He says partisanship is the problem on Capitol Hill
Potomac, Md (KM) There’s an independent running in the 2018 US Senate race in Maryland. Neal Simon of Potomac has cast his hat into the ring. “I spent my career running five different companies, all in professional services,” says Simon. “All companies were surrounded by really smart people with a lot of different ideas. And where my role was to try to bring people together to try to form consensus and bring people together and try to make decisions based on facts,” he says.
According to his website, Simon was born in New York City. His father, Donald, is the son of immigrants from Belarus. His mother, Sylvia, was born in Casablanca, Morocco. He attended Brown University, and spent the spring semester of his junior year at Tel Aviv University. He graduated from Brown in 1990 with a degree in applied mathematics and economics. After that, Simon attended the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, spending one trimester attending Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile, and a summer working at The World Bank. He graduated in 1995 with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Simon says partisanship is the cause of a lot of dysfunction in Washington. “It leaks divisiveness into our society,” he says. “And more and more people feel like we’re being pulled apart because in politics, what people are taught is that you want to make the voter fear the other side. So you demonize the other side. You make them look evil. You paint everything in black and white terms.”
Simon says partisanship makes it difficult for politicians to realize there are compromises on the issues, including the hot button topic of immigration. “I believe the ‘dreamers’ should have a path citizenship. And I think it’s also reasonable to spend some more money on border security. It seems like the only people in the country who don’t realize there’s an obvious compromise there are the people on Capitol Hill because they’re hung up on winning the argument and painting everything in black and white terms,” he says.
He says another example is health care. “Health care should not be a partisan issue. It’s a human issue. And somehow we’ve let our elected leaders make it a partisan, polarizing issue,” says Simon.
The only way to make progress on these and other issues to go get rid of the partisanship, says Simon.. “The fact that we’ve got elected leaders who care so much more about wining arguments, winning the news cycle and winning elections than they do about actually helping people in our state make progress,” he says. “I think the only way you can make an impact on Capitol Hill is to get rid of the D and R labels, and we can lead from the middle; propose legislation from the middle; bring the sides together.”
Simon says he has one proposal to help the state’s economy “We need more high paying jobs. We need to attract them. We need to invest in our small businesses that develop those jobs. And we need to make sure we have a workforce that’s ready for them,” he says. “And we’re working on a plan to bring 100,000 high paying jobs to Maryland that combined both the attracting, the investing and businesses, and also making sure we have the workforce ready.”
The current candidates in the US Senate race are: incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin; other Democrats running are Erik Jetmer, Chelsea Manning, Marcia Morgan, Jerome “Jerry” Segal, Richard “Rikki” Vaughn, Debbie “Rica” Wilson and Lih Young. The Republicans in the race are Tony Campbell, Chris Chaffee, Evan Cronhardt, Nnabu Eze, John Graziani, Christina Grigorian, Albert Binyahmin Howard, Bill Krehnbrink, Gerald Smith, Blaine Taylor and Brian Charles Vaeth.
Because he’s an independent, Simon won’t be listed on the primary ballot, but will be on the genera election ballot.
Primary election day is June 26th. The general election is November 6th.
By Kevin McManus