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Party faithful convene for rally

August 24, 2000

Party faithful convene for rally



By DON WORTHINGTON / Staff Writer


Maryland's Democratic party leadership preached its message to between 300 and 400 of Washington County's faithful assembled at the Redman's picnic shelter near Williamsport Thursday.

First came likely gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Then came 6th District congressional hopeful Don DeArmon. Completing the lineup was U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, who's also up for election.

"Al Gore is an aggressive leader, a fighter, who will make the difference for each of us," Townsend said.

"Al Gore is fighting for workers and families, that my message too," DeArmon said.

"He's fighting for the working people, fighting to open up opportunity," Sarbanes said.

He added that Gore, whom he considers to be the nation's most effective vice president, has been pushing the economic policies that have lead to full employment, a national budget surplus instead of a deficit, and low inflation.

Sarbanes said Gore twice cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate to advance Democratic economic plans.

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Sarbanes predicted Gore would "work like gangbusters" to keep the economy on track.

For Townsend and Sarbanes it was a busy day of politicking. Townsend made stops in Baltimore, Anne Arundel County, Hagerstown, and Frederick.

Earlier in the day, Sarbanes stood with Gore at the University of Maryland's College Park campus as the presidential hopeful discussed portions of his education platform.

Sarbanes predicted Gore's appearance would help the state in its efforts to make the University of Maryland one of the Top 10 universities in the nation. He also noted efforts to bring a branch of the University of Maryland to downtown Hagerstown.

"Think of the opportunities that will open up," Sarbanes said of the a downtown university campus.

With 74 days until the Nov. 7 election, the Democratic ticket of Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman has focused its campaign platform to include:

A prescription drug plan for seniors, a fair tax cut for all classes of people, saving Social Security, strengthening education and maintaining a strong economy.

Wendy Fiedler, the field director for the 6th Congressional District, said Gore's message ought to help put him in the victory column.

His issues "resonate no matter where you live," said Fiedler, who lives in Howard County. But Democratic organizers acknowledged it will be a challenge to garner votes in traditionally conservative Western Maryland.

Washington County Democratic Chairman Rick Hemphill said the local party's goal was to "pull 40 to 45 percent of the vote." He called that goal "doable."

Area voters, Hemphill said, tend to vote their mood, rather than voting for a specific political party.

The event raised about $1,000 for the local party which will be used to purchase campaign materials for the fall elections, treasurer Terry Smith said.

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