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Hagerstown woman becomes a lobbyist

October 15, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown woman who first made a name for herself in local politics has become a lobbyist for an Annapolis-based labor organization.

Susan Levitan, formerly known as Susan Tuckwell, started work two months ago for the Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO.

"It's going to be a new challenge," she said.

Last year, Levitan managed Sue Hecht's failed campaign against Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington.

She also worked for Democrat Don DeArmon, who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

Levitan was a candidate in 1998 when she lost a bid to become a Washington County Commissioner by 196 votes.

Before that, she worked in public relations for Allegheny Power and as a Herald-Mail reporter.

"Having worked on many campaigns and being in the news business, I've always had an interest in government and politics," she said. "I just like being part of the process."

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Lobbying, it seems, also runs in the family.

Levitan, 52, is the cousin of former state Sen. Larry Levitan, who now is a lobbyist.

As the AFL-CIO's state legislative director, Levitan said she'll be working on issues such as workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and health care.

The organization is concerned that Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich will seek a change in the workers' compensation law to restrict employees' access to benefits.

The Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO represents 800 unions with 350,000 workers, she said.

While Levitan ran a stinging campaign against Mooney, Levitan said she doesn't expect to get a chilly reception from the senator.

"I don't anticipate any animosity or hard feelings," she said.

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