PA-12: With Critz Out, McClelland Staffs Up
Freshman Rep. Keith Rothfus won’t face a 2014 rematch with Mark Critz, the man he defeated in 2012. But he will face a Democratic challenger.
Erin McClelland, 38, of Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County, announced months ago that she would challenge Rothfus. She founded and runs an addiction treatment clinic in Blawnox.
One day after Critz announced he would run for Lieutenant Governor, McClelland unveiled her team of campaign staff and consultants.
“I am looking forward to presenting pragmatic, data-driven solutions to the voters of my district,” McClelland said.
“With the team we have in place, I am confident that we will have a well-run campaign that will win the hearts and minds of the voters and ultimately reject the blame-ridden politics of Keith Rothfus.”
Democrats in DC had unsubtly sought Critz as a candidate, and big donors were kept on ice as Critz made up his mind.
The coming months will be a key test for McClelland, whos first quarter of fundraising was lackluster: just $41K in the door from April to June – including a $15K self loan.
Here’s the rundown from her campaign press release:
McClelland’s team is led by manager Jason Robert Henry whose political career includes leading field for Obama for America in Pittsburgh and in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania as well as holding senior level positions for campaigns in western Pennsylvania for statewide judicial candidate Dan Bricmont, U.S. Senate hopeful Joe Sestak, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner, and Tompkins County (NY) Vice-Chair Nate Shinagawa’s 2012 congressional campaign. Henry has also worked for the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Campaign Committee and the Western Pennsylvania based political consulting firm West Media Group.
“Erin and I are extremely lucky to have such talented and creative people doing all they can to bring about pragmatic leadership to the people of Western Pennsylvania. With such a passionate and dynamic candidate like Erin, I am confident that with this team, her positive message will be well received by the voters of this district.” said McClelland Campaign Manager Jason Henry.
Henry is joined by a strong team of national consultants, including long time Pennsylvania veteran mail consultant Karen Petel of Petel and Company. Petel has formerly served as the political director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and regional political director for EMILY’s List and director of the WOMEN VOTE! Project. She is on the board at the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and has instructed candidates and campaign staff all over the U.S for the AFL-CIO, EMERGE, EMILY’s List, DCCC, George Washington University and American University. Karen has also worked extensively with the candidates and activists in the United Kingdom, Italy, Hong Kong, the Middle East and Africa. Petel’s experience in Southwestern Pennsylvania is second to none. From 2006 to 2012 Petel served as the direct mail consultant for Jason Altmire, and in 2010 was the direct mail consultant for Mark Critz.
Colin Rogero and his team at Revolution Media, are quickly establishing themselves as a fast-rising political media firm. Rogero began his career in Los Angeles, where he was part of nationally recognized and awarded advertising campaigns, full-length television shows, music videos and documentaries. After working on an award-winning documentary on illegal immigration sparked Rogero’s passion for politics; he moved to Washington D.C. and quickly rose to become one of the premier young media consultants in Democratic politics.
Prior to starting Lincoln Park Strategies, Stefan Hankin served as a lead pollster for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, focusing on the primaries in South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Before working for the Obama Campaign, he conducted research for the Democratic National Committee and Governor Howard Dean informing the much heralded “50-State Plan,” which turned into the blueprint for the Democratic Party’s success in 2006 and 2008. Hankin has also been tapped for is research and analysis by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Politico, National Journal, and C-SPAN.