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A U.S. Marine Corps veteran with his eye on the District 6 Congressional seat said he has least one advantage over other candidates: He actually lives in the district.
Republican David E. Vogt III, 28, is from Brunswick in Frederick County.
Daniel Bongino, also running as a Republican, lives in Severna Park in Anne Arundel County, and incumbent U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D) lives in Potomac. Both live outside the 6th District’s boundaries.
The party primaries will be held in June 2014.
Representatives are not required to live in the districts they represent.
Vogt — it rhymes with “boat” — told The Gazette on Wednesday that he’s running to serve the American family that has lost touch with its representatives on Capitol Hill. He said he swore an oath to defend the Constitution when he joined the Marines, and that it doesn’t expire.
“We’re here for the little guy who has seen his Constitutional liberties attacked every day,” Vogt said.
The recent revelations that the National Security Agency was collecting the phone records of millions of Americans demonstrated such an attack, Vogt said.
“President Obama is listening in to the conversations of our citizens,” he said. Vogt later acknowledged he hadn’t seen evidence “per se” of the NSA actually listening to calls, but that the agency hadn’t divulged anything willingly and that collecting phone records themselves was a violation of privacy.
Vogt also said that government spending and the taxation of American citizens was “out of control,” and that the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — known to critics as “Obamacare” — needs to be repealed.
“It’s not an efficient program. It’s going to cost Americans tons of money and hinder their abilities to provide for their families,” Vogt said. Obama’s own decision to delay implementation of one provision of the law — mandating that some businesses provide insurance for employees — is a sign that the program is a failure, he said.
Vogt also said he wants to repeal the Patriot Act, the federal law adopted in 2001 strengthening the government’s authority to collect intelligence within the United States.
Vogt said he respects his Republican rival, Bongino, but added, “I live in the district. I know what it means to fight for you, because I did. Dan can’t say either of those things.”
Bongino is a former U.S. Secret Service agent. Vogt said he would support a Bongino candidacy where he lives, in District 4.
Vogt said he is focused on defeating Delaney, whose support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) of California and Obama’s heath-care reform plan showed he was out of touch with voters.
Vogt has scored an endorsement from Bud Otis, former chief of staff to Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R), who held the District 6 seat for 20 years before losing to Delaney in 2012.
Vogt brings fresh ideas to the table, and is a principled person who will stand up for what he believes in, said Otis, who plans to serve as a consultant to the campaign. “It’s time for a new generation of leaders to be involved,” he said.
Vogt said he is challenging his competitors to spend no more than $500,000 in the campaign.
“Before we can, as representatives or Congressmen, stand up and claim to be able to do something about fiscal responsibility as a government, we need to demonstrate that fiscal responsibility ourselves,” Vogt said. “Otherwise, it’s an empty suit that’s talking one way and moving their hand a different way behind the door.”