Fritz aims to defeat Hoyer
Advocates for citizens, military
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.