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The election for state comptroller is literally coming to a gas station near you, after Democratic contender Timothy J. Adams announced a new ad on Thursday highlighting high gas prices.
In the ad, which will be played on screens at gas station pumps as well as online, Adams says the state’s gasoline tax holiday should have been extended beyond the 30 days enacted by the General Assembly earlier this year.
“Can you believe the price of a tank of gas? Wow, we need relief,” Adams, the first Black mayor of Bowie and the founder and CEO of the multimillion-dollar defense firm Systems Application & Technologies, says in the 30-second spot.
State lawmakers and Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) agreed in March to temporarily suspend the gas tax amid soaring gasoline prices after Russia invaded Ukraine. That 30-day holiday on the state’s 36-cents-per gallon gas tax ended in April.
Adams’ Democratic primary opponent, Del. Brooke E. Lierman (D-Baltimore City), was among the state lawmakers who signed on as a co-sponsor to the 30-day gas tax holiday.
Adams does not directly mention Lierman in the ad, but he does scold the entire General Assembly.
“By not suspending the gas tax, the General Assembly got it wrong,” Adams says. “They should come back to work and pass that now. If you elect me Maryland comptroller, I’ll always put you the taxpayer first.”
As the ad concludes, Adams, who uses a wheelchair, is seen rolling through the gas station beside his van. “I’m just glad my other wheels are battery-powered,” he says.
Adams joins incumbent comptroller and gubernatorial candidate Peter V.R. Franchot (D) in calling for an extended gas tax holiday. House Majority Leader Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery) said during the legislative session, which ended last month, that extending the tax holiday would cost an additional $150 million — to the detriment of Maryland’s Transportation Trust Fund, which uses gasoline tax revenue to improve roads and bridges.
A spokesperson for the Adams campaign said the ad is part of a “six-figure media buy” that will run through the next month and started with a statewide radio advertisement in April.
Lierman, who appears to be the favorite of most of the Democratic establishment, has yet to go on the airwaves ahead of the July 19 primary.
The primary winner will square off against Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R) in the fall.