Rick Hoover -- U.S. House of Representatives, Maryland's 3rd District

Maryland votes 2006

August 30, 2006

Date of birth: March 22, 1959

Party affiliation: Republican

Professional background: Ordained Wesleyan minister and former pastor

Educational background: Bachelor's degree from the former United Wesleyan College of Allentown Pa; master's degree from Evangelical Seminary in Meyerstown, Pa.

Personal: Married for 23 years; two children; enjoys tennis, golf and playing games on the computer; moved to Maryland from Pennsylvania 19 years ago

1. Why are you running for Congress?

Because I believe we need to make changes, especially in health care where many people are not covered at all and some who have insurance have to fight to get tests paid for or get prescriptions that their doctor ordered. The policies of the Democratic Party have not worked, but they continue to use them and blame the President for things he has no control over. We need to restructure health care and separate the money from the decision makers. We need to simplify insurance plans so people can understand what their insurance is and what it covers. Doctors must make health care decisions, not insurance companies.

2. What is your position on current U.S. policy in Iraq?

As difficult as it is we cannot simply walk away now. We must help Iraq solve its problems or risk Iran and/or Syria moving in and taking over when we leave. Then the end will have been even worse than the beginning. Ultimately we must win the war with Islamic extremists over there and not let them bring another 9/11 to our shores! Democrats want to play chicken and run. But America is not the nation that runs! The choice is simple, fight them over there or fight them in our streets and buildings when they bring more terror to America. The question is not if they will attack again, but when. Islamic extremists hate America and will not stop until we stop them.

3. What is your view of the Medicare prescription drug plan, and whether changes are needed to the program?

I hear people complaining about the program. We need to rewrite the plan and start over. People cannot use a plan that they cannot understand. Government has a way of making simple things complicated. And that has to change. That's why we need new leadership in Washington. The career politicians and political families have not gotten the job done and it's time for fresh blood. People ... need to go to the polls and make a difference with their vote.

4. What is the most important issue facing residents of the 3rd District?

Locally, I think it is the development of our communities and controlling the rate of growth. Our schools and other facilities must be able to keep up with our jobs and housing growth or suffer the consequences of poor education and overcrowding. Education is also an important issue. Children need to be taught values. It is no surprise to me that schools are out of control, grades are lower, teachers aren't motivated and children aren't learning when the children aren't taught to value one another. There simply must be more responsibility on the part of the schools and the parents.

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