An Interview with Candidate Dan Bolling

In a race defined by heavy self-funding, PAC involvement and partisanship, Bolling has chosen the road less travelled. While his opponents, such as David Trone, buy billboards and blanket neighborhoods with literature, Bolling has stuck by his “seven and a half cent handouts,” along with a social media push via LinkedIn.

Furthermore, he has distinguished himself through his belief in a nonpartisan legislature, similar to the model used in the Nebraska House and Senate. In such a model, the parties lack majority and minority leaders, and all legislative leaders, such as speakers and committee chairs, are elected by secret ballot by all members.

Bolling sees much of the gridlock in Washington as being the result of the political parties engaging in activities that not only discourage cooperation, but actively make it impossible for any progress to be made.

“Having worked in the private sector for twenty-five, thirty years, it struck me that, in the private sector, we don’t start every week dividing…and spend half the day strategizing how to get each other fired,” says Bolling, “that’s essentially what you have with the caucuses that happen Tuesday morning in Washington.”

In regards to gerrymandering, Bolling believes that the partisan redistricting of congressional districts have been majorly detrimental in the creation of a legislature that serves the needs of the people. He supports the Open Our Democracy Act, proposed by Maryland Representative John Delaney, which would use congressional power to eliminate partisan gerrymandering and establish independent commissions for redistricting.

While he has not been able to spend the massive amounts that his opponents have, Bolling feels that his message will resound with the voters in such a way as to propel him past them.

“I meet people on the street I say ‘politicians do more to foster disunity than any other figures’ –Don Baer, top advisor Clinton White House, ‘people are sick and tired of both parties,’ -Reince Priebus, Chairman GOP,” says Bolling, presenting one of his pamphlets, “now they don’t even know what my name is, but they see that they say ‘that’s what I feel, give me fifty.”

Bolling also promises that, if elected, he will institute his “guest constituents” program, in which one Republican, one Democrat, and one Independent will shadow him in Congress and act as his “boss,” questioning his decisions and keeping him beholden to the will of the people. This, for him, will be a replacement for the standard “dialing for dollars” done by congressional representatives. Furthermore, he hopes it will bridge partisan gaps between the constituents.

“If I have 1,500 constituents who have watched me for eight hours, 250 days a year, two years, three people, and let’s say 500 of them hate me,” says Bolling, “that’s still 1000 that are going to vouch for me, who are going to say ‘I watched him for eight hours, I didn’t see him steal anything. He seemed to do a good job.’”

Bolling will compete in the Maryland Primary on April 26, 2016.