Former Congressman Mark Critz is eying a return in PA-12 and will decide on whether to challenge incumbent Rep. Keith Rothfus in the coming weeks. According to a source from The Hill, Critz is “leaning strongly” toward another House run.
Critz, who represented a Southwest district that included Johnstown and some Pittsburgh suburbs, lost to the Republican challenger Rothfus in 2012 by only 4 points, despite Mitt Romney claiming his district by 15 points.
“I think you’ll see an announcement from him sooner rather than later. He’s definitely going to run for something, and I think he’d prefer quite frankly to run for the House,” the Hill’s source said. Critz has also expressed interest in running for Lt. Gov. in recent months.
LG isn’t out of the conversation yet, though. Another Democratic source told PoliticsPA that Critz hasn’t made the final decision, but will soon.
Earlier this week, Critz’s longtime campaign manager Mike Mikus took a new job working for Katie McGinty for Governor.
It is anticipated that that if Critz chooses Congress, he would make an announcement next month in order to kick off his campaign during the new fundraising quarter.
Republicans were less enthused about Critz’s potential candidacy. Ian Prior from the National Republican Congressional Committee questioned Crtiz’s motives for trying to unseat Rothfus.
“It didn’t take long for Mark Critz to get sick of Western Pennsylvania and start longing for the Washington D.C. good life. National Democrats are counting on Critz to get back to Washington to help them put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair and double down on President Obama’s misguided, job-killing agenda,” Prior said.