WESTMINSTER — Two of the three Republican candidates for the 6th District congressional seat are working hard in the county to make their names known, two party leaders said.
Roscoe G. Bartlett of Frederick and Mike Downey of Thurmont were campaigning Monday night at a meeting of the Carroll County Republican Club at Kountry Kafe.
"I find it a hard choice," said Donald Frazier of Manchester, president of the Tri-District Republican Club. "They are two people working very hard."
W. David Blair of Hampstead, president of the Carroll County Republican Club, said Barlett seems to have a stronger organization in Carroll at this point in the race.
The candidates areon the ballot in the March 3 primary for the seat occupied by seven-term Democratic incumbent Beverly B. Byron.
Byron has one opponentin the primary -- Del. Thomas H. Hattery, D-Frederick, Howard.
A third Republican candidate, Frank K. Nethken of Cumberland, Allegany County, was scheduled to attend Monday's meeting, but canceled. Campaigning here earlier in the day, he said he was suffering from a cold and wanted to return home early.
Blair and Frazier said they have not met Nethken, 61, a former mayor of Cumberland.
Bartlett and Downey each gave brief statements at the party meeting and then answered a few questions. About 25 people attended.
The clubs do not endorse candidates in the primary.
"They both seem to have the same positions on a lot of issues," Blair said.
Residents have told him they've received phone calls from Bartlett volunteers, Blair said.
Frazier said Bartlett, 65, appears to be garnering support from youngpeople, including college students.
The candidate has some name recognition from a campaign he waged for the congressional seat in 1982, Frazier said.
Bartlett won the Republican primary that year over two opponents. He was the top vote-getter in Carroll with 2,415 votes; his opponents received 1,414 votes combined.
He is a former college teacher, medical researcher, inventor and home builder. He ownsa farm.
Bartlett supports reduced government spending, a line-item veto for the president and an improved educational system. He opposes a national health-care system.
"We have to take our country back," he said. The United States
should be "a country where every one of us can work and achieve to our potential."
Downey, 65, has support from the business community and has been working in the county since last summer when he helped register voters, Frazier said.
"He's well-funded," he said.
Downey, owner of a satellite communications consulting company and a farm, supports lowering the capital gains tax, giving tax credits to new business owners and improving schools. He also opposes a national health-care system.
"I'm a businessman. What am I here for except to create jobs and expand business?
"We must clean up the way Congress does business," he said.
EllenLichtfuss of Westminster, corresponding secretary of the Carroll County Republican Club, said both "sound like viable candidates."
Health care, the deficit, and American competitiveness are important issues, said Lichtfuss, who works at an engineering company in BaltimoreCounty.