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A train conductor and candidate for Congress who suggested to his passengers they might want to vote against Sen. John Kerry for president has been suspended without pay.

According to the Associated Press, conductor Leslie Farr, 26, who is a Republican congressional candidate, was on a Kansas City-to-St. Louis Amtrak train that was delayed Thursday while waiting for Kerry’s locomotive to leave St. Louis and head to a Jefferson City, Mo., rally.

Farr told AP today he used the train’s public address system to tell the passengers why they were being delayed and that they should vote accordingly in the November presidential election.

“These people’s lives were seriously affected by this, so I tried to diffuse the situation,” Farr told the news service, adding, “I was wrong for making a political comment.”

Amtrak is investigating the conductor’s remark, claiming he violated company policy by making “inappropriate and denigrating announcements” to customers that “caused embarrassment to the corporation and the loss of good will of our passengers.”

Farr is challenging Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., in the 1st Congressional District of Missouri and is a delegate to the Republican National Convention, AP reported.

According to Amtrak records, the train was delayed 84 minutes due to Kerry.

“It’s gotten me very, very upset,” Farr told AP. “I feel like I’m being unjustly picked on” by being suspended without pay.

The report states the Amtrak complaint also accuses Farr of not wearing his nametag and refusing to identify himself to passengers.


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