Candidate Biographies, 2018

Contents (listed alphabetically by last name):


STEVE BOLEN Democratic Nominee for State House of Delegates, District 9A,

I am running for House of Delegates in District 9A to serve the citizens of Maryland.

I am the proud son of farm-raised teachers who grew up in Iowa during the Great Depression and World War II. They taught me the value of hard work, that my word is my bond, and to think independently.

A 27-year veteran of federal service – US Intelligence, NASA, and the US Air Force, I have taken an oath to protect our Constitution; to defend our liberties, our American way of life, and the sacred principles of democracy upon which our country stands.

I am not a career politician. This is my first run for office. I live here, and I pay taxes here. For nearly ten years I have been proud to call Howard County, Maryland, my home along with my wife, Linda, who has lived in and around the County for over 30 years.

I believe that we – the good citizens of Maryland, should elect people that will listen to us, look out for us, and who are committed to holding themselves and our government accountable to us. That we must put partnership ahead of partisanship, people before politics, and communities of faith and love above those who would sow doubt and spread hate.

I worked at supervisory levels building, leading, and collaborating with teams across global enterprises to meet critical, national priority needs. I managed programs with budgets in the $100’s millions, supervising government civilians, contractors, and uniformed military personnel delivering successful global solutions to close the gap on national security issues.

I have earned a Doctorate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and have been invited to speak at international conferences and to participate in international earth-remote sensing science projects.

I will leverage my leadership experience, education, and passion for serving by fighting in Annapolis for issues that are important to District 9A and Maryland.


YSELA BRAVO, candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, District 4,

Ysela Bravo is a first-time candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, District 4, which includes significant portions of Frederick County and a portion of Carroll County.

Born in 1966, Bravo grew up in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles with her three siblings, where her parents owned a small Mexican restaurant.

As a young child, she learned first-hand about the struggles many families can face. Bravo’s father was an alcoholic who was abusive, and she witnessed the emotional and physical havoc addiction inflicts on families.

Determined to create a future for herself, Bravo worked her way through Ryokan College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in1996, while building a career in human resources. She became a human resources manager at ITT Systems, a 400-employee company in Van Nuys that manufactures radar navigation systems.

In 1998 Bravo married Erik Schwetje. They left southern California to find a better place to raise their children – a much smaller and friendlier town with far better schools, access to the arts and healthier recreation opportunities. It was also a community where people looked out for their neighbors and they felt lucky to find Mt. Airy.

Bravo’s quest for a better hometown was tested in 2013 when her family’s house was destroyed in a fire, leaving them with nothing but the clothes on their backs. When she saw how local firefighters, neighbors, and strangers offered aid – and tried to reunite her family with their missing dog, Bravo knew she had found the right community to call home and was determined to give back as much as she could.

Bravo used her management skills by serving as president and treasurer of the Parent-Teacher Association of New Market Elementary School and as a substitute teacher. She has also volunteered for community groups, including the Frederick Rescue Mission, Emerge Maryland, local girl and boy scout troops and the Mt. Airy Trash Mob.

Meanwhile, Bravo took a greater interest in public policy on education, health care and state budget issues.

In 2016 and 2017, Bravo co-hosted Bravo and Quill, a talk show about current events on WTHU, a radio station in Thurmont, Maryland. “We tried to use the show to help bridge the liberal-conservative divide,” Bravo says. “It’s not always easy, but we found that it is possible to find common ground and work from there. That’s the attitude I will bring to Annapolis as the Delegate for District 4”–despite the crazy polemics that the administration feeds us this fall.”

Bravo continues to live in Mt. Airy with her husband Erik and their two children, both of whom have attended Frederick County Public Schools. She is passionate about rising above the chatter to find solutions to the problems of our community.

Bravo is optimistic every time she witnesses people like herself who are willing to work for a better tomorrow. For a new, reasonable, state representative please vote Bravo on November 6, 2018


JESSE COLVIN, candidate for House of Representatives from Md’s 1st Congressional District,
Jesse Colvin is a military veteran running for Congress who wants to bring courage, civility and common sense back to Washington. Jesse served four tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, and later graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in International Affairs. He spent time investigating wrongdoing on Wall Street and working as management consultant. Now, when Jesse thinks about his newborn son, he feels a sense of duty to ensure we leave the world a better place for him and all our kids. That’s why Jesse feels called to serve once again. The people of Maryland’s 1st District deserve a leader who puts their values and the interests of our country first. We need a new generation of servant leaders in Congress.

