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John Andrew Harris said he believes it's time for a change. That's why he announced his candidacy Thursday on the steps of the Lee County Courthouse to represent Alabama's 3rd Congressional District.

"It's time to change a "no' voice in Washington to a "yes' voice in Washington," the Lee County Commissioner from District 5 told a gathering of friends and supporters. "Citizens in every county deserve a strong, positive voice in Washington."

Harris' declaration to run for Congress was made known in January when he qualified as the Democratic challenger to incumbent Mike Rogers, R-Anniston.

Rogers is a former county commissioner from Calhoun County and chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security. He has served in Congress since 2003.

"I welcome my opponent to this race, and look forward to a constructive campaign in the issues that matter to the people of the 3rd District," Rogers said in a statement to the Opelika-Auburn News.

Harris told onlookers that he plans to "balance the budget and control spending, but not on the backs of the working poor or middle class."

He spoke of a renewed America, "one that protects for the old and young, and puts every able-bodied person to work who wants to work … we need jobs, number one."

The commissioner said he supports President Barack Obama's health care plan.

"Any time you've got 50 million Americans who don't have health care, that's a concern to me," Harris said. "If you don't deal with the problem now, you'll have a devastating problem in the long run."

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