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Roscoe Bartlett keeps House seat

November 08, 2000

Roscoe Bartlett keeps House seat



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett Jr. soundly defeated his Democratic challenger Tuesday, winning a fifth term in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

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With all precincts reporting, complete but unofficial results showed Bartlett winning the race with about 61 percent of the vote to Donald M. DeArmon's 39 percent.

"I'm very pleased and gratified and very thankful to the voters of the 6th District," said Bartlett, 74, of Buckeystown, Md.

The farmer and retired scientist said the margin of victory shows the district is still conservative, despite rapid growth in the eastern portion.

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"They gave me a vote of confidence. I'm not a politician. I just go down there and vote my conscience," he said.

The election was not as close as Bartlett's 1996 race, when Steve Crawford got 43 percent of the vote to Bartlett's 57 percent.

But it was closer than his races in 1998 and 1994, which he won by 2-to-1 margins over Timothy D. McCown and Paul Muldowney.

The politically savvy DeArmon, a 22-year Capitol Hill staffer, said he thought he gave Bartlett a better fight than the numbers showed.

"I'm disappointed but I thought we made a vigorous effort. I was pleased with the outpouring of support we did get," he said.

DeArmon, 45, of Frederick, Md., ran a quiet campaign for most of the summer and only began serious stumping several weeks before the election.

DeArmon surprised some political observers by raising more money than Bartlett.

Bartlett countered by spending $372,000, nearly twice as much as his opponent, by mid-October, according to campaign finance reports.

DeArmon noted that all the incumbents in Maryland seemed to do well.

"Ultimately it was just people being satisfied with the status quo," he said.

The thrust of DeArmon's campaign was an attack on Bartlett's record. DeArmon contended that during four two-year terms in Congress, Bartlett had done little to help the residents of his district.

DeArmon criticized Bartlett for voting against spending bills that contained transportation money for projects in his district, including improvements to Interstate 81 at Halfway Boulevard.

Bartlett said the projects were included in large spending bills that contained a lot of pork. He had to weigh the overall impact of the bills when considering how to vote, he said.

Bartlett, a member of the House Armed Services and Science committees, said now that the election is over he will turn his attention to getting funding for important projects in his district, including widening Interstate 81 and lengthening the Hagerstown Regional Airport runway.

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