The five Democrats who want to serve the 6th congressional district largely agreed on issues at a candidate forum in Gaithersburg on Sunday afternoon.
"Our policies are the same, but our perspective is not," said Ron Little, an anti-trust attorney who lives in Gaithersburg.
Laslo Boyd, political consultant and columnist for The Gazette, offered questions from the audience.
Little, former public defender Charles Bailey, business executive John Delaney, Sen. Rob Garagiola, and Dr. Milad Pooran, an AIDS researcher at the National Institutes of Health, face off in the April 3 primary. The winner faces the Republican nominee on Nov. 6. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican from Buckeystown, has represented the 6th district since 1992. He faces seven challengers.
The five men all pledged to protect a woman's right to choose an abortion, all supported a path to citizenship for immigrants, diplomacy with Iran, and an elimination of a cap on Social Security taxes to keep the trust fund solvent.
All expressed support for President Obama's health care legislation. All supported an increase in the capital gains tax, though Delaney said investments in small businesses should be taxed at a lower rate than in large corporations. Garagiola said he supported making capital gains tax rates progressive.
Bailey said he would support earmark reform in the second year of his term. First he wanted money to revitalize the C&O Canal, which would bring jobs to 6th District small businesses.
The two-hour forum — hosted by District 17, District 19, District 39 and African American Democratic Clubs — drew about 160 people in the Activity Center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg.
Former delegate Cheryl Kagan and others tweeted throughout the forum.
Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly reported Delaney's and Garagiola's positions on capital gains tax rates.