Frederick man plans race for 6th Dist. seat Democrat DeArmon, foe of PACs, says he's raised $12,000

August 01, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Frederick Democrat Don DeArmon, an aide to a North Carolina congressman, has begun raising money to challenge Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett for the 6th District congressional seat.

Mr. DeArmon, 38, said he will not accept contributions from political action committees and will focus on "pocketbook" issues such as health care, education and crime.

He said he has raised $12,000.

Campaign finance reform will be a priority, he said.

"My experience on Capitol Hill led to my decision to refuse PAC money," he said. "That experience convinced me that the key to changing Congress is to elect representatives who are not beholden to special groups."

Mr. DeArmon joins a number of Democrats interested in the 6th District seat, said L. Gregory Pecoraro, chairman of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee.

Democrat Beverly B. Byron held the seat for 14 years before losing to Del. Thomas H. Hattery of Mount Airy in the 1992 Democratic primary. Mr. Bartlett, a Frederick Republican, defeated Mr. Hattery in the general election. Mr. Bartlett plans to run again, an aide said Friday.

Mr. Pecoraro said he had not met Mr. DeArmon, so could not comment on his candidacy. "We're certainly interested in finding a candidate" for the seat, he said.

Several interested Democrats have talked with him and other Carroll party officials about running for the seat, Mr. Pecoraro said.

Former Frederick County Commissioner Galen Clagett met with the Carroll central committee, he said. Mr. Hattery talked informally about the race at the annual Carroll County Democratic Club picnic this summer, and Del. D. Bruce Poole of Hagerstown has expressed interest in running, Mr. Pecoraro said.

Mr. DeArmon, a Frederick native, ran for a congressional seat once before. In 1980, when he was 24 and lived in Bel Air, he ran in the Democratic primary in the 1st District and lost to Roy P. Dyson.

Mr. DeArmon got 11,833 votes. Mr. Dyson, who won the general election, got 26,585 votes in the primary. The district includes parts of 13 counties. Mr. DeArmon won only in his home county of Harford.

He has worked since 1987 for Rep. David E. Price, a Democrat elected in 1986 to represent the Raleigh, N.C., area. Mr. DeArmon said he helps the congressman, a member of the Appropriations Committee, write legislation and prepare for committee hearings.

Before that, he worked for the Committee on House Administration as a consultant on office management and computers, and as an aide to a Democratic congressman from Oregon.

He also worked as "issues director" for a Democrat running for Congress in Charlotte, N.C., in 1986.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1977, Mr. DeArmon worked for a year as an aide to then-Rep. Barbara Mikulski.

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