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Bartlett difficult to defeat in 6th District

October 29, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

MARYLAND - Voters in Maryland's 6th Congressional District will choose between three candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives when they go to the polls Nov. 2.

Democrat Kenneth T. Bosley, incumbent Republican Roscoe G. Bartlett and Green Party candidate Gregory J. Hemingway will oppose one another in the general election.

Bosley, 74, lives in Sparks, Md., and has never held elected office. But the retired Air Force officer, grain farmer and lawyer defeated six Democrats in the March primary and has more than 40 years of community service, he said.

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"We've registered a lot of new voters and we're going to campaign hard as we get closer to the election," he said.

The 6th Congressional District is made up of all of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties and parts of Baltimore, Harford and Montgomery counties.

Bartlett, 78, who lives in Frederick County, won his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 and has held the seat since.

Bosley is the latest of several Democratic candidates who have waged uphill battles to unseat Bartlett, Washington County Democratic Central Committee Chairperson Rick Hemphill said.

"Any challenger has a good starting base of 25 to 30 percent of the vote," said Hemphill, adding that Bartlett has carried Carroll and Frederick counties where a majority of the 6th District's voters live.

Bartlett, a former human physiology professor and farmer, said he's confident 6th District voters will send him back to Congress, where he said he'll continue to fight tax hikes and promote limited government involvement and regulation.

On the campaign trail, Bosley has taken shots at Bartlett accusing him of being a World War II draft dodger.

Bartlett said he doesn't know why Bosley would make such claims. In a prepared statement, Bartlett said he never avoided or dodged the draft. He said he registered for World War II as a noncombatant, but was never drafted. Noncombatants are members of the armed forces whose duties do not include combat.

"As a Seventh-day Adventist, I was raised to serve my country in the military if drafted, but to do so by saving a life, not by taking a life. Medics in the military serve by taking care of the wounded, but they don't carry a weapon. They are classified as noncombatants and that was how I registered," he said.

"He should have volunteered for combat duty, because of the shortage of soldiers at the time," Bosley said.

On the topic of Iraq, Bartlett and Bosley's views are somewhat similar; neither fully supported the U.S.'s decision to invade the country.

Bartlett, who has served on the House Armed Services Committee for 12 years, said he voted in support of the Spratt Amendment. The amendment, which didn't pass in the House, called for further congressional debate in the absence of a United Nations resolution supporting the United States' position, he said.

"I spoke with Condoleezza Rice, and I asked how can they (Iraq) attack us?" he said.

Bartlett said he told Rice that Iraq didn't have a missile capable of reaching the United States in an attack.

"There were never weapons of mass destruction and there was no immediate threat," Bosley said.

"We shouldn't be into nation building unless the other nations are with us."

Bosley is a former military science teacher and instructor with Baltimore's Air Force Reserve Center.

In 1951, Bosley earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland and his master's degree in industrial technology in 1952. He completed a law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1973, he said.

In 1947, Bartlett completed dual degrees in biology and religion at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Md. He later earned his master's and doctorate degrees in human physiology from the University of Maryland at College Park.

He's taught science at Howard University in Washington, D.C., the University of Maryland at College Park and Frederick Community College in Frederick, Md.

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