WASHINGTON — Less than a week after he officially got in, former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel has dropped out of the race for U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha’s seat.
Mr. Singel cited a need for the Democratic Party to unify as a reason for departing, leaving Mr. Murtha’s former district director, Mark Critz, who earned the endorsement of Mr. Murtha’s widow, Joyce, today as the clear favorite.
“I am saying that the field of Democrats is too large and that we need to focus on a candidate right now so that he or she can begin to unite all factions — even before being blessed by state leaders,” Mr. Singel said in a statement issued this evening.
Mr. Singel is the second Democratic candidate to announce his withdrawal today, following Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Ceraso.
“It would be an honor to represent the people of the 12th District in Congress,” Mr. Singel said. “But it is more important to me to know that we send somebody to Washington with our hopes and aspirations and with our united support.”
Democratic leaders from the 12th District will meet March 6 to select a candidate to submit to the state committee to be the Democrat on the ballot in the May 18 special election.