BETHESDA – In between his law classes at American University, state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) introduced himself to voters at Bethesda’s Metro station as the Democratic nominee for the eighth congressional district.
Meanwhile, Republican nominee Dan Cox, a Frederick County lawyer, spent his final hours before the election crisscrossing between Frederick, Montgomery and Carroll counties as a final push before polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Both Cox and Raskin made their last push to convince district eight voters that they are the right choice to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-8).
Raskin, who represents Takoma Park, has positioned himself as a staunch progressive.
In the Senate, Raskin co-sponsored bills on legalizing gay marriage, repealing the death penalty and the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program or the so called “rain tax,” which was repealed in 2015.
“It’s not my ambition to be in the political center, which moves around all the time; it’s my ambition to be in the moral center – to find what’s right and to bring the political center to us,” Raskin said.
Raskin took time in between his classes to greet Metro riders and people standing outside Barnes and Noble on the corner of Bethesda Avenue and Woodmont Avenue.
“Please don’t vote for any kind of tax-cut because we will never be able to raise taxes again,” Bethesda resident Adam Geldhof told Raskin.
Raskin criticized Trump’s plan to cut taxes and said the federal government needed revenue for roads, highways and the Metro.
While Raskin campaigned in Bethesda, Cox campaigned in Frederick County.
Cox said his stance to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and to reform the Veterans Administration appealed to voters this year.
In October, the Obama Administration announced an average 25 percent spike in health care premiums for 2017, coupled with increased subsidies for most people who purchase insurance through the exchanges. Cox said many of the voters he has spoken with worry about rising premiums.
“Obamacare has skyrocketed and it needs to be fixed. My opponent wants to expand Obamacare and make it single payer,” Cox said.
While district residents have consistently voted Democratic ever since Van Hollen beat incumbent Republican Connie Morella in 2002, Cox maintains the district is still within reach for him.
If elected, he said his role in Congress would be “to reach across the aisle and making things happen for my district.
“I would certainly work hard on the transportation committee if I were given that,” he added.
Unlike the Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Cox said he supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump while still maintaining he will criticize Trump when he sees fit.
Cox is against taking in refugees from war-torn Syria, supports increasing security along the southern border with Mexico and widening heavily congested Interstate 270, an issue both candidates have focused their campaigns on addressing.
Cox promised to widen I-270 to alleviate traffic and without charging a toll to do so. Cox said traffic congestion on I-270 could be quickly fixed by adding two reversible lanes.
“We can do that right now. The easement is there,” Cox said.
Like Cox, Raskin also supports widening I-270, and said he is calling for a larger “massive reinvestment in American infrastructure,” that would include highways, roads, the Metro, port authorities, cyber security and electoral grid.
“We have one of the most traffic-congested areas in the Country right here, so we absolutely need work on 270 and we need emergency work on the Metro,” Raskin said.