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Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky used to follow politicians, notebook in hand, camera crew at her side, looking for the big scoop. But on February 27, the former NBC reporter switched to the other side of the camera to become a story herself, declaring her intent to run for Congress from Montgomery County. "I just figured it was about time I get out of the stands and on to the playing field," the 1963 University graduate said in an interview this week. "As we are in it this far I'm really glad I've done it [run for the seat]," she added. But, "it's frankly much easier to be asking the questions." A Democrat, Mezvinsky is gearing up for a tight race in the traditionally Republican 13th district. She is running for the Congressional seat, vacated by longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Lawrence Coughlin, against County Commissioner Jon Fox. Response from the voters she has come into contact with, even Republicans, has been "marvelous," Mezvinsky said. She is confident that she has a "good shot" at taking the seat in November. But the district's composition does increase the challenge of swaying voters. "It takes that extra push . . . to convince Republicans to vote for a Democrat," said Anessa Karney, a 1991 College graduate and the campaign's field director. But, "people are saying 'I believe in Marjorie. I want her to represent me.' " In an election year marked by calls for change and by rhetoric announcing that 1992 is "the year of the woman," Mezvinsky says she is the candidate the voters are looking for. "It's time that those of us that feel passionately about making change do something about it," she said, smiling like the campaign poster that hangs behind her desk. "It's a wonderful time for change." And change is what Mezvinsky says she hopes to provide should she become one of the potentially 150 new members of Congress. "I don't think anyone knows what kind of change we want but we know we want change," she said. "We go from spot to spot to spot on the weekends with our kids and everyone's saying the same thing." Mezvinsky said that although women are underrepresented in government, voters should not choose a candidate based on gender. "I think it's silly to vote for a person [just] because she is a woman," she said, adding that voters should choose qualified candidates. Mezvinsky, the author of three books, and her husband, former Rep. Edward Mezvinsky, have a combined family of 11 children, and have opened their home to a total of 25 children over the years. She supports the Congressional Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify the right to obtain an abortion. She has been endorsed by EMILY's List, a political action committee which funds female candidates. But Mezvinsky's campaign has centered mostly on jobs, health care and the economy. She has outlined three "essential steps towards rebuilding" the economy: restructuring the tax code, improving education and job training, and demanding fair trade. "I've pretty much lived the issues," she said. "I know that family issues are going to be on my front burner all of the time."

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