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17TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT Womer Benjamin, guest stop in Valley



Published: Wed, August 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The visiting congressman said Benjamin could expect a committee assignment within a week of election day.

By SHERRI L. SHAULIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

NILES -- Congressional candidate Ann Womer Benjamin brought a visitor with her during a campaign stop.

Roy Blunt, who represents southwestern Missouri and serves as chief deputy majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, joined the state representative Tuesday at the McKinley Memorial.

Blunt backs Womer Benjamin in her November bid to fill the seat for the redrawn 17th Congressional District.

The current 17th District has no representation since the felony conviction and expulsion from Congress of James A. Traficant Jr.

During Tuesday's 45-minute press conference, the two touted Womer Benjamin's qualifications for the position and touched on her goals.

Womer Benjamin, an Aurora Republican who represents Portage County in the Ohio House, said she plans to continue getting to know people throughout the district and determining the needs of the Valley and the district as a whole.

She also stressed using the resources of the area -- including transportation and people -- to revitalize the area and bring in new business.

"We have an opportunity to put this Valley back on the map in Washington, D.C.," she said.

Looking ahead

Blunt, who said he is excited about Womer Benjamin's candidacy, said the Republican party looks forward to seeing Womer Benjamin join their ranks in the capital because of her legislating experience.

He referred to her last term in the statehouse, saying she had more legislation passed than any other member.

He also said Womer Benjamin could possibly get a little more attention than normal, pointing out she would occupy the seat in a new district and be a member of the majority party.

Saying he and Womer Benjamin "want to work together," Blunt said they would work to "advance an agenda that's good for America, good for northeast Ohio and good for the 17th Congressional District."

That agenda, he said, includes convincing businesses and industries the Mahoning Valley is a place where people want to live and work and highlighting the work force available.

Blunt also said Womer Benjamin could expect committee assignments that would be pertinent to this district "within a week of Election Day."

slshaulis@vindy.com




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