The Capital Gazette – Dutch Ruppersberger: I want to continue first-rate service to 2nd District constituents

Most employers will tell you that we seek certain qualities as well as work and life experiences when we’re interviewing a prospective employee. Personally, I tend to gravitate toward job candidates that have Maryland connections, great work ethic, integrity and senses of humor. 

But there’s one question I ask during interviews that’s more important than any other: Why do you want to go into politics?

I want people that want to help others. It’s the same, simple reason I got into politics more than 35 years ago. It’s the reason why my offices will remain open for business throughout the coronavirus crisis. Our lines are ringing off the hook with constituents who are anxious about the availability of tests, school closures and cash flow for small businesses. We are receiving near-record levels of calls and emails and we are responding to each and every one, no matter how long it takes. We are here to serve.

It’s also why I am running for re-election. I want to continue providing first-rate service to my constituents. I also believe Congress needs more members like me, who are focused on solutions over politics, now more than ever.

I believe, over the last 18 years, that I have built the best casework team in the country. My office has opened tens of thousands of cases on behalf of constituents who need us to cut through the bureaucracy.  We help seniors navigate Social Security and Medicare, veterans access their benefits and families facing foreclosure, just to name a few examples.

In my Washington office, I help my constituents every day through my work on the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for allocating more than $1 trillion of federal dollars each year. I have a proven track record of working to ensure Maryland and the Second District gets its fair share of the pie, securing hundreds of millions of dollars for job-creating infrastructure projects, local schools and police and fire departments.

I believe now, more than ever, we need pragmatic lawmakers willing to put common sense before ideology and politics. I believe you are loyal to your party at election time, but then you work together to get things done. 

My moderate record has been noted by The Washington Post, National Journal and CQ/Roll Call. In fact, I won a national award for my leadership on the House Intelligence Committee with our Republican chairman at the time – The Washington Post called our relationship a “miracle of bipartisanship.”Democrats and Republicans need to work together on behalf of our country throughout this crisis, and that includes working with the President and his Administration. This is about saving lives and livelihoods.

I have dedicated my entire time in Congress to keeping our country secure. I have traveled to dangerous places around the world – including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen – to meet directly with our troops on the frontlines to see what they need to win on the battlefield. New threats are on the horizon: cyber-attacks, nuclear weapons and hypersonics continue to keep me up at night. We need Members of Congress who are experienced in these areas.

In addition to serving 12 years on the House Intelligence Committee – including four as its Ranking Member – I am currently a defense appropriator and spend much of my time ensuring our country has the offensive and defensive capabilities we need to stay safe.

Right now, the battle is at home. We need experienced, end-game leadership if we are to prevail and that is why I humbly ask the voters of the Second District to again support me.

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is a Democrat from Baltimore County who represents the 2nd District in Congress. The district includes portions of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard and Harford counties as well as part of Baltimore City.

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