Pritzker.
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