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Takoma Park November Election Guide: Candidates, Issues

Candidates and issues that will be on the ballot in November.

As we look ahead to November’s elections, Patch brings you the information you need to cast an informed ballot. Here's a quick look at the candidates and issues we'll be covering as November draws near. Bookmark this page for updates. We'll also be running stories on the upcoming special election in Takoma Park's Ward 5 so look out for that.

THE CANDIDATES

President:

President Barack Obama: Maryland is a reliably Democratic state for presidential candidates. Obama held , and campaigned in Baltimore with Gov. Martin O'Malley. He for a basketball game in November 2011.

GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor . Remember the Etch A Sketch comment? That came on the day . In explaining how the candidate will avoid being pushed too far to the right on the issues during the primaries to capture wide appeal for November's general election, spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom, in a CNN interview, likened Romney's positions to an Etch A Sketch. "You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again,” he said. Political opponents wasted no time in capitalizing on the misstep. Nonetheless, Romney .

U.S. Senate:

Sen. Ben Cardin: The incumbent Democrat is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate. He has shared many of his views in .

Daniel Bongino: Cardin's Republican opponent is Daniel Bongino of Severna Park. He is a former Secret Service agent.

8th District:

Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D), a longtime Kensington resident and ranking member on the House Budget Committee, touts health care, education, the environment and open government among his top issues.

Kenneth Timmerman, a Republican, is also a longtime resident of Kensington. Timmerman writes about defense and intelligence issues, and has testified as an expert witness in terrorism trials in U.S. federal courts and before Congress. He was head of the Maryland Taxpayers Association, and worked on the Divest Terror movement to prevent Maryland pension funds from being invested in companies doing business with terrorists.

THE ISSUES

Dream Act:

The Dream Act would allow illegal immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at institutions in the University System of Maryland if their parents filed to pay state taxes, if they attended a Maryland high school for at least three years and if they graduated. Passed by the General Assembly in 2011, and landed it on the 2012 ballot as a voter referendum.

Same-Sex Marriage:

On March 1, in Maryland. Then, in May, opponents  in November. Until then, supporters of same-sex marriage, such as Equality Maryland, are mobilizing support, canvassing and holding public events. Groups that oppose same-sex marriage, including the Maryland Catholic Conference, are still soliciting support and fundraising.

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