The Green Party has yet another candidate running in Montgomery County this year after 71-year-old former Navy contractor George Gluck announced he will mount a challenge for the vacant seat in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District as a Green Party candidate.
“I think it’s where I can do the most good,” Gluck said. “I’m running for my grandkids and other people’s grandkids.”
Once a member of the Democratic Party, Gluck said the views that made him feel most welcome in the Green Party are those of a “1968 Democrat,” which he explained meant they aligned with progressives “on virtually every issue.”
Gluck explained how he left the Democratic Party in 1993 in response to then-President Bill Clinton’s decision to bring the United States into the then-nascent North American Free Trade Agreement, but added that he first began to feel uncomfortable in the party after then-President Jimmy Carter signed the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, which deregulated the trucking industry.
Gluck plans to pursue a platform that amounts to what he called a “Green New Deal,” including expanding Medicare for all, abolishing outstanding student loan debt and pushing for electoral reforms like instant runoff voting.
The Rockville resident added that his “Green New Deal” platform would also include planks in line with the Green Party’s traditional focus on the environment, including introducing legislation that would incentivize the construction of more wind turbines and other bills to give consumers incentives to purchase solar panels, as opposed to using funds to subsidize gas pipelines.
“We employ many more people in the solar industry than in the coal industry,” he added.
While some Greens hailed President Donald Trump’s recent pledge to enact steel tariffs, Gluck said the issue would need further examination, but noted that many European countries levy a Value Added Tax on both imported and domestically manufactured products.
"I'd look competing with the rest of the world by doing what they're doing and adding a VAT tax," he said.
Gluck only intends to spend a total of $400 on his campaign, but said that if his effort is successful, he would not only staff his Capitol Hill and district offices with Greens, but also with a mix of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and independents to provide him with viewpoint diversity and to allow 6th District constituents to speak “someone registered the same way” should they contact their congressman’s office. He added that he would join the House Progressive Caucus, and would support legislation to get money out of politics, address wage inequality and combat global warming.
Gluck, who has become a late-in-life perennial candidate in recent years, has also run for public office five other times in the last nine years, first running in a 2009 special election for the District 3 County Council seat. He ran for an at-large council seat the next year before turning his attention to Montgomery County’s Congressional delegation by challenging then-Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D) for the 8th District in 2012. The past two election cycles saw him mount challenges against 6th District Representative John Delaney, who announced he would decline to seek another term in July of last year, but would instead be a Democratic candidate for President in the 2020 election.
Tim Willard, who is running for an at-large seat on the County Council as a Green Party candidate, praised Gluck’s candidacy.
“George is a solid, progressive candidate who will work hard to get money out of politics, provide health insurance for all, and fight for the working class in America,” Willard wrote in an email.
Gluck will face Libertarian Party candidate Kevin Caldwell, unaffiliated candidate Ted Athey, and the winners of the June 26 Democratic and Republican primaries in the Nov. 6 general election.