Duffey runs for mayor of Hagerstown

January 21, 1997


Staff Writer

Vowing to fight drugs, welfare cheats and taxes, Republican Dennis L. Duffey launched his campaign in the race for mayor of Hagerstown Tuesday.

Duffey joins Robert Eugene Bruchey II in the battle for the GOP nomination. The winner of the March 11 primary will try to unseat three-term Mayor Steven T. Sager in the May 20 election.

Duffey, 47, of 1100 Kuhn Ave., blasted Sager for his role in City Council's approval of a $4,000 pay raise that will increase the salary of the next mayor to $28,000. He said that, if elected, he would donate the additional money to a charity that helps mothers and children with no place to go.


Duffey, who works as a production line operator at Corning Glass in Greencastle, Pa., also criticized Sager's emphasis on beautification projects.

"What's the sense of having a beautiful city if you're afraid to walk down the street?" he said.

Duffey said he would expand the police department's drug force and target small-time offenders, "not just the big dealer."

Duffey, a South Hagerstown High School graduate who spent six years in the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam, said he also would crack down on welfare abuse. Instead of hiring guards to patrol public housing, he said, money would be better spent to hire investigators to work second and third shifts to ferret out welfare cheats.

"Apparently, our mayor lives in his own little world," he said. "If he'd get out in our world, he'd find quite a bit."

Duffey said he is tired of paying so much of his income to the state and city governments. He vowed to freeze tax rates along with water and sewer fees while he worked to solve problems he said were caused by the current administration.

"This administration got us into this problem," he said.

Duffey said he figures the primary will be his greatest obstacle since he has a lot of Democratic friends. His campaign treasurer is a Democrat, he added.

Duffey worked for five years at W.D. Byron Tannery in Williamsport before being laid off just before announcing his candidacy for a seat on the Washington County Board of Commissioners in 1994.

Duffey ran unsuccessfully for the post. That race was marred by assault charges filed against him by a friend of his former wife. Duffey filed counter-charges against both women. The cases were placed on the inactive docket and dropped.

Duffey denied wrongdoing and said the incident was in the past.

"That's past history," he said. "There wasn't anything to it except to get a lot of bad publicity for me."

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