Andrew J. Duck
|Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland's 6th congressional district|
|Born||October 31, 1962|
|Alma mater||University of Oklahoma, Texas State University|
|Occupation||Stockbroker, Intelligence Analyst|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1982-2004|
|Battles/wars||Bosnian War, Operation Iraqi Freedom|
Andrew J. Duck is a former Democratic candidate for the United States House of Representatives for Maryland's 6th congressional district in the 2010 general election. He was a candidate for the same seat in 2006 and 2008, winning the Democratic nomination in 2006 but losing in the 2008 Democratic primary to Jennifer Dougherty. On June 1, 2009 he announced his intention to run for the seat again in 2010. Duck defeated Casey Clark in the Democratic primary but lost the general election to incumbent Roscoe Bartlett.
Duck is the 15th of 17 children. He is a graduate of Middletown High School in Middletown, Maryland, in 1979 and earned a bachelor's degree in Public Administration from Southwest Texas State University. He married Whitney Duck in 1981, and the couple has three children.
Duck became a member of the U.S. Army, beginning as a private first class, working as a company clerk. He worked his way up to administrative non-commissioned officer, was trained as a Korean linguist, and was commissioned as a Military Intelligence officer.
Duck's military assignments include commander of D Company in the 103rd Military Intelligence Battalion, leading the Joint STARS Platoon and working with the 103rd Military Intelligence Battalion in Bosnia. He was also an intelligence liaison officer to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq, and an intelligence staff officer with the Coalition Forces Land Component Command in Kuwait.
Duck was a staff member on the 1980 Carter/Mondale Presidential Committee. Most recently, he has become a member of Citizens for Responsible Growth in New Market, Maryland and co-founder of Frederick for Kerry in 2004, which promoted the presidential campaign of John Kerry in Frederick, Maryland.
In his 2006 campaign against long-serving Republican Representative Roscoe Bartlett, Duck was widely perceived as a longshot. He enjoyed some partisan support as evidenced by the endorsements by several statewide and regional Democrats, including Senator Barbara Mikulski, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and two former mayors of Frederick, Ron Young and Jennifer Dougherty. He also received support from several organized labor groups, including the Maryland-D.C. AFL-CIO, the Maryland State Teacher's Association and the National Education Association.
Duck claimed to support "restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington" by eliminating "the culture of corruption and fraud, (reexamining) current spending to match current priorities, and (rolling) back the tax cut for the top two percent of Americans". His infrastructure platform called for ensuring that Maryland can "support water, sewer, transportation and education" while preserving "open spaces... rural heritage (and) affordable housing". On education, he supports increased funding and claims that the No Child Left Behind Act has been a failure due to underfunding and a lack of flexibility. He was an advocate of gun ownership restrictions and sought to reduce gun violence by closing the gun show loophole, providing universal health care, including mental health care, and promoting the registration of weapons and a law enforcement focus on violent criminals and anti-gang initiatives. He supported energy independence, believing it can be achieved in 10 years; his proposals included "re-engineering federal buildings to reduce government energy consumption", raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, increasing funding for mass transit, requiring disclosure of home energy costs and offering tax "incentives for energy conservation and (the) use of mass transit." He opposed partially privatizing Social Security. He also advocated federal legislation to change bankruptcy protection so that individuals' retirement is "safe and secure". He supported universal health care and environmental protection, which he claimed was rolled back by the George W. Bush Administration. Specifically, on the environment, he supported the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; he believed that the Healthy Forests Initiative and the Clear Skies Act have a negative impact on the environment. Though his website does not cover the issue, Duck has been described as opposed to gay marriage yet in favor of civil unions. His website also does not cover immigration, but he said he was opposed to securing the border and supported greater enforcement immigration-related employment law.
Duck's website did not cover his position on abortion. However, he has been described as opposed to both "abortion-on-demand" and an outright ban on abortion; he has called himself "pro-life" and supports the current legal status quo on abortion. He claimed that a "true pro-life position is to advocate for universal access to health care", a living wage and affordable childcare. He credited his pro-life position to his current wife's pregnancy with their first child; labor began four months early, and Duck and his wife were repeatedly told that there was little chance of the child surviving. They decided to go forward with the delivery, despite the risk to his wife's health; the baby was born small enough to fit in one hand, but survived and is now a healthy adult.
