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Rivals for congressional seat rally supporters in Martinsburg

July 29, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Anne Barth and U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito were within shouting distance of one another in downtown Martinsburg for several minutes Monday, but no sparks flew in what already has become a heated general election campaign.

The 100 block of South Queen Street provided a convenient buffer as the candidates for the 2nd congressional district rallied their supporters across a rush hour-thickened street from one another.

"You'll see a lot of me over the next 98 days," Barth told a group of local Democratic leaders gathered at 124 S. Queen St., the party's county campaign headquarters.

At 115 S. Queen St., Capito celebrated the opening of her campaign office with fellow Republicans.

"The Panhandle's been very, very good to me," Capito said a few minutes later in a brief interview.

"And I think I know the people of the Panhandle pretty well, and I look forward to asking them to send me back to Washington."

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Barth looked forward to asking them to send her instead.

"We're going door to door," Barth said Monday evening of her visit to Martinsburg. "This is what its all about, talking to the voters."

In his introductory remarks, Berkeley County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman John Fink noted Barth's successful fundraising efforts, but said the party faithful needed to do more to help her win.

"Now we got to get the ground troops," Fink said to a crowd that included former State Sen. Herb Snyder, Berkeley County Circuit Clerk Virginia Sine and the Berkeley County Democratic Association's president and vice president.

Across the street, Capito's campaign had sign-up sheets ready for volunteers who wanted to work the phone bank, place yard signs, campaign door to door and work in the office.

Morgan County Commissioners Glen R. Stotler and Thomas R. Swaim, and the executive committee chairpersons for the GOP in Berkeley and Jefferson counties were among those who attended Capito's event.

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