ROCKVILLE – Congressional candidate Amie Hoeber (R) said she is redirecting her campaign to focus on transportation, although she said she is not an expert on the subject.
Running for the sixth congressional district, the former Reagan-era defense official said Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who endorsed her last week, also said voters value transportation.
Hogan said he believes Hoeber has a chance of winning the election as a Republican despite the Democratic tilt of the district that led to former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s (R) defeat in 2012 by newcomer John Delaney (D), who won re-election in 2014.
“A lot of people wrote me off when I was running and said that we didn’t have a chance and I proved them wrong,” Hogan said in a statement distributed by Hoeber’s campaign. “And I think she has the ability to do the exact same thing.”
A few commuters at Shady Grove Station said they probably wouldn’t vote for her because of her political affiliation.
James Padilla, Gaithersburg resident, took a card Hoeber distributed when she visited Shady Grove again Tuesday. He said he accepted it because he didn’t know Hoeber’s affiliation.
Padilla said he would consider voting for a woman for Congress but not a Republican.
“I think overall the party has been too obstructive over the past eight years,” said Padilla, 50.
He said the only time he voted for a Republican was when he voted Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor when Padilla lived in California.
As Rockville resident Kenn Wolin walked from the Shady Grove Station parking lot to the entrance, he asked Hoeber who she was because he had only heard of her.
When she said she was running for Rep. John Delaney (D-6)’s post, the attorney replied, “You’ve got my vote!”
Hoeber shared a few possible transportation projects she would support in Congress if elected.
She said she is creating a large plan to improve transportation in her district.
Her plan could include extending Metro or expanding interstate highways between Washington, D.C. and parts of her district.
“There are road transportation issues and there are Metro transportation issues,” Hoeber said.
Hoeber said she thinks state and federal leaders should consider building another Metro line but she said she did not know for sure if it would be the best solution to traffic backups.
“We also need to think about whether Metro in the long run should be expanded toward Frederick,” Hoeber said, though she acknowledged bringing rail out to Frederick would take a long time to build.
Hoeber considered building better roads “the easiest way and the fastest way” to connect Frederick and Washington, D.C.
She said she wants to reduce bottlenecking on the American Legion Memorial Bridge, another name for the Interstate 495 Bridge which crosses from the Maryland-Virginia border from Montgomery County over the Potomac River.
She said recent public concern about Metro safety should be considered along with the possible traffic alleviation a new Metro line could provide.
Hoeber said she also wants to examine congestion on Interstate 81, which cuts through Washington County and serves people traveling to the Hagerstown regional airport.
“It’s hampering individuals in Washington County,” Hoeber said
She said she supports the construction of the Purple Line, a proposed public-private partnership to connect Metro stations in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties by a publicly funded, privately operated rail line.
“(The Purple Line) isn’t there yet; I know they are working on it,” Hoeber said. “I would say Hogan has made (the) right choices so far.”
The Maryland Transit Administration’s contractor the Purple Line Transit Partners prepared to construct the Purple Line before a federal judge put it on hold until state officials re-estimated projected ridership.
Richard Leon, a District of Columbia District Court judge, said with the declining Metro ridership due to falling customer satisfaction and the increasing frequency of delays, ridership estimates based on 2009 ridership reports would be out of date.
Hoeber said she stopped by the Shady Grove Metro station to work on her outreach to non-Republicans voters, who make up a majority of the district.
“That’s why I’m out here meeting people so I can meet anyone who votes; Democrat (or) independent,” Hoeber said “I think anyone, no matter whether you’re a registered Republican or a registered Democrat or an Independent, you care about good governance. And so I want to explain to people my views of governance.”