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Former mayor Bruchey running for delegate seat

April 11, 2002|BY TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Former Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II has thrown his hat back into the political arena.

Bruchey, a Republican, is making a bid for the Maryland House of Delegates seat in District 2C, which covers the city.

The seat is currently held by Democrat John P. Donoghue.

Bruchey filed his candidacy papers on Wednesday.

"I think it's time that the City of Hagerstown has a representative in Annapolis," Bruchey, 43, said. "I understand the city's problems."

As the possibility of a tax increase looms over the city, Bruchey said he'd fight for state aid in Annapolis to bring some relief and projects to Hagerstown.

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The former mayor said he considered running for the delegate seat after the city in 2000 asked for strong support from the local delegation to the General Assembly, and in return, the legislators told the city to hire a lobbyist.

"That's what we have a delegate for," Bruchey said. "I was so flabbergasted. I was stunned for a week. I believed at that time that we had to change."

He lost his mayoral re-election bid in 2001, giving him the time to run for the legislative seat, he said.

Bruchey, who served as mayor from 1997-2001, plans to do a door-to-door campaign to talk to residents about what they expect from Annapolis.

He said he wants to make sure that the county's nonprofit groups, such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, receive adequate funding from the state.

One of his biggest achievements as mayor, he said, was having a hand in bringing a University System of Maryland education center to Hagerstown.

The education center is to operate out of the former Baldwin House Complex once renovations are completed.

Bruchey said he supports Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, who last week voted to raise the cigarette tax by 34 cents a pack in order to secure $12.4 million for the education center and a $2 million subsidy for air service to the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

"They did the right thing," Bruchey said.

Bruchey and his wife Susan have two sons, Robert, 17, and Patrick, 10.

The delegate seat pays $31,500.

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