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Candidate Shuster says 'much work to do'

February 14, 2006|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Amid red, white and blue balloons in the newly-renovated Capitol Theatre, a local congressman declared his intention Monday afternoon to seek a fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Saying that he is "committed to representing your values and beliefs," U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., announced his bid for re-election as representative of the 9th Congressional District.

Shuster represents 15 counties in central and western Pennsylvania, including Franklin and Fulton counties. He was first elected in May 2001.

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He received almost 70 percent of the vote in the last election after staving off a stiff challenge from Michael DelGrosso in the Republican primary.

"I'm only able to accomplish things because of the great support I receive back home," he told the small crowd of local officials and voters.

Shuster said lowering taxes is fundamental, "letting people keep more of their money to take care of their families and to invest as they see fit."

He serves on the Armed Services Committee and says he sees national security as "a first priority," and also recognizes the importance of Letterkenny Army Depot to the local economy. He says he continues to work for senior citizens and veterans, and for "tax dollars to come home for important projects such as the Capitol Theatre renovation. This is one of the selling points we have here. I go to Washington and I make no apologies for fighting to bring tax dollars home."

Shuster said he is running again because "there is much work to do, both in the community and on national security. And for me personally, it's the satisfaction of being able to help people."

He said he plans to continue to work with local officials to find out the needs in the community and to set an agenda for longer-term goals such as the improvement of the Interstate 81 corridor.

"We need to cut down the cost of running the government," Shuster added. "We need to look at programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and measure what we're doing. I don't know anyone who doesn't look at their paycheck (deductions). What exactly do I get for the money I send to Washington?"

Franklin County Commissioner Robert Thomas told Shuster he is "more effective than anyone we could have sent to Washington. You were instrumental at ensuring that Letterkenny remained."

Shuster has been credited with playing a key role in helping Letterkenny survive the round of reductions and closings brought on by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission last year.

Two Fulton County men made the trip over the mountain to hear Shuster. When asked his reaction to the Congressman's comments, Cam Mellott said, "Darn right."

Wilmer Mellott said he had voted for Shuster and "I will support him again."

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