Former congressman Mark Critz (PA-12) has been pegged as the lone conservative Democrat in the lieutenant governor’s race, but that did not stop him from receiving the support of two influential liberals in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Critz’s former colleagues Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, and Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip, will be attending the former congressman’s fundraiser in Washington D.C. on February 10th at the 116th Club.
Other notable attendees include Pennsylvania congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14), New Jersey congressman Bill Pascrell Jr., Connecticut congressman John Larson and Massachusetts congressman Mike Capuano.
The event was first reported by Keystone Politics.
This event could very well change the perception surrounding Critz, considering that most of the criticism he has received from his competitors in the lieutenant governor’s race has pegged him as leaning too far to the right, especially on social issues.
Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith slammed Critz for the backing he received from the NRA.
“Mark Critz said he was ‘proud’ to receive the support of the NRA, an organization that has opposed legislation against common sense gun reforms like universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole,” Smith said. “Strong universal background checks could prevent criminals, terrorists, and the dangerously mentally ill from getting their hands on firearms.”
The criticism, to an extent, is warranted, though perhaps outdated as the endorsement comes from when Critz was in Congress. Critz has received an “A plus” rating from the NRA — a grade that is garnered through outspoken support of gun rights and gun owners. Republican governor Tom Corbett only received an “A” rating by the NRA.
The former congressman is also pro-life and has voted against federal funding for abortions.
Critz in the past has used his conservative tendencies as a way to differentiate himself from his Democratic challengers. Saying that the Democratic nominee for governor “is going to be fairly liberal,” Critz emphasized how he would offer an “ideological balance” to whoever were to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
But with the support of Pelosi and Hoyer, Critz could potentially gain credibility amongst far-left constituents in Pennsylvania.
He faces a dense Democratic field in his bid for lieutenant governor, with Mark Smith, State Senator Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia), Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski and Brenda Alton running against him.