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Mooney blasts Hecht's letter

October 29, 1998|By BRYN MICKLE

FREDERICK, Md. - A Democratic fund-raising letter from an incumbent state delegate elicited a strong reaction Wednesday morning from Republican state Senate candidate Alex X. Mooney.

Standing in front of the Frederick County Courthouse, Mooney called Del. Sue Hecht a radical whose views are outside the mainstream.

Mooney was flanked by Republican District 3 delegate hopefuls incumbent Del. Louise V. Snodgrass, Joseph R. Bartlett and William M. Castle.

Hecht and fellow Democrats David P. Koontz and Richard L. Stup make up the rest of a six-candidate field vying for three seats to represent western Frederick and northeastern Washington counties in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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Mooney's statements were a direct response to a fund-raising letter Hecht sent out earlier this month to more than 1,000 registered Republican, Democratic and Independent voters in District 3.

Hecht's letter alleges Mooney belongs to a radical-conservative wing coalition and claims his primary campaign against incumbent Sen. John Derr was "filled with half-truths and distortions."

Mooney defeated the 15-year state House veteran in the September GOP primary and will face Democratic candidate Ronald S. Bird in the Nov. 3 general election.

Mooney made little mention of Bird in his comments and said Bird's campaign so far has left Mooney unsure where his opponent stands on many issues. Instead, Mooney directed most of his statements at Hecht.

"I felt I had to respond to this letter," Mooney said. "She has attacked Republicans and the mainstream."

Hecht was criticized for her support of government-funded abortions and a needle exchange program in Baltimore, as well as for her opposition vote to a bill removing drug-addicted babies from abusive homes.

Hecht denied she engaged in negative campaigning and stood by the contents of her letter. The negativity has been on the part of the Republicans, she said.

Hecht added that her vote against the drug-baby bill was distorted, explaining she knew the bill would pass and cast her "no" vote as a protest to gender-specific language in the bill.

While much of Wednesday's press conference was centered on Hecht and her voting record, the District 3 Republican candidates also used the forum to discuss their stances on several issues.

Among those issues:




* Mooney promised not to back down from his strong "family values" platform. A pro-life advocate, Mooney restated his opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions.

* Snodgrass called for support of a referendum that would end governor-appointed school boards and allow voters to elect local school boards.

* Bartlett reinforced his anti-crime plan, which includes an end to paroles and the establishment of mandatory/minimum sentencing guidelines.

* Castle's desire to lower corporate taxes to make Maryland more business-friendly, minimize what he called the loss of jobs to Virginia and increase the number of high-tech jobs in Maryland.

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