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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Nevada congressman moonlights as UPS deliveryman to stay in touch with his constituents

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Rep. Steven Horsford has traded his suit and tie for a brown, short-sleeve UPS uniform — not because he's quitting Congress, but because it's a way to make closer contact with his constituents.

The Nevada Democrat went "undercover" Friday morning to help a UPS driver deliver packages to offices in his Las Vegas-area district.

Horsford made the rounds with driver Mark Sidman, operating the hand-held electronic device that tracks parcels along the delivery route.

"I'm Congressman Horsford. I'm here to deliver your package," he said to one recipient.

Horsford told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/1dlSdAT ) he wanted to gain a from-the-ground perspective of the working man and woman in his district.

"Sometimes in Washington you get a little disconnected," he said. "I want to make sure I know what people are actually doing each day. It's hard work!"

Horsford, who is up for re-election to a second term this year, joined other drivers in stretching exercises — a daily routine — at a major UPS processing hub before making the rounds.

He appeared to enjoy himself on the route, introducing himself and making small talk with customers.

He also used the opportunity to make a pitch for an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. UPS pays its drivers an average of $32.50 an hour, he said, a salary that maintains a loyal workforce and a healthy bottom line for the company. Even the company's entry-level loaders make $11 to $12 per hour, he said.

"UPS stands as an example of a company that's already doing great things," he said, adding that his first job was cleaning out kennels at night and he also worked at Pizza Hut.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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