As a veteran of the Iraq War, he claimed to be proud of his service in that country and felt that the war effort has been bungled. He believed that American forces "continue to do an outstanding job" in physical battles. However, he claimed, their efforts will be in vain if new enemies replace old ones due to Iraqi opposition to and dissatisfaction with the American occupation. He referred to this struggle as a "Battle of Ideas". His personal "roadmap to victory" in Iraq included providing adequate resources for the troops in that country, both in the number of soldiers and their equipment, training Iraqi forces, and recruiting additional allies from Europe. He was opposed to a timetable for exit from Iraq. Duck believed the United States can win the "Battle of Ideas" in Iraq by internationalizing the war effort with increasing support from European allies, investigating and prosecuting all guilty parties in detainee abuse incidents such as at Abu Ghraib, evaluating actions "to determine the impact on insurgent recruiting," and closing Guantanamo Bay and prosecuting any terrorists held there in federal courts, and holding wartime combatants in the countries they fought. His long-term goals in the Muslim world included promoting "public engagement" between American and Muslim leaders, democracy "in whatever form is acceptable to (Muslims)," Fair Trade and economic development, and literacy "throughout the Middle East." He also considered his plan for energy independence within 10 years to be a part of his Middle East strategy. Duck pointed to one event as a major reason for his criticism of the Bush administration's war strategy, the canceling of elections in an-Najaf on orders from the administration, because, he noted, "they didn't want to accept the results of the election".
Duck's campaign focused on his military service, especially after he began working with the Band of Brothers, an organization of veterans and Democratic candidates. He used military metaphors to enforce this image, which he counts as a "key weapon" in his campaign against Bartlett. Independent observers claimed that his military experience would help in the election by countering the argument that Democrats are "soft on terrorism"; however, this was not a large enough aid in the election. Bartlett won his 2004 re-election campaign, which was also against a veteran, with 68% of the vote. However, Duck hoped that he would win the votes of Republicans and independents unhappy with the Bush Administration's deficient war spending and that this would be enough to bring him victory in the election. He pointed to conservative dissatisfaction with Republican leadership, which has created "the biggest government we've ever had, the most intrusive government we've ever had and the most fiscally irresponsible government that we've ever had".
Duck and Bartlett held very similar views on many topics, including their support of energy independence and opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Duck, however, criticized his opponent on at least one specific issue, a vote "against providing sufficient funds for veterans' medical care".
Duck's campaign funding totaled a little bit over $100,000, of which more than $75,000 dollars has come from individuals, $15,000 from PACs and under $10,000 from the candidate's own funds. His PAC funding, according to The Washington Post, fell entirely into the "ideology/single issue section," while his individual contributions came primarily from the "Lawyers/Lobbyists" and "Other" categories. His top five contributors, each of which have donated more than $500 to his campaign, were the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Retail Services & Systems, Universal Title, Glenwillow Inc., and Global Crossing. He received most of his contributions from people in Westminster, Frederick, Potomac, Baltimore and Ijamsville. All of his contributions were from in-state sources, and the majority were from industries classified as "Lawyers/Law Firms," "Retired," "Misc. Issues," and "Real Estate". OpenSecrets.org describes Duck's biggest sources of funding as including "Industrial Unions", "Lawyers/Law Firms", "Retired", "Misc Issues", "Leadership PACs" and "Real Estate", and describes more of his funding as coming from "Labor" rather than "Ideological' sources.
Duck lost the election to Bartlett on November 7, 2006. He received 39% of the vote, while Bartlett received 59%.
Duck announced that he would challenge Congressman Bartlett again in 2008.
Duck was defeated in the Potomac Primary on February 12, 2008 by former Frederick mayor Jennifer Dougherty with 44% to Duck's 37%, the remaining votes split between three other candidates. Dougherty went on to lose in the general election to incumbent Republican Roscoe Bartlett.
Duck announced that he will again challenge Congressman Bartlett in the 2010 election. He is being challenged in the Democratic primary contest by former TV newsman Casey Clark.
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- Andrew J. Duck Official website