Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:47 pm
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Oct. 6, 2004

Van Hollen campaign manager speaks to Blair students

by Alex Mazerov, Page Editor
The campaign manager of Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-District 8), Chuck Westover, addressed the Blair Young Democrats club after school today, Oct. 6, 2004. He spoke about Van Hollen, Van Hollenís Republican opponent and youth political activism.

Westover began by touting his candidate's experience and accomplishments. "[Van Hollen] has a real sense of international politics," Westover said. "And he's really gotten a lot done in his first two years in Congress." Van Hollen has championed the gun control issue, he said. "Chris is trying to keep guns off the streets," he continued.

Later, Westover discussed Van Hollen's challenger in the November election, Republican Chuck Floyd. "We're running against a more conservative opponent," than Connie Morella, who Van Hollen defeated in 2002, Westover said. Floyd opposed the assault weapons ban and supports tax cuts for those earning over $300,000 per year, he said.

A stark contrast exists between the two candidates, Westover emphasized. "It's a real clear difference in this election," he said. Westover believes the debates between Van Hollen and Floyd, on October 17 and 21 in Rockville, are "educational events," and will reinforce the candidates' individual distinctions.

Westover encouraged students to volunteer for political campaigns and said there are a number of opportunities for students to get involved. "[Volunteering] is an easy, fun way to earn service learning hours," he said. "And you have a wealth of opportunities living so close to D.C."

Van Hollen's grassroots campaign has been active in encouraging local Democrats to vote, not just for Van Hollen, but also for Senator Barbara Mikulski, who is seeking reelection, and Presidential candidate John Kerry, according to Westover. "Talk to your parents. Make sure they have a yard sign," he told students.

All efforts to energize Democrats during this election cycle are building up to 2006, Westover said. "We want to knock [Maryland Governor Robert] Ehrlich out of office," in two years, he said.

Westover, 26, has served as Van Hollen's campaign manager since March. He previously worked for former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean. "[Dean] is a die-hard liberal like me," Westover said.

Westover said he hopes Van Hollen will come to speak at Blair before the election, but "I can't guarantee anything."

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