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Experience, passion give Bruchey our endorsement

February 21, 2006

When we first began to consider writing this editorial, our plan was to congratulate all of those who have filed to replace recently resigned Hagerstown Mayor Richard "Dick" Trump.

Unfortunately, we can't do that, since some of those who applied for the job apparently aren't city residents. And when informed of that fact, instead of saying "Oops," some of those noncity applicants have requested that the City Council change its residency requirements!

The absurdity of such a request is self-evident. What would be next - out-of-state residents asking to run for Washington County seats in the Maryland legislature?

Of the candidates remaining, there are two who have experience in elected office in Hagerstown - Carol Moller, a former member of the council and Robert Bruchey, the former mayor.

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Our endorsement goes to Bruchey, for the following reasons:

Bruchey actually ran for the seat and attracted a significant number of votes, both in the primary and in a later write-in effort. He wanted the job enough that he was willing to engage in the campaign process to get it.

Bruchey has experience in the office and has shown that he can get along with a diverse council.

When Bruchey defeated Steve Sager for the mayor's office, some on the council were not happy with the change. But with a salesman's savvy, he made those relationships work. Bruchey's council never sent him a letter complaining about his bad behavior.

Bruchey is a passionate advocate for the city -and one who gets things accomplished. He was a major player in the effort to bring the University System of Maryland center to downtown Hagerstown and in pushing for stronger law enforcement.

Bruchey will not have an easy road. Despite progress made between the city and county governments, there are still issues that remain to be solved. We believe that Bruchey has the energy and the knowledge to make significant progress.

We have not agreed with everything he has done, but we agree that in this case, he's the best person for the job.

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