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Hoover tired of political partisanship in Congress

October 06, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A C-SPAN broadcast made Gary W. Hoover Sr. of Clear Spring disgusted with his political party and Congress.

He said he woke up in the middle of the night, when the TV was on, and saw a congressional committee voting only along party lines, refusing to bend, even for good ideas, which angered him.

He vowed then to leave the Democratic Party, which he did.

Now, he's running for Congress with the Libertarian Party.

Hoover, a former police officer who now runs a car dealership, is trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

Democrat Jennifer P. Dougherty also is running.

Hoover, 50, said his two grandchildren, ages 4 1/2 and 18 months, are his main reasons for running. He is concerned about their future.

Two top issues, he said, are the economy and "the failure of this Congress to actually deliver any of the promises that they make."

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Hoover and his wife, Shirley, will have been married 22 years in December. They have four adult children.

Hoover grew up in Brownsville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. After graduating from Bethlehem-Center High School in 1975, he moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and took an assembly line job in a toy factory.

Two years later, he returned to Brownsville and became a police officer, a job he held for nine years.

Hoover said he moved to Gaithersburg, Md., when he got married and was raising a family.

In 1987, he said, he took a job running a security and investigations company.

Four years later, he got into automobile sales.

He worked for Hagerstown Ford until he left about a year ago to become general manager of Herb's Quality Used Cars and Trucks in Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Hoover said his work in car sales the last 17 years has been a good foundation for holding elected office, especially in Congress.

On a daily basis, Hoover negotiates, he said. "It's something we need in government," he said.

This is Hoover's first run for public office.

He said he follows politics and government closely, usually by watching C-SPAN to avoid the spin of cable TV commentators.

His first political involvement came as a volunteer for Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in 1976.

"Thirty-two years ago, Jimmy Carter warned us about this fuel problem we're going to have," Hoover said. "Instead of working together, it's been partisan politics, with special-interest groups."

In October 2007, Hoover filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections a declaration of his intent to run for Congress.

He needed to gather about 4,100 signatures of registered 6th District voters to get on the ballot in the general election.

In May, the Libertarian Party chose Hoover as its candidate, earning him a spot on the ballot.

To run for office, Hoover left the Democratic Party after three decades.

"You always hear it's time for a change," he said, "but in 32 years, there has been no change. It's the same stale politics."

He called Dougherty and Bartlett "wonderful people with wonderful ideas."

"The problem isn't them," Hoover said. "The problem is the way the Congress works. The two parties' leadership decides what happens."

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