Jennifer P. Dougherty (D)

February 06, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

(Editor's note: The following story first appeared in The Herald-Mail on Nov. 29, 2007)

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Calling for more highway money and a clearer approach to the Iraq War, a former Frederick, Md., mayor is running in the Maryland 6th District congressional race.

Jennifer Dougherty, a Democrat, was mayor from 2002 to 2006. She said her top accomplishments include the development of Carroll Creek Park and straightening out the police department.

"Part of my record is having a backbone ... ," she said. "I can be tough, but I'm only tough when I feel people are trying to cheat me."


Dougherty, 46, of Frederick, is the fourth Democrat and ninth candidate overall. She filed Nov. 16.

Four Republicans are running, including eight-term incumbent Roscoe Bartlett.

One unaffiliated candidate is running only in the November 2008 general election.

The primary election is Feb. 12, 2008.

Dougherty said most people are dissatisfied with the country's current Iraq War strategy.

"Seventy percent of America opposes this aimless policy," she said.

She said the U.S., through a phased withdrawal, should pull troops out of Iraq by the end of 2009.

Members of the National Guard and the reserves, who "did not sign up to be career military," need to come home as soon as possible, she said.

Dougherty said President Bush has yet to define "victory" in the war.

As mayor, she said, she learned about national security efforts at the local level.

While police were expected to be frontline responders, the federal government cut back on a program widely used to hire more officers, Dougherty said.

Frederick used Community Oriented Policing Services money to hire about 25 or 30 officers in 10 years, she said.

"The further we get from 2001, the easier it is for federal government to shrink those programs," she said.

Dougherty said she's gotten a better sense of what the public thinks at Jennifer's Restaurant, an Irish restaurant she's owned in Frederick for 20 years, than at city government meetings.

She also has been a real estate agent the last two years.

A former Washington, D.C., resident, Dougherty said local leadership in Congress has been poor in getting highway money, leaving gridlock for Western Marylanders who commute to the metro region.

She said the 6th District should do more to develop tomorrow's technological leaders.

She suggested a business or high-tech school and possibly a mentoring system for science.

On abortion, Dougherty said she is pro-choice.

"The law is settled on that," she said. "The right is protected .... I don't think the federal government should be involved."

However, she said there should be limits for the last three months of pregnancy and for partial-birth abortions.

She said she doesn't support the death penalty.

Gun control, Dougherty said, is an issue that "has been asked and answered. The Second Amendment exists. You're allowed to have guns."

To learn more about the candidate, go to:

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