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GOP Candidates Running For Governor In Md. Debate

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland Republican candidates for governor talked about education, the state’s stormwater management fees and whether to legalize marijuana during a televised debate Thursday night.

Four candidates who are running for the GOP nomination spoke during a debate on WBFF-TV, including Harford County Executive David Craig, Del. Ron George, Brian Vaeth and Charles Lollar.

All four criticized the Common Core educational benchmarks that 45 states have adopted as an infringement on local school boards.

“Politicians should not be dictating what goes on in the classroom,” Craig said.

Lollar said he would work to end Maryland’s involvement in Common Core.

“Anytime politicians, bureaucrats and special interests get in a room to try to do anything at the local level, it’s got wrong spelled all over and written all over it,” Lollar said.

George said he is introducing legislation in Maryland to try to return autonomy to school boards.

“They’re taking away the teacher’s ability to do what they know, the time-tested ways of teaching their kids,” George said.

Vaeth said the benchmarks should be reviewed. “We’ve taken the community right out of everything that we do,” Vaeth said.

All four agreed that the state’s stormwater management fees should be repealed. The fees, derided by critics as the “rain tax,” directed 10 of the state’s largest jurisdictions to create a fee to pay for Chesapeake Bay watershed cleanup.

Three of the candidates also said the state should not legalize marijuana. Vaeth was the only one who said he would favor legalizing it.

Larry Hogan, who is scheduled to announce his bid for the GOP nomination next week, did not attend. Maryland’s primary is June 24.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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