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Two Democrats are vying for opportunity to face Akin in 2nd Congressional District


Two Democrats are seeking their party's nod in the Tuesday, Aug. 3, primary, for the 2nd Congressional District, hoping for a chance to unseat incumbent U. S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-St. Louis.

John Hogan, who ran unsuccessfully against Akin two years ago, and George D. Weber, who served as a state representative in 1965 and 1966, are vying for the Democratic nod to the 2nd Congressional District seat. The winner will face Akin and Libertarian Darla Maloney of St. Charles in the November election.

Hogan, a St. Charles resident, did not complete a Call questionnaire, but instead mailed a "candidate profile'' to the newspaper that, in part, stated: "I am a candidate for Congress because I do not see any leadership in Washington, D.C. I see a host of opportunities for decisive leadership, but no one seems willing to step forward and say what the United States should do or what our position ought to be on a host of subjects.

"I also believe that this next session of Congress will participate in a number of decisions that will be a watershed for the rest of this century, several Supreme Court justices will be replaced and a new chairman for the Federal Reserve Board will be named. However, the two issues that are foremost on my mind are Iraq and space ...''

Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, Weber said, "Representation of St. Louis County portion of district — life of service to area ...''

Weber, 79, Eureka, is a retired farmer and broker. A widower, he has six grown children.

Other issues identified by Weber include "relations with China — hope to obtain a Chinese consulate for district (and) continued highway improvement.''

In response to a Call questionnaire, Weber gave the following responses:

What is your position on abortion?

Weber said, "I back Archbishop Burke's action.''

What is your position on the death penalty?

Weber said, "I am a retired corrections officer. Feel it is a protection for COs, but it is used so little it is not effective.''

How do you propose to solve the problems facing Social Security? Do you favor privatizing Social Security?

Weber said, "Perhaps delay age to begin payment.''

Are tougher gun control laws needed? If so, what do you propose? If not, why?

Weber said, "I think we have adequate state laws.''

What do you propose to solve funding problems facing public education? What are your thoughts about school vouchers?

Weber said, "I would favor vouchers, but don't think we have means to fund.''

What are your thoughts about recent homeland security measures? Is enough being done?

Weber said, "I believe the program is a farce and much tax money is wasted.''

What do you propose to ease the tax burden on working families?

Weber said, "Cut some government programs to lower need for taxes.''

What measures, if any, will you propose to encourage economic development in this area?

Weber said, "One measure would be to expand highway welcome centers to guide travelers to our various businesses.''

Are you concerned that efforts to increase homeland security could infringe on our constitutional rights?

Weber said, "Yes I am. See above.''

What do you propose to increase access to quality, affordable health care and to help reduce the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly? How would you fund any proposals you have?

Weber said, "I think we should encourage a more healthy living style. This would reduce the need for expensive health care.''

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