NRCC Targets Cartwright for 2018

CartwrightThe National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released its list of targeted races for 2018 with only one Pennsylvania Congressman.  Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna), whose district Trump won by 10.7 points, was the only Pennsylvania Congressman on the list.  

Defense will be the NRCC’s top priority, but will look for seats it can win to expand its majority.  

“The success of our government depends on Republicans maintaining a strong majority in the House. We owe the American people assurance that the agenda we were elected on — healthcare reform, a stronger national defense, and more good-paying jobs – is fulfilled,” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said in the announcement.

Trump won PA-17 by 10.7 points according to Decision Desk. Cartwright won by 7.6 points: outperforming Clinton by double digits, but close enough to take seriously.

“We noticed that Trump won the district, I think it is more the people being desperate for economic change,” Cartwright said in an interview with PoliticsPA

Cartwright says his focus will be on improving his constituents’ lives over the next two years.  

“The people in the 17th district are my people, and they are crying for help.  I am resolved redouble my efforts to create a better direction for northeast Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley,” Cartwright said.  

Cartwright’s 7.6 point win over Matt Connelly, a former race car driver, was narrower than his 13.5 point margin in 2014 and 20.6 point margin in 2012.

In Cartwright’s 2016 election he raised and spent over $860,000, according to opensecrets.org.

No Cartwright general election opponent has ever raised or spent more than $100,000. Connolly spent $31,000.

Cartwright has brought forward $561,069 cash on hand into 2017.  

It’s no surprise the 17th district is on the national radar. After Trump’s surprise win, national news outlets descended on Northeast PA. “Why did Trump win? Just visit Luzerne County, Pennsylvania” declared in a headline in Newsweek.  Only three counties flipped from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, and Cartwright’s district includes two of them.  

The battle will be if Republicans can get the voters who supported Obama in his two runs to come out in a non-Presidential year to vote for Republicans.  The push by the NRCC to try to win seats that ticket split between President and Congress will test how long Trump’s coattails will be during his term in office.  

February 9th, 2017 | Posted in Congress, Features, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 9 Comments

9 thoughts on “NRCC Targets Cartwright for 2018”

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  4. Seneca says:

    Despite being in the RNC crosshairs, Cartwright could make it through 2018. He survived the 2016 Red Tide, and seems to have the skills necessary to make some political capital for himself in a Trump economic revival, provided he can keep catering to his constituents and taking credit where it is due, if not beyond. And it will be his fault if he would not be able to capitalize on any economic troubles that might arise to plague the Trump administration. But he shouldn’t count on that.

    That said, a lot in the 2018 race for the 17th will likely be personality-driven. PA Republicans will be looking for a strong candidate to run against him. They certainly want Cartwright’s seat, but here in PA the real 2018 prize will be the governorship. If they win that big enough, it may help carry things for Cartwright’s opponent, whoever that may be.

  5. Lynne Bauer says:

    After this travesty of a national election and the blatant arrogance and corruption that is overwhelming in the Republican Party, why would anyone want to admit their association to the GOP?? Even their own members are afraid to go against the inner circle of THUGS. NO MORE TRUMPERS! Keep PA a state of thinkers and do-ers!

  6. NEPA says:

    No one talks of Matt’s connections to Kathy Kane and her sister Ellen

  7. MikeyJoe says:

    Matt is a good and genuine guy. And works hard for the people and believes in what he stands for. I find it interesting though that the guy who beat Tim Holden, because the Dems actually gave Holden a solid Democratic seat – could now be in danger and the only Dem who could maybe hold the seat is . . . . wait for it . . . . Tim Holden. Funny times we live in.

  8. Tom says:

    Cartwright is nothing more than an ambulance chaser. Let him get back to suing doctors and shaking down insurance companies for a living.

  9. Guest says:

    On the Senate side of things, Rick Saccone filed a statement of candidacy for 2018. So it seems he’s definitely in against Casey.

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