Gaithersburg man wants to bring ideological change to District 19 in race for Senate
Irvine to focus on cutting taxes, improving education and transportation
Gaithersburg resident Don Irvine is hoping that voters will elect him to become the first Republican state senator in District 19 in this year's general election.
Irvine said his top three issues are cutting taxes and improving education and transportation.
"We've lost a lot of jobs over the years in Maryland and it's hurting other areas of our economy," Irvine said. "We need to have a lower tax base and better manage the budget in the state. It's a combination of cutting the spending, cutting the taxes, living within our means and encouraging job growth."
In education, Irvine said, he is concerned that the public school curriculum is not as rigorous as when he attended school and that it has become too top heavy.
"We're getting carried away with ratings," Irvine said. "[Advanced Placement] or [International Baccalaureate] testing is not the only form of measuring success."
Irvine said he wants to hold teachers and administrators more accountable for students' progress in their classes, which would include making teacher evaluations open to the public.
Irvine said he also wants to provide more charter schools and magnet programs in Montgomery County.
To alleviate traffic on area roads, Irvine said he supports the Purple Line Metro, the proposed 16-mile light rail line extending from Bethesda to New Carrollton, and smart growth development.
Irvine attended Northwood High School in Silver Spring. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Maryland in 1982.
His father, the late Reed Irvine, was an economist with the Federal Reserve from 1951 to 1977 and founded the media watchdog organization Accuracy in Media in 1969.
Irvine started working part time for AIM when he was in high school. He served as operations manager and executive secretary before succeeding his father as chairman of AIM and its sister organization, Accuracy in Academia in 2003. He maintains a daily blog on cultural and media issues.
Irvine resides in Gaithersburg with his wife, Young Kang. The couple lived in Silver Spring for 20 years before moving to Gaithersburg. They have three children.
"I think it's time for Annapolis, for the county, to give a conservative voice," he said. "For far too long, it's been a one-party state ruled by the Democrats."
District 19 includes all or parts of Aspen Hill, Layhill, Olney, Wheaton, Kemp Mill, Four Corners, Laytonsville and Gaithersburg.
Irvine, who had no primary challenger, will face Democratic Senate nominee Roger Manno in the Nov. 2 general election.
-Education: Bachelor's degree in business, University of Maryland, 1982
-Work experience: Chairman of Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia
-Family: Wife of 25 years, Young Kang, and children Kristy, Spencer and Steven
-Top three issues: Cutting taxes and improving education and transportation
-Campaign funds: Less than $1,000
-Previous political experience: First time running for political office
-Other affiliations: Former board member of Homecrest Homeowners Association; lay bishop for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints