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Ward: Campaign is not hypocritical

by Tom Hasslinger
| April 29, 2010 9:00 PM

First Congressional District hopeful Vaughn Ward said he will continue speaking against big government spending - including bailouts - on his campaign trail.

And that campaign shouldn't be viewed as hypocritical despite reports that his wife has worked for Washington, D.C.-based Fannie Mae since 1999, he said.

"My voting isn't contingent upon my wife's job," Ward told The Press on Wednesday. "I'm going to vote for what I believe. I'm going to vote for the principles I believe in."

On Tuesday, Ward released a new U.S. House financial disclosure, detailing about $110,000 worth of family assets he hadn't included in a similar report last year. The new disclosure include his wife Kirsten's assets, such as $78,840 Fidelity 401K and stock in her employer, Fannie Mae, worth less than $1,000.

While Fannie Mae has benefited from a federal takeover and a $76 billion infusion of taxpayer money since 2008 as subprime mortgages it packaged into securities soured, Ward said the matter is water under the bridge since the issue was settled by a Congress in which he didn't have a vote.

He said he still supports privatizing Fannie Mae, allowing it to flourish or fail under free enterprise.

"I can't un-ring a bell," he said. "I can't undo what Congress already made the mistake of doing. All we can do is go forward, and what's going forward? That's not to continue bailing out banks."

Ward filed the new disclosure after mistakenly omitting his wife's assets the year before since House rules don't force Ward to disclose his wife's salary.

He said that it was a simple mistake at the time which wasn't an attempt to hide the information, since for the year-plus he has been on the campaign trail, he has discussed his wife's employer in a number of settings.

"I have supporters out there who have told me I've told them before," he said. "I've mentioned it in pubic settings before. If you pull my wife's name you'll find it ... It's public information."

The Republican hopeful, who is heading into the May 25 primary election, said his campaign shouldn't be viewed as hypocritical.

It would be the same as saying if 1st District Congressman Walt Minnick voted for the bailouts he must be supporting the Ward Campaign, Ward said, calling it a hypothetical correlation.

Kirsten supports her husband and their two children while he campaigns.

"My wife and I are a team," Ward said. "I'm fortunate to have a wife who is employed, who has a good job. She's a skilled person in the information technology field."

He said since news broke of his disclosure reports, his website and campaign have received more support than before.

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