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Politis plans to challenge Bill Shuster

February 10, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Six years ago, Paul Politis wanted to be the Democratic nominee to run against Republican U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster in Pennsylvania's 9th District.

This year, the Greencastle resident has announced he is running again. If he wins, he could face U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster in November's general election.

"I think the Bush Administration and the Congress that supports it ... have damaged this nation over the past 31/2 years," Politis said Sunday.

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"The Bush administration has taken waste, lies and economic balance to record levels," Politis, 55, said in a press release announcing his candidacy last week.

He said in that statement that Bill Shuster and Michael DelGrosso, Shuster's challenger for the GOP nomination, "both apparently support policies that have brought us a $500 billion deficit, an economic 'boom' in which the wealthiest 10 percent get richer while the rest get poorer and a deadly, costly war we now know was based not on 'intelligence' regarding national security."

"Before we fight that, we've got to fight our way onto the ballot," Politis said Sunday.

In 1998, supporters of Bud Shuster filed a challenge to Politis' nominating petition with the Federal Election Commission, he said Sunday. The challenge, he said, questioned the validity of many of the approximately 1,200 signatures.

Politis said many of the irregularities cited in the challenge also could be found on Bud Shuster's petitions, but the Democrat was facing the possibility of paying huge legal fees.

"Frankly, I was intimidated and I withdrew," Politis said Sunday.

Now, he and supporters in the 9th District, which includes all of six counties, including Franklin and Fulton, and parts of nine others, are working to get a lot more than the required 1,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot for the April 27 primary.

"This presidential election year I think will invigorate the party, because there's a lot of people that think we need to get Bush out of there," Politis, who is vice chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Committee, said Sunday.

The antique automobile manual and memorabilia business owner and former journalist said Sunday reapportionment of the district two years ago may have worked in Democrats' favor, but the GOP still holds about a 2-to-1 edge in registered voters.

Politis moved to Greencastle from Fulton County about 21/2 years ago, according to his press release. He was a member of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and the county Tourist Promotion Agency and is a former president of both groups. He chaired the Fulton Fall Festival Antique Car Show for many years, was active in Knobsville United Methodist Church and served 16 years on the Forbes Road School Board and on the county vo-tech school committee.

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