Name: Kris Fair
Political party: Democrat
Where you live: Frederick
Current occupation and employers (may also list up to two previous jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Executive director of The Frederick Center. Previously: chief of staff for Del. Karen Lewis Young; director of business development for NYNY Salon and Spa
Political experience (public offices held and when; as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years; do not include political party positions): unsuccessful run for 2017 Frederick city alderman
1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)
Leading a small business of 35 employees for nearly 20 years, I witnessed COVID’s impact on our workforce, like accessing their unemployment benefits. As state legislative staff, I helped move legislation and support change. As the executive director of a social justice organization, I fight systemic inequities in public policy. I will harness my for-profit, governmental, and nonprofit experience to bring greater equity, efficacy, transparency, and efficiency to our government for all Fredericktonians.
2 – What is the most important issue for Frederick County in this race? How would you address it? (100 words max)
Frederick County is at a crossroads. As the fastest growing county in Maryland and the increasing percentage of commuter residents, what this expansion looks like has been the most pressing issue. Expansion includes roads, access to mass transit options, affordable housing, smart growth for development, agricultural support, and environmentally conscious development. Partnerships with county/city governments and interested stakeholders will be critical to implementing a long-term strategic plan that meets increasing population demands while still protecting Frederick’s charm and natural resources.
3 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)
For the last two decades, I have advocated for institutional changes and assisted in passing public policies that have positively impacted thousands of Frederick residents. As chief of staff to Del. Karen Lewis Young, I learned how to take bold ideas and turn them into effective policy prescriptions to address citizens' needs. Additionally, I assisted hundreds of District 3 constituents with personal and professional challenges. Understanding those two key elements will ensure that I will be ready on day one to fight for every Frederick resident and bring needed resources back to our community.
4 – What is one major issue the current House of Delegates has handled poorly and what would have done differently? (100 words max)
Despite some elected officials' best efforts, including some of our local elected officials, the Maryland General Assembly has failed its senior and vulnerable populations by not passing the Death with Dignity Act. In 2019, two-thirds of Marylanders supported expanding end-of-life options for people with chronic terminal illness and detrimental quality of life, giving each Marylander the autonomy to choose. Despite overwhelming evidence and support, the Maryland General Assembly has failed to enact this critical piece of legislation supporting families and loved ones everywhere.
5 – What is the most pressing health care issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
Access to affordable and effective health care is a human right. The most pressing issue facing our state is how we ensure that all Marylanders have that access. Studies show that preventative medicine saves the health care industry trillions of dollars across the country. Increased participation in health care plans can drive down the overall cost of healthcare. Additionally, we must place greater restraints on costs associated with prescription drugs, especially the rate abuse by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Taken together, we can drive down and make more accessible the cost of healthcare for every Marylander.
6 – What is the most pressing public safety issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
The proliferation of guns from outside Maryland, disproportionately funneled into Baltimore City, is one of our largest public safety risks today. According to Moms Demand Action, Maryland ranks as the 7th strongest state for common-sense gun legislation. However, 63% of guns used in violent acts in Baltimore City are traced back to coming from out of state. On average, 743 people die each year by guns in Maryland. We must identify strategic ways to limit or eliminate this iron weapon pipeline, through the I-95 corridor, devastating our communities.
7 – How well is the state is addressing climate change? What would you do differently? (100 words max)
The focused investment on creating a carbon-neutral state cannot be understated. The Maryland General Assembly took the historic step of investing in the Climate Solutions Now Act in the 2022 session. We must build off that great work and strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035, ten years ahead of the current policy’s goal. Further, we must bring stakeholders in all industries to the table to discuss the intersections of climate change, notably how we can support our agricultural community to encourage regenerative farming and greater biodiversity, a critical step to addressing biological issues in our waterways.
8 – Do you support widening interstates 270 and 495 and adding tolls? Why or why not? (100 words max)
The unfortunate reality is that widening 270/495 or creating more toll roads will have the same effect. By the time roads are built, the traffic congestion will have increased to the point that the impact will be nonexistent when we invested. Instead, I will advocate increasing our multi-commuter and mass transportation options throughout the state to create more consistent and reliable transportation to decrease the number of vehicles on our roadways. This solution will reduce our carbon output, the number of cars on roads, and the commuter time for people to get into the DMV area for work.