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Lee tosses hat into the ring for District 16 Senate

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Published on: Thursday, August 15, 2013

By Holden Wilen

After more than 10 years of service in the Maryland House of Delegates, Del. Susan Lee (D-16) is looking to move up the ladder, filing her candidacy for the state senate.

Lee’s decision comes after current Sen. Brian Frosh (D-16) announced his intention to run for attorney general in 2014. Lee said she hopes to continue her work in improving cyber security, education, healthcare and other areas on the other side of the State House.

“I have been there in the House of Delegates since 2002. I have had a track record of getting results and working hard for my constituents in District 16 in passing significant legislation,” Lee said. “I want to be able to continue my work and also continue to be a strong and effective advocate for our community as well as District 16 and the rest of our county and all of our state.”

Lee, a 59-year-old civil rights and intellectual property attorney, began her career in politics as a community advocate. Becoming a senator is the next step as a legislator, she said, and would allow her to build on the momentum she has gained as a delegate. As a delegate, Lee’s main goal is to make a difference for people, and she said she is dedicated to doing so in the Senate as well, if elected.

As a legislator, Lee said one of her main strengths is her ability to get bills passed. Throughout her legislative career, Lee has sponsored various bills dealing with a wide variety of issues.

One of the bills Lee said she is most proud of is one that passed last year and promotes the use of telemedicine. The bill was the first ever to provide reimbursements to doctors who provide medical services through telemedicine, which allows doctors to use telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance.

Another issue Lee has been very active with is cyber security and identity theft. Lee helped pass a bill in 2008 that allowed citizens to freeze their credit reports to prevent becoming victims of identity theft. In this year’s legislative sessions, she helped pass a bill that provides recourse to citizens whose health information is breached.

“I think maybe about 10-20 years ago, we did not have this kind of sophisticated technology,” Lee said. “Now we have to keep paces with advances in technology, but we also have to protect our citizens’ personal information.”

Lee has also been active in passing bills dealing with domestic violence and human trafficking. Earlier this year, she led the effort to pass a bill that disallows defendants from using the defense that he or she did not know the victim was a minor.

Lee said she will continue to a run a grassroots campaign similar to those she has run in the past. Lee, who grew up in the area and graduated from Winston Churchill High School, said she has been canvassing all summer and knocking on doors to meet with constituents.

“I go out no matter what the temperature is. It has been a very gratifying and rewarding experience, and I will continue to do that up until the time I go to session and after that,” she said.

Several political figures have already voiced their support for Lee, including State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20), Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and Montgomery County Board of Education member Judith Docca.

“Susan Lee is well known as a champion of Montgomery County’s outstanding school system,” Docca said. “She never lets up when it comes to supporting our kids, teachers and high-performing public schools.”

Serving in the House of Delegates has been an honor, Lee said, but she is ready to take the next step in her political career, and she hopes those living in District 16 will continue to support her.

“I just want to continue the work I have done already and build upon some of the things I have been able to accomplish in the General Assembly and take it to the Senate,” Lee said. “I thank the people of District 16 for letting me serve them since 2002, and I hope they will vote for me.”

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