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Van Hollen looks to keep seat in 8th District Race

Thursday - 2/23/2012, 6:00am  ET


Rep. Chris Van Hollen says there is unfinished business in Washington and the country needs strong leadership to get back on track.

The Democrat from Kensington -- the ranking member of the House Budget Committee -- is looking to retain his seat in the 8th District.

"We have a lot of work to do to get the economy running and to ensure a bright future for future generations," Van Hollen said. "I think that I have worked hard to establish a record in support of major investments in education."

He wants to make sure the focus begins with early education and continues on so that people can afford to go to college.

A vibrant future for the country means strong investments in both education and infrastructure, Van Hollen said.

The congressman said improvements to I-270 and I-70 should be supported.

Other areas of interest specific to his district include continued funding for scientific and biomedical research, and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

Van Hollen said his leadership role on the Budget Committee is beneficial to the residents he represents.

The post gives him a broad understanding of government programs and allows him to work on bipartisan efforts, he said.

Van Hollen touted legislation he worked on with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin that provides a clear way to eliminate unnecessary spending.

"The greatest challenge is finding a way to ensure long-term growth and prosperity to make sure every American has the opportunity to realize the American dream," Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen was first elected to Congress in 2002, after serving a combined 12 years in Maryland's House of Delegates and Senate.

The reworked 8th District now includes a portion of Frederick County, something Van Hollen said he is ready to embrace.

"I look forward to getting together with elected leaders, community leaders and civic leaders to listen to their priorities," he said.

"I think if you talk to my current constituents, they recognize that I've worked hard to reflect the priorities and values of the people in our community and I look forward to talking with and meeting people in Frederick County so I can learn firsthand of their priorities."