By ANDREW SCHOTZ
7:52 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
Democrat John Delaney made his case for election on Wednesday at a chamber of commerce breakfast in Hagerstown — without his opponent, Republican Roscoe Bartlett.
Bartlett initially committed to attend the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce’s forum, but backed out on Tuesday so local government officials could show him the effects of the storm that passed through Maryland this week.
As the only candidate at Wednesday’s forum at Academy Theater in Hagerstown, Delaney had more time to answer questions in-depth on topics such as economic development and federal procurement.
Bartlett is trying to win an 11th two-year term in Congress on Tuesday in Maryland’s 6th District, which was shifted from majority Republican to majority Democrat in last year’s redistricting process.
His opponents are Delaney, who won a Democratic primary in April, and Libertarian candidate Nickolaus Mueller.
The chamber didn’t ask Mueller to participate; it only invites candidates from the two major parties to its election forums.
Both Bartlett and Mueller have spoken during past forums in favor of limiting government’s reach.
On Wednesday, Delaney said government has certain roles, such as providing the framework for transportation.
While most governments can’t invest heavily in infrastructure, the private sector can, Delaney said. The government can be a leader in finding public-private partnerships, he said.
Delaney, a financier who started two publicly traded companies, said he is well suited to help find those partnerships.
If he were a freshman legislator, Delaney said, he might not have much clout, but he’d keep talking about important issues and pick the spots where he can be most effective.
Asked why the 6th District should replace a long-serving Republican, Delaney said Democrats hold power at the top levels in Maryland, so a Democratic representative in Congress would be an effective conduit — more than Bartlett has been.
Answering a question on term limits, Delaney said he believes in having U.S. representatives and senators serve no longer than 12 years, which could help break structural gridlock in Washington, D.C.
This was the final round in the chamber’s election forum series this year.
After holding forums for candidates running for Washington County Board of Education and mayor of Hagerstown, the chamber had to cancel last week’s event for U.S. Senate candidates when both candidates backed out.
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