Joe Werner

Republican

Illustration of Ralph Jaffe

(John Baker for The Baltimore Banner)

(John Baker for The Baltimore Banner)

  • Age: 62
  • Resides: Baltimore County
  • Experience: Attorney. Bachelor’s from Towson University. Law degree from the University of the District of Columbia. Lawyer specializing in asset protection, wills and trusts. Ran for Harford County executive in 2014, ran for 1st Congressional District in 2016 and ran for House of Delegates as a Democrat in 2018. Has never held public office.
  • Personal: Married
  • Candidate website
  • Read more election coverage

Running mate:

Minh Thanh Luong

Questionnaire:

Jump to key issues:

Do you support the financial and policy requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Also known as the Kirwan recommendations)?

No.

We need to spend money more efficiently, money is being stolen and wasted under the current system. We need to fix the system.  

Do you believe that parents have adequate input into public school curriculum choices?

No.

Parents should have more input and control over the education of their children. They should be able to oversee what the child is taught about life, sex, sexuality. The school or government is taking far too much control of our children. The government is trying to be the new parents and religion and indoctrinate our children.

Are you satisfied with the ways Maryland schools teach the history of Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian or other communities of color and systemic racism?

No.

We need to teach all our history, good and bad. We need to place that in context to what the world was like and what was happening. We should not tell young people of today that they are victims or oppressors because of their color. There is so much to be proud of in America and yes there are sins that we need to teach about and correct.  

Does the governor have a role in reducing the level of violence and crime in our communities?

Yes.

The Governor should help take the lead. I would place more state police in the city. Have the Department of Public Safety place officers in our schools. Have new officers hired by the Dept. of Public Safety trained in mental health issues, de-escalation and negotiation. Change drug laws, make fentanyl a dangerous substance, increase penalties. Get repeat violent offenders off the street. Have more police going after gangs and getting illegal [sic].  

Do you support efforts to reform or restructure the ways policing is funded?

Yes.

Have more money spent on new technology. I would modernize the police force and how we do modern policing.  

Do you support efforts by state’s attorneys to reduce or eliminate prosecution of non-violent or low-level offenses?

Yes.

And put more time and resources in prosecuting violent crime, and illegal guns and gangs . Use RICO statute more.

Would you propose changes to Maryland’s gun control laws?

Yes.

I would make it easier for law-abiding citizens to buy and carry weapons.  

Do you think Maryland is doing enough to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system?

Yes.

Just make things equal.

Would you invest more state resources in Baltimore?

Yes

And form a state-run control board to oversee the spending and do a forensic audit of Baltimore.

Do you support changing state tax laws to require high-earning Marylanders and corporations to pay more?

No.

What taxes should change?

Lower sales tax  and property tax.

How would you spend additional revenue?

Tax relief.

Are you concerned about the affordability of housing and home ownership in Maryland?

Yes.

Too much regulation in Maryland and that drives the cost up.

Which of the following public health restrictions would you consider imposing statewide in response to increased coronavirus cases, hospitalizations or deaths?

[Candidate's response in bold.]

  • Vaccine passports
  • Mask mandates
  • Capacity limits
  • None of the above

No more restriction. Hopkins study show that that did not work.

Would you propose changes to the ways Maryland limits, regulates or funds abortion?

Yes.

No state funding for abortion and pass the heartbeat bill. Ban abortion after the 15th week. Only exception would be for the life of the mother. I am for a baby to have the right to life. After the baby has a heartbeat the baby has feeling of pain and emotional feeling and dreams, it is an individual.

Do you agree with the scientific consensus that global climate change is influenced by human activities?

Yes.

But not only people, we can make changes to our society and lower global warming without drastic changes to our economy that puts our lives and the lives of poor people around the world at risk.

Do you believe that Maryland residents and businesses have a responsibility to reduce their contributions to climate change, which could include greenhouse gas emissions, waste or energy use?

Yes.

More mass transit and making our state more green, plant more trees, roof gardens.

Do you support additional energy production in Maryland?

Yes.

If so, which forms of energy production do you support?

[Candidate’s response in bold.]

  • Wind
  • Offshore wind
  • Natural gas fracking
  • Solar
  • Nuclear
  • Other forms not listed here

Expand Calvert Cliffs.

Do you believe that climate change will disproportionately impact poor and minority communities?

No.

Help stop global warming. 

Do you plan to vote IN FAVOR of the statewide ballot question to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana?

No.

The new marijuana is too strong and we now know of all the side effects and problems with this being legal.

Do you support the Red Line east-west rail/subway project in Baltimore?

Yes.

Better mass transit.

What mode of transportation should be used for the project?

[Candidate's response is highlighted in orange]

  • Light rail
  • Buses
  • Mix of the two
  • Something else

Would transit vehicles have to share their lanes, rails or intersections with other drivers?

No.

Would you support changes to Maryland’s public transportation systems?

Yes.

More money for public transit.

Which of the following public-private partnership projects would you complete?

[Candidate's response is highlighted in orange]

  • Interstate 270
  • The American Legion Bridge
  • The Capital Beltway
  • None of the above

Would you use toll lanes to fund these projects?

Yes.

No build more HOV lanes.

Do you support the proposed high-speed maglev train between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.?

Yes.

Yes it's good for Baltimore and the state by bringing D.C. job opportunities to Baltimore. 

Do you believe that Maryland’s elections are generally accurate, fair and well run?

Yes.

I would have same-day register and vote. Have a MVA identification required to vote and have open primaries.

Would you propose any changes to the laws governing how voters cast their ballots?

Yes.

Voter ID.

Should Maryland do more to ensure minority-owned businesses have a fair opportunity to secure state contracts or business?

Yes.

I would help all Maryland small businesses. 

Joe Werner

Joe Werner. (Jane Jewell/Kent County News)

Joe Werner. (Jane Jewell/Kent County News)