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Hoover finds way onto ballot

October 09, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

(Editor's note: This story first appeared June 9, 2008, in The Herald-Mail)

Gary William Hoover Sr. has found an easier way onto the ballot for Maryland's 6th District Congress seat.

Instead of running as an independent, as he has tried to do for almost eight months, he has linked up with the Libertarian Party of Maryland.

Hoover, 50, of Clear Spring, will have the Libertarian Party's nominations, provided he files paperwork, pays a $100 fee and switches his enrollment by July 1.

He'll join incumbent Republican Roscoe Bartlett and Democrat Jennifer Dougherty on the Nov. 4 ballot. Bartlett is seeking his ninth two-year term.

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Asked how Bartlett felt about having two challengers, his press secretary, Lisa Wright, said he focuses entirely on asking voters to trust him for another term.

"It doesn't matter to him who else is running," she said.

Hoover said he and Robert S. Johnston III, the state Libertarian Party chairman, spoke in April.

On May 19, the party voted to pick Hoover as its 6th District candidate.

Johnston said he was pleased Hoover planned to take on Bartlett, with or without third-party backing.

The party had Congress candidates for other districts, but not the 6th District.

"It's not easy getting people to run," Johnston said.

The party and the candidate found a good deal in common philosophically.

Johnston said the party liked that Hoover is against the war in Iraq, the USA Patriot Act and the war on drugs, and that he's an advocate of the First and Second amendments and less government spending.

Johnston said Hoover is a good, but not perfect, match with the party -- with room to become more in sync, since Libertarians develop over time.

Hoover declared his intent to be an independent candidate in October 2007, when he left the Democratic party.

As a hopeful independent, he watched the February primaries on the sidelines.

Bartlett, 82 , easily won the Republican nomination.

Dougherty, 47, defeated Andrew Duck in the Democratic race, 44 percent to 37 percent.

Hoover needed to collect the signatures of at least 4,095 voters in the district by Aug. 4 to get on the general-election ballot.

"I've gotten about 2,000 names and we could have succeeded in (getting the full amount)," he said.

Hoover was a special finance consultant at Hagerstown Ford until December, when he became the general manager of Herb's Used Cars in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. He said the new job gives him more flexible time for his campaign.

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