Roscoe Bartlett says broad experience, new ideas and the ability to persuade others should earn him the 6th District seat in the House ofRepresentatives.
Bartlett -- who filed Aug. 30 and formally announced his campaign on Wednesday -- is retired from a dual career as a science teacher at Frederick Community College and president of a Frederick solar home building firm, Roscoe Bartlett and Associates Inc.
After earning a doctor of physiology degree at the University of Maryland at College Park, Bartlett engaged in research and taught science and medical classes there, at Loma Linda University in Riverside, Calif., the U.S. Navy School of Aviation Medicine in Pensacola, Fla., Howard University in Washington and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Baltimore.
Bartlett, 65, has been a Frederick County resident since 1961, and has raised dairy cattle and sheep on his farm near Frederick.
"I have achieved some success in academia and business, and I feel it is a privilege to serve," he said. "I think that people owe a debt to society."
The self-professed "conservative Republican" said the term in office should be extended, but the number of terms limited so officials would vote as their conscience dictates, not to get re-elected.
"Two years is not long enough, because with every vote you cast, you are focused on how that will affect your re-election," Bartlett said. "We limited the presidents to two terms because we didn't want an emperor. We have the equivalent of that nowwith the battles in (House) committees."
Bartlett said the influence of political action committees should be limited, but said he would not rule out using PAC money.
"You need to be realistic when you are planning a race," he said.
"You can't tie your hands behind your back or run with a chain between your legs to be competitive andeffective. I just wish (PACs) were not a part of the system."
Electing new legislators is the key to change, Bartlett said.
"Everyone would like to see campaign reform, but to ask the present officials to do it is to ask an awful lot of them," he said. "You are asking them to vote themselves out of a job."
Bartlett said the main issues of the campaign are the environment, education and the economy.
"As one of the largest industrialized nations, we use one-third of the world's energy," he said. "We owe it to the world to be a role model, to show emerging Third World countries that you can be industrialized and care about the environment."
Bartlett said the nation's economy and education need to be freed from stultifying bureaucracy.
"I agree with Thomas Jefferson that the government that governs best governs least," Bartlett said. "Money left in the private sector will create more jobs in the public sector than in government."
Bartlett said the national deficit could be cut and the economy stimulated by reducing both taxes and spending.
"I ask people if they woke up tomorrow and there was no government, what would they miss?"
"People say things like police and fire protection," he said.
"Thosethings come to a small percentage of what we're paying for. If you wouldn't miss it, why pay for it?"
Education would benefit from rewarding scholars rather than athletes, he said.
"We have to make achievement in the classroom a desirable thing, and that doesn't cost money," Bartlett said. "We need to stop paying the football coach the highest salary and to make heroes of kids who are academically motivated."
Rewarding good teachers and freeing them to teach in their own way also would help, he said.
"We assume that all teachers needto be told what to teach, and we make automatons out of them," Bartlett said. "We've been throwing more and more money at education for years, and it's been getting worse and worse. We need to cut the bureaucracy that interferes with teaching."
Bartlett, who won the primary race for the House in 1982, said he's confident he will gain the Republican nomination and can unseat conservative Democrat Beverly B. Byron from the 6th District post she's filled since 1979.
"People in Western Maryland are ready for a change," he said.
"The voters need to send someone to the House worth 10 votes, not just one," Bartlett said. "Someone with enough understanding of the issues and persuasive enough to get nine others to vote his way."
The 6th District, comprising Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties and northern Howard and Montgomery, is scheduled to be redrawn under a controversial redistricting proposal sponsored by the state Democratic Central Committee.