CHARLES E. HARRISON, candidate for Judge of the Orphans’ Court

CHARLES E. HARRISON, a native of Baltimore County Maryland is the President of Harrison & Associates, LLC, an investigative and security consulting Company. He functions as an Independent Contractor specializing in security and counter-terrorism issues. Harrison was a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) in 2003 by The American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS).

Harrison began his professional career as an educator in the Baltimore City Public School System in 1969. Recognizing his obligation and commitment to serve his Country, he was Commissioned Second Lieutenant the U.S. Army and became an Army Aviator. He resigned his U.S. Army commission in 1971 as a Captain. Harrison was a highly decorated Infantry Officer and recipient of the Vietnam Air Medal, The Combat Infantry Badge and The Bronzed Star Medal.


As a law-enforcement professional, Harrison had a prolific 28year career holding numerous leadership positions in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).   He retired in 2000 as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent after serving as Supervisor of the Presidents’ Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Mid-Atlantic Region, Assistant FBI Inspector, Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State (INL) and Unit Chief managing the FBI’s International Organized Crime Program at the Central Intelligence Agency. Following his retirement, he continued his public service as a contract Counter-Terrorist Operations Officer with the U. S. Intelligence Community. He has received numerous Exceptional Performance Awards from the FBI, the CIA and the Law Enforcement Community to include The Sons of the American Revolution Law Enforcement Commendation Award.

As an active member of the community, he has held numerous leadership positions as Vice President National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Maryland Chapter; President of the Carroll County NAACP Branch, Carroll County Ethics Commission Member; Carroll County Community Media Center Board Chairman, Shepherds’ Staff Board Member, President, Carroll County Chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Notary Public of the State of Maryland, Member Carroll County Democratic Central Committee, and Judge, Carroll County Orphans’ Court. Harrison holds membership in the American Legion Post 31, and the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.

Harrison earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Morgan State University and a Masters degree in Criminal Justice administration from Coppin State University where he served as Adjunct Professor. He is a graduate of The FBI’s Executive Development Institute (I and II) and has Graduate course studies in Public Administration at the University of Baltimore. He and his wife, Virginia Harrison, have been Carroll County, Md. residents since 1977. They have two adult Daughters.


KATIE FRY HESTER, Candidate for Maryland State Senate, District 9,
I have lived in Howard County for 15 years with my husband Bill and our two daughters.  I have a degree from Cornell University in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, a top ten program in the U.S. There I learned the practical skills needed to solve real-world problems.  During my 20-year professional career, I have always been a mediator and problem solver. I have worked for SustainAbility, a consultancy focused on corporate responsibility, and most recently, I was the Americas Director of The Partnering Initiative.  I have helped develop local agricultural markets, helped government agencies create jobs, advised companies on engaging key stakeholders, and trained hundreds of people in partnership building.
I am running as a centrist and citizen legislator.  I have worked with governments, business, communities, non-profits, and international agencies around the world to implement strategies that are good for business, good for the environment, and good for communities.  I know that differences of opinion can get in the way of working together—yet underneath these differences are shared common values.  When we connect with each other on these common values, incredible things can happen. Collaboration drives innovative problem solving and brings progress that is more broadly accepted.
I worked in the fields of sustainable development, multi-sector partnerships, stakeholder engagement, strategy development, research, facilitation, and training. Over my career I have used these skills to work with Fortune 500 companies, governments, communities, and nonprofits around the world to create win-win partnerships for sustainable international development.
I am active in many local community groups including Mobilize HoCo Schools, Indivisible Howard County MD, Together We Will, Do the Most Good, and the Ellicott City and Western Howard County Democratic Club. Bill and I are Maryland First Responders, and volunteer for Wisp Ski Patrol. We are members of Glenmar Church and St. Louis School.

PAUL JOHNSON, Candidate for Commissioner from District 4,

Hi, my name is PAUL JOHNSON, and I am running for Carroll County Commissioner in District 4.

I am running for Carroll County Commissioner to bring dignity, respect, and open transparent government to District 4.I am running to focus District 4 representation on local issues. I am running to restore bi-partisan democracy to Carroll County and I will lead by example. In a Country that has become so divided, the process of coming together and working together must start locally.

