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Salisbury City Councilmember Seeks to Challenge Sen. Carozza

Salisbury City Councilmember Michele Gregory (D) announced Tuesday that she’s running for the state Senate in District 38 in 2022, seeking to oust Republican Sen. Mary Beth Carozza.

“Here in the heart of Delmarva, District 38, our people are our greatest asset, and we need to invest in that asset,” Gregory said in a statement. “We need fair wages for workers, investment in education and infrastructure like broadband access, a focus on health care and medical debt, and practical policies for agriculture and business.”

A former childhood educator, Gregory won a seat on the Salisbury city council in 2019 after losing a bid for Wicomico County Council the previous year.

Gregory said she would emphasize health care and medical debt on the campaign trail. Her oldest child, who is 27, is disabled with significant medical needs, and her husband suffered a life-changing stroke in his early 30s.

Salisbury City Councilmember Michele Gregory (D). Campaign photo.

“Too many families have to skip medical care, plan their budgets around health care and insurance, or go into debt when emergency medical events occur,” Gregory said. “And that’s especially true on the Delmarva, where wages have tended to stagnate compared to the rest of the state and access to a full range of health care is limited.”

Gregory said she also understands the importance of agriculture and business to the district and would seek to discuss how climate change is impacting the local economy on the campaign trail.

“This district, just three counties, amazingly, accounts for 33% of the entire state’s agricultural sales,” she said. “And the dollars generated by our farmers, and by our watermen, roll over in the local economy. We need to make sure our farmers and watermen can sustain their ways of life going forward — it’s part of our culture and who we are, it’s the foundation of our economy.”

Although Carozza won the 38th District seat by just 5.3 points in 2018 (52.6% to 47.3%), she’ll be a strong favorite heading into the 2022 cycle. The Lower Shore district has grown increasingly conservative over the years; President Trump carried the district by 14 points in 2020.

Carozza defeated a popular veteran officeholder, longtime Sen. James N. Mathias Jr. (D), to win the seat in 2018. She was elected to the House in 2014, and has held jobs in the federal and state governments through her career.

Carozza reported $81,507 in her campaign account as of mid-January.

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Salisbury City Councilmember Seeks to Challenge Sen. Carozza