Fritz aims to de­feat Hoyer

Ad­vo­cates for cit­i­zens, mil­i­tary

The Calvert Recorder - - News - By TAMARA WARD tward@somd­ Twit­ter: @CalRecTAMA­RA

Wal­dorf res­i­dent and U.S. Air Force vet­eran Dennis Fritz is run­ning for Mary­land’s 5th con­gres­sional dis­trict seat in the Demo­cratic Pri­mary June 26.

“I’ve been a ser­vant of the peo­ple my en­tire life. I am ready to rep­re­sent the peo­ple of Dis­trict 5,” Fritz said.

Heed­ing mul­ti­ples calls from fel­low vet­er­ans to run for the of­fice, Fritz fi­nally filed his can­di­dacy just four days be­fore the fil­ing dead­line be­cause of the strug­gles of those who came be­fore him.

“My dad, who grew up Alabama, couldn’t vote un­til he was in his late 30s,” Fritz said. “My dad fought hard to have that right to vote. Many folks died, re­ally died, try­ing to get that right for African Amer­i­cans to vote. Then when we get that chance, we only have one choice ... we should give our peo­ple choices in a democ­racy.”

Fritz, age 61, said the urge to run had been in his stom­ach for a long time and that no­body should be al­lowed to stay in of­fice 36 years, re­fer­ring to in­cum­bent U.S. House Mi­nor­ity Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th).

“That’s what pri­maries are for — to chal­lenge. Not for our vote to be taken for granted,” Fritz added.

Fritz said he truly be­lieves in term lim­its and that he is con­cerned when the govern­ment has ca­reer politi­cians.

“You be­come be­holden to cor­po­rate lob­by­ists in or­der to stay in of­fice and you for­get about your true job about rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple,” Fritz said. “We’ve created monar­chs in our Congress and that’s why we can’t get any­thing done.”

When asked about is his campaign plat­form, Fritz said he re­sponds, “I have no campaign plat­form. The plat­form is of the peo­ple. I’m about cit­i­zen­ship rep­re­sen­ta­tion — what do the peo­ple need?”

The chal­lenger has es­tab­lished pri­or­i­ties, if elected to of­fice. Health care is at the top.

“I do stand for health care for all. We can have health care for all — it’s a hu­man right,” Fritz said.

Fritz said some peo­ple are one ill­ness away from be­ing bank­rupt and that his goal is to take care of those mid­dle-class cit­i­zens who can­not af­ford health care pre­mi­ums, co-pay­ments or med­i­cal bills, but are not el­i­gi­ble for ei­ther Medi­care or Med­i­caid, be­cause of their age or in­come level.

A sec­ond pri­or­ity for the con­gres­sional hope­ful is to es­tab­lish na­tion­wide vo­ca­tional classes in high school.

“Not ev­ery­body is equipped to go to col­lege,” Fritz said, not­ing a lack of ap­ti­tude, de­sire or fund­ing. “We need to pro­vide a way for those grad­u­at­ing from high school to be able to go out there and make a good stan­dard of liv­ing.”

As a vet­eran, and a con­tract pro­gram man­ager for the U.S. Depart­ment of De­fense Wounded War­rior Pro­gram, Fritz said he wants to be a “force­ful voice” for the mil­i­tary and to en­sure that when the coun­try goes to war again, “that it bet­ter be about the de­fense for the coun­try.”

“Over 4,500 in­no­cent men and women lost their lives in the Iraq War be­cause of no weapons of mass de­struc­tion. One hun­dred thou­sand in­jured for life. We owe them to take care of them,” Fritz said, re­fer­ring to Op­er­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom.

“I want to make sure we don’t make those same mis­takes again.”

Fritz ques­tions why there are still U.S. armed forces in Afghanista­n, in the after­math of Op­er­a­tion En­dur­ing Free­dom, well af­ter Osama Bin Laden, the ar­chi­tect of the 9/11 terrorist at­tacks, was cap­tured and killed.

Fritz said the cur­rent ef­fort in Afghanista­n is un­der the guise of “na­tion build­ing” and that “we need to be build­ing schools and hos­pi­tals in the U.S.”

The father of an adult son and daugh­ter, and hus­band of 35 years, knows it will take good for­tune and bless­ing to beat Hoyer in the pri­mary, but he has a strat­egy.

“I’m work­ing a hard ground game. I can­not com­plete with his campaign cof­fer,” Fritz said, not­ing he raised less than $5,000 to Hoyer’s $2.7 mil­lion.

Fritz re­ports earn­ing a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence De­gree in Man­age­ment from Na­tional-Louis Univer­sity and a Master’s De­gree in Pub­lic Man­age­ment from the Univer­sity of Mary­land’s School of Pub­lic Pol­icy.


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