I grew up on the Lower Eastern Shore in the rural community of Seaford DE. I spent many summers and weekends thru my youth working on farms and I’m no stranger to hard work – I thank my father for this. I have a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management from University of Maryland. Upon graduation I have had a successful 33 year career working in IT. For the past 19 years I have been employed in Frederick MD as a Senior Software Engineer. I live in Mount Airy with my wife of 33 years Michele and we have raised our 2 children in this wonderful community.

My family and I moved to Mount Airy 20 years ago. We moved here to give our children the best public education we could find. Our children attended and graduated from Carroll County Public Schools. Both are now college graduates with professional careers. Carroll County has served my family well and I now want to give back to the community by being your District 4 Commissioner.

I care deeply about the direction and reputation of Carroll County. Figuring out how to fund public education, public safety, public works, infrastructure, and promoting economic development, all depend on an efficient and functional county government working together. I will listen, study, and collaborate to solve the local challenges of our farmers, small town residents, business owners, and public and private sector employees. I will represent our senior citizen needs and strive to make Carroll County home for our young adults.

Now is the time for we, the citizens of Carroll County and District 4, to work together to build a better future. We must and will work together to preserve the rural beauty and quality of life that we are so blessed with in Carroll.

We can do this right, Together!

I ask for your vote in the general election.


FRANK RAMMES, candidate for Judge of the Orphans’ Court

Frank Rammes is a retired Maryland State employee. He graduated from Westminster HS in 1968 and received a BA Degree from University of Maryland College Park in the pre-law program in 1972.

After working 19 years as a Union meat cutter for Dutterer’s of Manchester, he got a Paralegal Certificate from the National Academy of Paralegal studies in 1992. The same year he started doing paralegal work for the Office of the Public Defender in Westminster, retiring in 2015.

Rammes lived in Finksburg until shortly before retiring. He now lives with his brother and a feral cat they rescued in Westminster.

Rammes is familiar both with the court houses in this county, as well as a number of local attorneys. He will bring the same dedication to the job of Orphan’s Court Judge that he did to the only two jobs he has had after college.

Rammes knows there is no Republican or Democratic way to be any type of judge. There is only the right way. And he pledges to actively work with the Register of Wills and the other judges to always keep that in mind.


CONGRESSMAN JAMIE RASKIN, candidate for House of Representatives from Md’s 8th Congressional District,

Congressman Jamie Raskin proudly represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes parts of Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick Counties. Raskin was sworn in to the 115th Congress on January 3, 2017.

Congressman Raskin is the Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and serves on two Judiciary subcommittees: the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice; and the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation. He also serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Committee on House Administration. Raskin is the Freshman Representative on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Vice Chair and Liaison to New Members, and a Senior Whip for the House Democratic Caucus.

For more than 25 years, Congressman Raskin has been a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law. He authored several books, including the Washington Post best-seller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and the highly-acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students, which has sold more than 50,000 copies.

Prior to his time in Congress, Jamie was a three-term State Senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate Majority Whip. He quickly earned a reputation for building coalitions in Annapolis, and delivered a series of landmark legislative accomplishments.

Congressman Raskin is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, live in Takoma Park with their dog, Potter. They have three children: Tabitha, Tommy, and Hannah.
ANITA RILEY, candidate for Judge of the Orphans’ Court

Anita RileyBIO for Anita (Lombardi) Riley:

Carroll County resident since 1996.
Became politically active in the county in 1998. Ran for the office of State Delegate, State Senate and State Central Committee. Elected – and currently serve on the Carroll County State Central Committee for past 17 years.

Retired – UFCW Local 27 – 28 years. First female hired on staff to serve as a Union Rep; first female to serve as its Director of Servicing; first (and only female) to be elected as Secretary Treasurer (2nd highest office) serving over 27,000 member and their families.

