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Donoghue facing Bruchey in election

October 29, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Former Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and incumbent Del. John P. Donoghue will square off in the Nov. 5 general election for the District 2C seat.

"I have worked hard for 12 years to represent constituents," said Donoghue, a Democrat who is seeking a fourth term as a state delegate. "I am asking them to once again give me the privilege of serving them ... I feel I have done a good job and I want to continue to do so."

As chairman of the health insurance subcommittee of the House Economic Matters Committee, Donoghue plays a key role in shaping the state's health insurance policies.

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He said that legislation he sponsored in 1998 set up a statewide grievance and appeals process to handle complaints that consumers have about their insurance companies.

He said he also worked on a prescription drug program that helps low-income seniors.

He served on the Washington County Hospital task force that worked to get the hospital's trauma center reopened and said he hopes to use the experience to address statewide problems with funding trauma centers.

"I applaud him for his health-care work but we need someone who can do more than that," said Bruchey, a Republican.

The area needs a delegate who also will work on other regional problems, including transportation and crime, Bruchey said.

Bruchey, who was mayor of Hagerstown from 1997 to 2001, said he would push to get more state funds for improvements to Dual Highway and the Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The way the Washington County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly works, each member has an assigned task and his is health care, Donoghue said.

Bruchey said he considered running for the delegate seat after the City of Hagerstown in 2000 asked for strong support from the local delegation and the legislators told the city to hire a lobbyist.

The city hired a lobbyist but Bruchey said he thinks the local delegation should serve the area and a lobbyist should not be needed.

Donoghue said he agrees the city should not be paying a lobbyist. He said he thinks the region has adequate representation now.

Bruchey said he has not decided if he supports a proposal by Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich to allow slots in the state to help fund education.

Donoghue said he thinks there must be better ways to fund education.

Whoever is elected will have to address an anticipated state budget shortfall.

Bruchey said he read that the state government is going to pay private firms $49 million to develop a test to replace the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP). That money can be saved by instead copying similar tests used in other states, he said.

"Why are we reinventing the wheel?" he asked.

Donoghue said he anticipates there will be cuts in some departments to balance the budget but said he would fight to make sure vital services are not cut.

"For four years as mayor I moved the city in a forward direction," Bruchey said. "I kept the tax rate as low as possible. We cut spending and we still moved forward," he said. "I believe we have to have someone who will look at all aspects and come up with solutions for the state budget."

If elected, Bruchey said, he will represent correctional officers, who have never had someone in state elected office who understood their problems and issues as he can.

Bruchey was a correctional officer from 1980 to 1994. He is now employed as a sales representative for Hagerstown Ford.

Donoghue works full time as a stockbroker.

Platforms


Robert E. Bruchey II

- Says he wants to make sure the state adequately funds public education.

- Says he will fight for affordable health care for area citizens.

- Says he will make sure more is done to ensure paroled felons are returned to the areas from which they come.

- Says he will represent the needs and wants of Hagerstown residents and will promote their interests in Hagerstown.

Age: 44

Address: 905 Woodland Way, Hagerstown

Republican




John P. Donoghue

- Says he wants to expand prescription drug programs for senior citizens while waiting for the federal government to add a prescription drug program to Medicare.

- Says he will continue fighting CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield's plan to become a for-profit company and sell its assets to California-based Wellpoint.

- Says he wants to use the Washington County Hospital trauma center as a model statewide for how to resolve the issue of reimbursing physicians for patients without insurance.

- Says he will try to get more state education funds to renovate and improve Washington County schools.

Age: 45

Address: 836 Oak Hill Ave., Hagerstown

Democrat

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