Claiming to have 20 years of experience in the private sector and to have created over 1,000 new jobs for the Eighth Congressional District, the leading Republican candidate for the seat of Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. told a small gathering of the Harvard Republican Club last night that "something new was going to happen in this district."
First-time candidate Clark Abt stressed that he was "a populist Republican who could not be typecast" as he spoke to about 20 members of the organization.
"You're not my type of people," Abt said to the students, noting that his targetted constituency consists of two types of voters. As the representative for the middle class, Abt said that he is concerned primarily with the small businessman and the older professionals who earn between $20,000 and $40,000 a year.
Adopting the Republican platform forwarded by President Reagan, Abt said that he would try to cut back on taxes, eliminate government waste, strengthen the national defense and stop crime.
Mentioning that he had fled Nazi Germany to this country 50 years ago, Abt said "this country saved my life and I would like to repay that debt."
Abt said that he realizes that he will have quite a battle with the Democratic primary winner because only one in six voters in the eighth district are Republicans. He also said he would not personally attack front runner Joseph P. Kennedy II.
"Joe Kennedy is constantly being set up by the press, but I'm not going to knock him down. I would rather discuss the issues in this campaign," Abt said.
He said that factional divisions among the Democratic party would work to his advantage.
Abt said that based on studies done by his advisors, "the winning democratic candidate will probably receive less than 10 percent of the vote [in the primaries]."
To get to the general election Abt will have to beat out GOP candidates Dr. Mildred F. Jefferson and Markham Lyons.
Directly preceeding Abt's speech, the Republican Club chose Iowa Republican Congressional candidate Fred L. Grandy '70, formerly "Gopher" on "Love Boat," as their man of the year.
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