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Cardin expects strong support in Western Maryland

May 16, 2006|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

Bill Anderson lives in Pennsylvania, so he's disqualified from voting for U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin.

But it doesn't stop him from supporting the congressman.

Anderson walked around Monday at UAW Local 171 on Maugans Avenue with a Cardin pin stuck to his shirt. Cardin, who is running for U.S. Senate, spoke at a meeting there before a packed house.

Anderson, who lives in Greencastle, said he believes Democrats like Cardin are more willing to help the average working person than a Republican.

Many who attended the event shared Anderson's sentiment, and Cardin said he believes he'll receive strong support from Western Maryland in the election.

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"Washington County and Western Maryland are very important areas in my Senate campaign, and I think I can do very well here," Cardin said in an interview.

He cited economic development, growth, quality of life and roads as issues facing Western Maryland.

"It's been tough as far as growth in jobs," Cardin said.

"I believe he represents the working families and unions in this state," said Larry Barron of Hagerstown, who's been a union member for 42 years.

At a meeting Monday with seniors in Baltimore County, Cardin sharply criticized President George W. Bush for not extending the deadline to enroll in Medicare Part D, a program designed to lower prescription drug costs.

The deadline was Monday, and those who enroll after the deadline will pay a penalty.

"President Bush and his Republican allies gave seniors a prescription drug program that has left millions of seniors confused and millions more with inadequate coverage," Cardin said in a written statement. "But instead of allowing seniors to have more time to learn about their options, the President shut down enrollment and will now begin penalizing seniors with lifelong fines they can't afford. America's seniors deserve better."

Cardin has authored two bills that he says will lower prescription drug costs and make the program more reliable.

Allen Miller, who's been a union supporter for 40 years, said he did not have to enroll in Part D because he has a better plan, but there was no telling what the future holds.

"You have to go with the guy who's going to help you" Miller said. "So far, we haven't had to sign up. How long that will last, who knows? That's why you have to support these people."

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