Howard Swint, the Democratic challenger in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, stopped by the Riverbend Golf Course in Buckhannon Sunday afternoon to speak with voters regarding his campaign and the issues he thinks are a priority.
Swift touted the importance of the completion of Corridor H, and said it's in the interest of national security.
Much like the former Corridor E that is now known as Interstate 68 from Morgantown leading into Maryland, Corridor H could be made part of the interstate highway system through a concerted effort of the West Virginia delegation working with the president to have the stretch of road declared as Interstate 66.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Clise
Howard Swint, a Charleston Democrat seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat currently held by Shelley Moore Capito, makes a campaign stop in Buckhannon Sunday to discuss issues he sees as important to the area and to West Virginia in the coming years.
"It should be viewed as a national security issue," Swint said.
Swint said it is the logical and obvious route to evacuate people from the Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia areas in the event of a terror attack or other disaster.
Currently Corridor H is viewed as a pork barrel project in Washington, Swint said. But if the 2nd District had a representative presenting it as a national security issue, much like the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd did with the former Corridor E before it was promoted to interstate status, federal funds would be utilized and the project's completion could be quickened.
"It would have been a shovel-ready project," Swint said. "The (Obama) administration was looking for shovel-ready projects."
Swint has been promoting this issue for nine years through many media channels, as he see it as an extremely important issue in the post 9/11 world.
Should Corridor H become Interstate 66, it would connect West Virginia and the Washington, D.C./Strasburg, Va. area with a direct route.
"It would take great dedication from the West Virginia delegation and an ability to work with the president to make it happen," Swint said.
Swint said one of the main difference between his candidacy and that of Capito is that he is not accepting money from political interest groups, which he said will allow him to make decisions based on what is best for the residents of the 2nd District.
Another difference, he said, is his intent to expand rather decrease Medicare coverage for America's 50 million insured.
By expanding the coverage, he said preventive care services could be managed more efficiently with savings to the taxpayer. The expansion would allow people to not rely on visits to the emergency room for issues such as toothaches where they can't be properly addressed.
Swint also backs the revamping of the tax code to include a more fair and equitable process for the lower and middle classes, as well as assurance the upper-income wage earners will pay their fair share in taxes.
The candidate believes that millionaires must pay their fair share of taxes, which means going beyond the Simpson Bowles Commission's Zero Deduction plan to eliminate decades-old, special-interest exemptions.
He said the national debt could be slashed by 50 percent each year following this plan of action rather than reducing or cutting programs intended to help veterans, children, women, senior citizens and others in need.
Swint also said the nation's tax code, which numbers more than 72,000 pages, should be simplified and reduced in order to accomplish these goals.
Swint is involved in the real estate business with his wife, Sherry. They have two children, Arianna and Maddie.
More information on Swint is available by visiting www.swintforcongress.us.