Associate of Arts Degree – Labor Studies.
Current Community Involvement:
– Volunteer Carroll Hospice – 10 years
– Volunteer Community Mediator – Carroll Mediation Maryland – 5 Years (mediator for CC District Court)

President: Orders Sons (and Daughters) of Italy – Grand Lodge of Maryland
Board Member: MD Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW)
Vice President – Cooley’s Anemia Foundation of MD (genetic blood disorder)
Commissioner: MD Commission for Women – 2009 – 2017
President: South Carroll Democratic Club
Member: CC NAACP Branch

Aside: Sang National Anthem 10 times of Oriole Park @ Camden Yards.
Awards Received:
– United Way PhilipVan Gelder Labor Award
– Order Sons of Italy ‘Columbus’ Award
– CC State Central Committee ‘Lifetime’ Award


EMILY SHANK, candidate for State Delegate from District 5,       

Emily is a mom, an activist, and a practicing attorney in Westminster, MD. She is fed up with politicians who only know how to take party-line orders, and who have forgotten how to work across the aisle.  She wants to go to Annapolis and BREAK the political machine and represent ALL of Carroll County.  Her top priorities are universal healthcare, improved education (and funding!), and an economy that works for everyone. 

She can be reached at emilypshank@gmail.comher website is emilyshankfordelegate.comLike her on facebook at Emily Shank for Delegate, follow her on twitter at shank4delegate and on instagram at EmilyShankforDelegate.   


MARIA WARBURTON, candidate for Commissioner from District 3,

maria_warburtonMaria grew up in a Catonsville family that valued education and hard work. Her grandfather, founder of the Palladi Construction Company, was a homebuilder known for his quality construction and excellent treatment of employees and customers. Maria’s mother was one of two Maryland women to pass the CPA exam in 1951 and worked in the accounting field for many years. Her father, a WWII veteran, attended law school at night in order to better provide for his family.

Maria attended UMBC for two years where she also played lacrosse and field hockey. She then transferred to West Virginia University to complete her bachelor’s degree in Forest Resource Management. Before starting her career with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Maria held positions with the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado and the Forestry Division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. To help supplement her income in those early years, Maria trained as a tax preparer and worked for H&R Block part-time for nine years. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, while working full-time.

During her career at MDE, Maria traveled the State, working in a variety of specialties including public water supply, wastewater treatment, lead paint remediation, and stormwater management. She is an expert in the area of stormwater management, working with counties and towns to implement required policies in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Maria and her husband Bill have been married for 34 years and lived in Carroll for the last 30 years. Their sons, Michael and David were born and raised in Westminster. Throughout the years, Maria was active in the school system, coached youth soccer and basketball teams, served on a Carroll County Master Plan subcommittee and as her church’s treasurer, and volunteered with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, including as a cub scout committee chairperson for several years.

Maria continues to be involved in our community, including as an active member of the GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Westminster, volunteering at the Westminster Cold Weather Shelter and as certified tax preparer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the Human Services Programs of Carroll County. In her spare time, Maria enjoys outdoor activities and is working towards becoming a semi-competent bridge player thanks to recent lessons from her 93 year-old mom.

Maria’s depth and breadth of technical knowledge as well as her experience working with a variety of people and programs will serve Carroll well. She will be a commissioner for all residents of the county.


NATALIE ZIEGLER, Democratic Nominee for State House of Delegates  District 9A,

BA in Psychology, Oberlin College
MA in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

Background: My first career was at CNN, first in Atlanta and then in Washington, DC. In 2001, my husband and I started Commonwealth Imports, a wholesale jewelry manufacturing company which we still operate, selling our own designs of moderately priced pearl and semi-precious stone jewelry to independent jewelry stores. At the same time, I have managed our family farm since 1989, and in 2008 finalized a subdivision which split the farm up among family members. I now own and operate a part of the larger farm, growing feed grains and rye for the distillery market.

I consider myself a moderate, pro-business Democrat who believes that intelligent investments in our community, particularly in education, health care and the environment, expand economic opportunity for everyone. I’m determined to find a way to reach people on both sides of our cultural divide and start working together on the many goals we have in common.

I have never run for public office before, and like so many other women, felt compelled to do so after the 2016 election. I’m running against Trent Kittleman and Warren Miller in a district that includes western Howard County and southern Carroll County (Sykesville and Eldersburg). We have some terrific volunteers and we are working hard: knocking doors, phone banking and going to every event we can get to!

Among my endorsements are the Sierra club, the League of Conservation Voters, the MSEA (teachers), the AFL-CIO, local Democratic clubs, the Thurgood Marshall Club, and African Americans in Howard County. I truly believe that this year, for the first time in a long time, we have a chance to get some positive, energized representation in o. I would be tremendously grateful for any support you can give to that effort.