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Munson cites record in re-election bid

June 24, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Some political observers might think Sen. Donald F. Munson, who has served in state elected office for 28 years, would feel secure in his chances for re-election this fall.

But the three-term Republican senator is taking nothing for granted.

"You never get used to it. It's always a new experience," he said Thursday.

Munson said he plans to visit about 6,000 homes in District 2 during the campaign.

His only opponent so far is a political newcomer, Democrat Mary E. Newby, 47, of Hagerstown.

On Wednesday, Munson lashed out at Newby, calling her a "complete neophyte" after learning she accused him of lacking political clout.

In discussing his re-election bid, Munson had nothing bad to say about Newby, who will be his opponent in the general election if both candidates win their primaries. He focused instead on his accomplishments and his desire to serve the people of Washington County.

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"I love my job and I love the people I represent and I'm really anxious to do it again," he said.

Munson said his achievements during the last legislative session included having four of the six bills he introduced passed by the legislature.

Munson's legislation cemented regulations allowing people with low vision to get driver's licenses, increased fines for nuisance violations, changed the makeup of the Maryland Veterans Commission and helped two employees at the Department of Social Services get credit for time they were contract employees.

He also said that by agreeing to vote for a cigarette tax increase, he preserved money for the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center in downtown Hagerstown and boosted money for public school education.

"I think I'm to a point in my career where I can bring home the bacon," said Munson, who serves on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

Munson was appointed to the new Commission on Maryland's Fiscal Structure, which other Republicans have criticized as a means to raise taxes next year. Munson said he doesn't know if that is the commission's purpose, but vowed to be a voice for holding the line on taxes.

He said he expects the commission to discuss slot machines as a way to raise money for the state.

"I'm not a fan of slots and I don't think my district is interested in slots," he said.

Munson cited two other issues as being important to him: fighting crime and preserving farmland.

Munson, 64, of 117 W. Magnolia St., Hagerstown, reaffirmed his long-standing pledge to work as a full-time legislator.

He said he is proud of his record of constituent service and claims he has come to the aide of Washington County residents 85,000 times during his 28 years in elected office, which began in the House of Delegates.

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