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Hesse to run for House of Delegates seat

April 25, 2006|by TAMELA BAKER

He's been planning his campaign for months. On Monday afternoon, Scott Hesse made his intention to run for the House of Delegates official.

Hesse, 51, is seeking the Republican nomination for the House seat in District 2C, which roughly encompasses the city of Hagerstown and is occupied by John P. Donoghue, a Democrat.

Emphasizing his commitment to small business, Hesse made his announcement at BJ's Custom Creations in the Hagerstown Business Park.

"I feel we have entirely too much government," he said. "With current controls, it makes it difficult for small businesses to provide a good living for all their employees."

Specifically, Hesse cited attempts to force small businesses to provide health-care coverage.

And he said that with "48 specific mandates on health-care insurers, there's little competition" for insurance providers.

Hesse also said that one of the main reasons he's running is to "have the city of Hagerstown being more represented" in the General Assembly.

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"Currently, the delegate likes to be in Annapolis and looking at state issues," Hesse said, contending that attention to local constituents and issues was suffering.

Hesse said when Gov. Robert Ehrlich visited the city last summer to distribute grants to various local organizations, "our current delegate wasn't present at all."

Ehrlich, a Republican, doesn't always invite Democratic legislators to such functions; Donoghue said he was not invited on that occasion.

Hesse was part of the Republican slate that ran unsuccessfully for Hagerstown City Council last spring. The highest vote-getter among slate members, he finished a close sixth - 31 votes behind Alesia D. Parson-McBean.

Also running in the Republican primary is former Del. Paul D. Muldowney, who announced his candidacy in March.

Muldowney, 70, also has close ties to business, but while Hesse conceded that they likely have much in common, "I would represent a fresh look in Annapolis - not someone who's been there before," he said. "I bring a good small-business perspective and a good knowledge of the constituency."

If elected, Hesse said he plans to follow a pattern of constituent service set by Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, who held the delegate seat until he was elected to the Senate in 1990.

Hesse also said he would attempt to build consensus with the House members from the majority Democratic party.

"We need to build better relationships with the majority party," Hesse said. "I think the delegation has worked hard at it."

While Hesse had no illusions that Republicans could win the majority of seats in the General Assembly, he said by replacing a Democrat, he could help the party prevent Democrats from overriding the governor's vetoes. Overriding a veto requires a three-fifths vote by both houses.

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