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Vermont Police Officer Challenges Welch

It's a long shot, but Republican Mark Donka of Hartford, a veteran police officer, thinks he has a chance to beat three-term Democratic incumbent U.S. Representative Peter Welch.

What made him decide to run, besides a nudge from some fellow Republicans?

The growing federal debt.

The 55-year-old Donka works in the Woodstock Police Department after serving the Hartford Police Department for 18 years. He thinks the country is headed "toward a collision course of disaster if we don't do something."

If elected, Donka says he would introduce a bill to set up a nonpartisan commission that would go through the budget line by line looking for cuts from duplication and waste. Seventy-five percent of the recommended cuts would have to be enacted.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.