Dem Chairman Sees Primary Contender for Altmire
“State Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn said Altmire will have his hands full in 2012.”
“‘I have not heard a name yet, but I know there is a movement in some pockets of the Democratic Party in Congressional 4 that think he’s walked away from the party,” Burn told Roll Call in an interview late last week. “I don’t agree with that. But because of that, I think he may see a primary challenge.'”
Altmire has broken party lines on health care and a number of other “top” democratic initiatives, including voting for House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. He has also championed his “15 slots to the right of center” for the second year in a row. From a District that President Obama lost by 11 points in 2008, and Altmire only won by 2 points in 2010, the chairman defended Altmire.
“‘Jason’s in a tough district. I can’t think of any other Democrat that can hold that seat. Folks might jump up and down on his vote with respect to the health care bill, but more often than not he votes with the Democrats,” Burn said. “What would they rather have — a tea party candidate in there, or a Democrat who votes a more moderate-to-conservative-Democrat style? He’s still a Democrat. They need to remember that. So, we’d like to avoid [a primary] if we can.'”