Howard Swint, candidate for Congress, visited Shepherdstown Tuesday afternoon to meet with residents at the Canterbury Center and discuss issues like Medicare and Social Security.
Swint will compete as the Democratic candidate against incumbent Republican Shelley Moore Capito in the second district race for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in the November 6 general election.
During the event Tuesday, Canterbury Center resident, Florence Binderman asked Swint to explain his stance on universal health care.
If I get sick and go to the hospital, now what? she asked.
I want to expand Medicare to help you before you even get to the hospital, Swint said.
Swint explained that part of his platform is reforming Medicare to cover the millions of currently uninsured Americans in the U.S.
He said he thinks that access to preventative care is key to keeping down health care costs overall.
Preventive care and managed care are a great investment, he said.
In a discussion following the meet-and-greet, Swint talked about the progress his campaign is making.
Though Swint acknowledges the challenge of facing long-serving Congresswomen Capito, he said hes optimistic.
Im getting a head start, he said of his week-long campaigning in the Eastern Panhandle. Im planning on reaching everyone in the district.
West Virginias second Congressional district includes both Charleston and the Eastern Panhandle, was well as the Potomac Highlands area in between.
Paul Pritchard, a volunteer for the Swint campaign and former Shepherdstown resident, said hes been working to increase Swints name recognition in the region.
Pritchard said that he has supported Swint for years because he believes real change is crucial in West Virginia politics and that Swint is the man to enact it.
Its a tough race, but we think hes got a good shot at it, Pritchard said.
Swint, who owns a residential real state business with his wife in Charleston, said he decided to become active in politics in 1996 after spending 20 years writing opinion editorial pieces on policy in various newspapers around West Virginia.
I decided I could really make a change if I got politically active, he said.
Swint won his first primary on May 8 and has been spreading his message of change ever since.
On Tuesday, Swint discussed the type of change hed like to see in the state and federal economies
Swint advocated for an initative he calls S.T.E.M, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
He said the measure would offer interest-free student loans to students who study in these fields.
This goes to the heart of our economy, he said.
Swint said that one issue specific to the Eastern Panhandle that concerns him, is water quality in the Potomac.
Hes in favor of establishing a caucus for Potomac River states to further discuss solutions to river pollution.
Swint said that as he continues to campaign around the Eastern Panhandle hes asking everyone he meets to reach out to 100 more people on his behalf between now and November.
After the stop at the Canterbury Center, Swint appeared on Shepherd University radio Wednesday morning and spoke at the Camp Hill United Methodist Church in Harpers Ferry Thursday evening.
More information about Swints platform can be found by visiting SWINTFORCONGRESS.US or by calling 304-345-0122.