State Del. Thomas H. Hattery said his opponent for the 6th District congressional seat is running a campaign based on publicity stunts.
His opponent, Roscoe G. Bartlett, attacked Hattery's record in the General Assembly and said Hattery should give up his State House seat.
Hattery, who upset 13-year incumbent Beverly B. Byron in the March Democratic primary, said he will focus on economic, health care andeducation issues during the months before the November election.
The 38-year-old Mount Airy farmer said he will offer concrete answersto constituents' concerns.
He said Bartlett, winner in the Republican primary, is offering publicity stunts, not solutions.
"I callupon Roscoe to either get serious about the issues and put forth real solutions or let a serious candidate take his place on the Republican ticket and give the public a real choice," Hattery said.
Duringthree stops through the district Wednesday, Bartlett fired off the first shots in the race for the seat, held by Democrats for several decades. He called for Hattery's resignation from the Maryland House ofDelegates.
"The residents of Hattery's legislative district, who elected him to represent them in Annapolis, now find he is spending virtually all of his time running for Congress," Bartlett said.
Replied Hattery, "He apparently doesn't realize that the General Assembly doesn't meet again until January. Let's elevate this campaign to real issues, not personalities."
Hattery called Bartlett's appearances in Westminster, Frederick and Hagerstown a "publicity stunt to gain recognition."
"Will these stumps create jobs or affordable housing?" Hattery asked. "Let's talk about plans to turn the economy around and let the voters judge based on that."
Hattery said he has suggested a series of debates, to begin this fall. In a letter to Bartlett dated Wednesday, Hattery said he was sure his opponent could "findreal issues to challenge me on."
At his stop in Westminster, Bartlett hit on his "super-liberal" opponent's voting record in the statelegislature, saying "Taxing Tom had sold his soul to special interest groups.
"An incumbent with his record is part of the problem, not the solution," Bartlett said. "He could become the Teddy Kennedy ofCongress."
Bartlett, 65, a retired Frederick County teacher and businessman, called for a clean sweep.
He said he hoped voters would oust entrenched congressional incumbents, 98 percent of whom were re-elected in 1990.
"The dream of our founding fathers was to have a citizen legislature, not one controlled by career politicians," he said.