I’m Brian Walsh, the Political Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. I want to start by thanking you for reading the first of our new “Race of the Day” posts. It’s my hope that these articles will be a resource for you and you’ll check back daily for my updates on House candidates and elections happening across the country.
I want to kick this series off by telling you about the very next election on the political calendar – the special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District to fill the seat formerly held by the late Representative John Murtha. Here, we have Republican businessman Tim Burns running against Democrat and veteran Washington-insider Mark Critz.
Burns is a Johnstown, PA native with a track record of success in the district. After graduating from college, Tim started his own pharmacy technology company in his basement and over the years grew it to where he provided 400 jobs for the community. His ability to create jobs and knowledge of healthcare issues make him uniquely qualified to serve in Congress during these troubled times. This experience, coupled with his deep commitment to the conservative values he shares with the people of the district, demonstrates that Tim is a great candidate and we must work together to send him to Washington.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrat Mark Critz has just one core set of experiences – those of a government bureaucrat. Over the past decade, while Critz served as economic development and district director for the office of Congressman Murtha, unemployment doubled in nearly every county in PA-12. Furthermore, Critz is a candidate who claims to be against legislation like Cap & Trade – which will be disastrous for Western Pennsylvanians – yet he campaigns and raises money with the anti-coal likes of Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen. How can his potential constituents in Pennsylvania hope to trust someone with those kinds of double standards?
Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen Critz apologize to Tim Burns for mis-stating his record on taxes and continue his attempts to play both sides of the issue on health care reform. While he’s stated that he wouldn’t have voted with Speaker Pelosi and that he opposes federal mandates – Critz refuses to work towards repeal of this legislation.
We’ve seen a great deal of polling information since this race began, some that has had both the Republicans and Democrats in the lead. But one thing is clear – Republicans are close in this traditionally Democrat-dominated district, and Nancy Pelosi and her liberal allies are running scared. Even with Democrats possessing a nearly 2-1 advantage among registered voters, no one is denying that this race is heating up, and even political handicappers Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook have moved this race to pure toss-up. Tim’s message of fiscal conservatism and family values is one that’s resonating, and his push for the repeal of Healthcare Reform and the halting of the Obama/Pelosi agenda is one we can all agree on.
This special election comes at a vital time for our country. Democrats have rammed through legislation over the past 16 months that has placed the United States on a road to more bureaucracy and higher taxes – with no end in sight. On May 18th, Americans have a chance to send Washington Democrats a clear message by cutting into Nancy Pelosi’s vote count in the House of Representatives.
I hope you’ll take the time to visit Tim’s Web site and learn more about our great candidate and this important race – and don’t forget to check back daily for our future Race of the Day updates.