CHESTER With workboats and pleasure cruisers traveling through the Kent Narrows as a backdrop, U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil kicked off his re-election campaign at midday Saturday. Kratovil stopped at the Chesapeake Exploration Center to address supporters and officially announce his bid for a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was his second campaign stop of three scheduled for the day in Harford, Queen Anne's and Wicomico counties. In a coat and tie on a 90-degree day, Kratovil delivered brief remarks about the experiences of his first term and his plans to lead the 1st District again if re-elected. In Aberdeen early Saturday morning, Kratovil received the endorsement of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police. A former prosecutor, Kratovil was introduced by Maryland FOP state president John "Rodney" Bartlett. In his home county of Queen Anne's, Kratovil's son, Jackson, introduced his father. All four of Kratovil's sons attended as well as his pregnant wife Kim, who is expecting a girl. "With your help he will be able to continue to help the people who live, work, and play in Maryland's First District," said Jackson. "We hope to see you all on the campaign trail over the next few months." A Stevensville resident, Congressman Kratovil served six years as state's attorney for Queen Anne's County. A Democrat, he won a close race for 1st District representative over Republican Andy Harris, R-1-Harford, who may be his opponent again in this year's election. Kratovil is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination but is looking forward to the overall campaign season. "The part that I've always enjoyed about politics is the people part of it," said Kratovil. "I'm a people person. I would much rather prefer to go into a diner and talk to normal, ordinary human beings than generally what I'm confronted with, which are people from the far extremes. These settings with volunteers and with people who are busy during the week getting their kids to lacrosse or soccer or football or whatever it is, are the people that I think I need to hear from. And so I'm looking forward to individually meeting those people that I represent." Kratovil talked about common sense solutions for the 1st District and for the nation, and about his independent voice in Washington. He is ranked as the 10th most independent member of Congress and the 5th most independent Democrat, according to rankings compiled by Congressional Quarterly magazine. "We need an unwavering independence on both sides of the aisle if we're going to solve these problems," he said. "I don't think we're in a position where we can't solve them. We just have to have some common sense solutions to the problems that we face. I have been trying to do that as a congressman. I have fought for and secured funding to protect the Chesapeake Bay and at the same time to promote the ag industry, both of which are crucial to this district." Kratovil also talked about his efforts to create jobs and to help small businesses. "When I was approached by the crabbing industry, they said they needed help with workers to pick crabs. They had done what they were supposed to do. They advertised for American workers to help them pick crabs, went out and held job fairs and could not find folks to do that. They went to the government and asked for help with work visas. Through no fault of their own, they were not able to get those visas, why, because the process that is designed for it is messed up. ... I looked at the problem and we were able to get the Department of Homeland Security to re-issue 25,000 additional work visas to make sure that we saved not only the jobs of people coming but also American jobs that were based on those small companies." Kratovil talked about cutting through bureaucratic red tape to help local auto dealerships retain their franchises. He also talked about fiscal responsibility. According to Kratovil's office, the congressman has voted against $6 trillion dollars in excessive federal spending. He helped pass Pay-As-You Go legislation that requires Congress to account for every dollar it spends, and he supports a constitutional amendment to require government to balance the budget and pay down the debt. "We can send someone to Washington who is going to continue to be independent and put the interests of the people of his district first, or we can send people that are going to put their own extreme ideological views ahead of the best interests of the people of this district." He ended his talk with a look at the future. "I periodically think obviously about my four boys and our little girl that will be here shortly," said Kratovil. "I think about them and the American journey they have begun and the question we have to ask is: What kind of country are we going to leave them? What kind of opportunities are they going to have? Are they going to be able to get out of school and be able to find jobs? Are they going to be able to have the opportunity to go to college? What kind of debt are we going to leave them? All of these answers depend on our ability to fix Washington. Yes, Washington in some ways is broke, but together we can fix it."
You must login to view the full content on this page.
Or, use your linked account: