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'This election ... is about America'

November 05, 2006|by TARA REILLY

Seven hours and 257 miles later, congressional candidate Andrew Duck was in Hagerstown Saturday wrapping up day one of a two-day "campaign caravan" through the 6th Congressional District.

Duck, in a press conference at Carpenters Union Local 340 on East Franklin Street, said the caravan through the district is an effort to learn the needs of local communities.

It also is an opportunity to make his name visible and familiar to people casting votes in Tuesday's election, he said.

Duck, a Democrat, is challenging longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

"We need every single person we can to go and vote," Duck said.

Duck said supporters should tell their family, friends and co-workers to vote, and go so far as to schedule times for them to hit the polls, to ensure as many people vote as possible.

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He said the fate of the country depends it.

"We have got to vote ... as if your country depends on it because it does," Duck said. "If you doubt that your country depends on votes, just look at the shape the country is in."

Duck said the United States has lost its moral standing in the world, and criticized the handling of the Iraq war.

Duck served time on the ground in Iraq in 2003.

"This election is not about Democrats versus Republicans," Duck said. "It's not about liberals versus conservatives. This election ... is about America."

Duck said after the press conference that national polls show that people are unhappy with the state of the country, and also want a "change of course in Iraq."

He said it also is time for a change in Washington.

Duck's supporters were enthusiastic about his chances to beat Bartlett.

"I believe Mr. Duck has the best chance of any candidate since Roscoe Bartlett has held this position," said Dan Forcino, president of the Central Maryland Labor Council.

Forcino praised Duck for his service in the military, and said he is well-versed on the issues.

The problems facing the district include a lack of balance between job growth and affordable housing, Duck said. In Frederick County, for example, job growth is high, but there's a growing shortage of affordable housing, he said. In Allegany County, Duck said there are few jobs, and 17 percent of the housing stock in Cumberland, Md., is vacant.

In Washington County, improved road systems are needed, with Duck saying Interstate 81 is at full capacity. He said if elected, he will fight to bring federal dollars to the district.

Union member Larry Barron of Hagerstown liked what Duck had to say.

"I think we got a winner," said Barron, director of the Committee of Political Education. "I think he's a very smart person. He's young, and he's energetic and hardworking."

Ron Maners, business representative for Carpenters Union Local 340, said he supports Duck for his values and support for working men and women.

"He's dedicated to making a difference," Maners said. "With that kind of dedication and that much hard work, he deserves the position."

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