Critz Officially Launches Lt. Gov. Bid

Mark Critz portrait 2

Mark Critz

Just nine months after leaving Congressional office, former 12th-district Democratic Rep. Mark Critz has filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State to officially begin his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor.

Critz, who said he was running because of the lack of job creation and education funding under Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration, announced his candidacy in a press release distributed by Nora Alden this morning.

Alden, a former Onorato for Governor finance staffer, is also an alumna of Critz’s alma mater — Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a school under the umbrella of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

The release criticized Corbett’s cuts to education, which were the target of remarks by President Barack Obama on his recent visit to Scranton. In the 2011-2012 budget, Corbett proposed reducing funding for state-run and state-related colleges, among them IUP and the rest of the PASSHE schools, by 50%.

Critz said in the release that the failure to create jobs and attempts to cut education under Corbett have forced local school districts to layoff teachers, cut back on programs and increase class sizes and taxes.

“I am running for Lieutenant Governor because I can no longer sit back and watch Tom Corbett and his allies continue to enact policies that have stifled job growth and cut $1 billion from our public schools,” Critz said. “We need leaders in Harrisburg who are committed to creating good paying jobs that grow the middle class and will fight to fully fund our schools so that every child has the skills they need to succeed.”

In 2010, Critz won a special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. John Murtha. In November of that year, Critz also won the general election despite immense spending on the opposition’s side. Critz lost reelection in 2012, however, to Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus by just under 12,000 votes.

Critz believes his history of beating what he calls the “Republican machine” will assist him in defeating the Republican opposition for the state house in 2014.

“I have been very fortunate to have a great group of friends and supporters who have helped me build a strong base throughout the western Pennsylvania counties where Democrats have underperformed in recent elections. I know how to run and win in tough elections and I want to bring that experience and my solid base of support to the Democratic ticket so that we can win in the fall,” he said.

The official announcement comes just under a month after Critz announced his intent to run on a radio show.

This will be Crtiz’s first attempt at running for statewide office, and he will face a wide field of Democratic opponent’s in May’s primary. Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith and Harrisburg city official Brenda Alton have all announced their candidacy.

13 thoughts on “Critz Officially Launches Lt. Gov. Bid

  1. Centre Hall Dem-

    This election is not about “a liberal, pro-choice, eastern Democrat” vs Corbett

    It’s about “an incompetent, corrupt, failure of a Governor who has sold out education and Pennsylvania’s future to private interests” vs any decent human being who wins the Dem primary.

    Corbett’s term has been an unmitigated disaster and he’s still got another year of disastrous policies to assail us with.

    What new ways will he find to damage our infrastructure, our environment, our school systems, our health, our voting rights, our jobs and our economy?

  2. I think Critz is a phenomenal candidate for Lt. Gov. He has survived extremely difficult elections, over and over. He brings moderates and Labor to the table. He’s worked both as a Congressman and a Congressman’s staffer. This guy is seasoned, well versed on the needs of our diverse state today, I’m excited about Critz on the ticket.

  3. I appreciate your thoughts but I strongly disagree about those who vote. Those of us who frequent these sites, take a very measured view on candidates. The general public dies not, they either don’t have time or the energy to do so. They will vote for who they know and who they like. Yes the top of the tickets matters more than all. But in a tight fight it all counts, every single vote. I am fearful we all think Corbett is so bad he loses easily, well that’s not true. There will be lots of money and as you’ve rightly suggested lots of folks who won’t change no matter what. The point is there are parts of the sate where the line between R and D is blurred. The R’s are in shambles because they ignore those who are in the tent but not hard right. D’s will make the same error if they put up a ticket that ignores Bob Casey Sr democrats. Balance on a ticket isn’t just geography it’s philosophy. If we thumb are nose at them these middle of the road D’s become R’s.

  4. Let me preface this by saying I am a Mark Smith supporter. There is not a significant size group of farmers, miners, steel workers who will vote for a liberal, pro-choice, eastern Democrat over Corbett because Mark Critz is on the ticket. I imagine the only bounce would be in the home county, which cannot be discounted either. This race is decided on who the Gubernatorial nominee is. I think it is important to look at the issues and stances in this race, not a hypothetical bounce from coal miners. For how great CBK was, how many votes did she really bring Rendell? And may I say from what I’ve read, Congressman Critz seems like a decent man who was very representative of his district, which doesn’t always translate to the whole state. That’s why you’ll never see John Peterson, GT Thompson types become Governor or Senator.

  5. Math is simple……lets say Rob is the guy for gov or Schwartz for that matter…name one vote the failed councilman from the bankrupt city brings to the ticket it does not already have? Ok now lets look at Critz. There are farmers in Somerset who are D’s and have voted for him before while never voting for the kind of folks on top of ticket. Steel workers in Allegheny and Beaver who know and trust him. There are coal miners in Greene and Fayette who still post their stop the war on coal anti Obama signs, many of them will vote for Critz. In his home county, Cambria they voted for him at a 90% clip. This is about beating Corbett and Critz brings credibility to the table for Democrats a bit more conservative. As for pro Critz crowd anger it was you city council backers who decided Critz is Corbett and I think we all agree that is the bigger insult. Unless Wagner or someone like him enters this race Critz is the best choice to help beat Corbett.

  6. I am running for Lieutenant Governor because I can no longer sit back and watch Tom Corbett and his allies continue to enact policies that have stifled job growth and cut $1 billion from our public schools,” Critz said.

    He may have my vote….maybe…

  7. A Lt Governor’s policy views are absolutely important. Look at Schweiker’s time as governor. One word of advice to the pro-Critz crowd, direct your anger towards Corbett and not your primary opponents, its unbecoming.

  8. Hmmmm sounds like radio gaga thinks lt gov sets policy agenda…..Critz was endorsed by President Clinton and every major union as a Congressman can’t imagine they now want a failed councilman from a bankrupt city instead

  9. Other than muddling the pro-choice, pro-gun control progressive message of a McCord or Schwartz, how does Critz help? He will turn off progressives, especially women. There is not one gun owner or pro-lifer that is going to walk up and kiss Schwartz or McCord because of Mark Critz presence on the ticket. Smith, Neuman (?), Koplinski and Alton are all better than Critz because their views will mostly line up with the nominee, not be the opposite. That being said, conservatives will be out supporting Corbett, liberals need constant prodding and a reason to vote. Mark Critz excited the Pennsylvania Democratic voter of 1964, not 2014.

  10. Only lt gov candidate in the field that can actually help beat Corbett….Jack Wagner would be bigger but can’t see him running. Kaputski can’t seriously think Philly will vote for a bankruptcy specialist or that Pittsburgh union members suddenly walk from Critz , Alton will beat Kablowski in Harrisburg , Smith ..I don’t get it. Critz vs Wagner might actually make D lt gov primary interesting

  11. Last anyone checked Harrisburg is about to come out of their financial mess. Mark Critz won’t bring anything to the table, most of the pro-NRA, Pro-Lifers from Western PA will vote for Corbett and not the likely liberal Democratic candidate with or without Critz and his “conservative” credentials. It is a really poor point.

  12. Finally Mark!

    Very happy to see someone with experience on the ballot.

    If we send a sitting municipal official from the most distressed city in the country that won’t help in the fall.

  13. The best candidate for lt gov is Jack Wagner. Run him with McCord and Tom can move full time to that vacation home he recently bought.

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