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In James We Trust

Rosalind Helderman

In the last few election cycles, Republicans haven't made much headway in Maryland's 4th Congressional District, which includes part of Mongtomery and most of Prince George's.

But Peter James, 52, isn't just running as a Republican for the seat, now held by Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D) -- James is running as a Ron Paul Republican.

James said he is one of five Congressional candidates running Maryland at least in part to draw attention to the Texas representative whose presidential campaign has been something of a grassroots phenemonon. Paul advocates libertarian positions, including abolishing the federal income tax and the closure of many federal agencies. He opposes the war in Iraq.

James, a businessman from Germantown, said Paul will need allies in Congress if elected president. But even if he does not, the "Ron Paul message is stronger than the man himself."

He acknowledged running with an R after his name will be tough, but he said at least a third of those who attend local weekly Ron Paul meet-ups identify themselves as liberal Democrats concerned with the growth of the federal government.

"We're seeing disenchanted Democrats, who say whether I elect Giuliani or Hillary, I'm getting the same thing," James said. "I believe there's a very strong contingent of voters out there who have been woken up by this message. The numbers, they way I look at them, are very doable."

Among the campaign tactics James promised to bring attention to his cause: street theater. He's also pushing a local currency of his own creation called Just Money that he believes solves deep seated problems with the U.S. monetary system. So far, it's accepted by 11 Germantown-area businesses.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 11, 2007; 6:26 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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