Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair) will have the GOP primary all to himself in the 9th congressional district. His opponent Travis Schooley turned in just 1,045 petition signatures and a judge tossed him from the ballot this week. But an Democratic candidate is circulating petitions.
No Democrat filed to run in the district. 1,000 signatures are required to make the ballot, but Judge J. Wesley Oler determined that only 987 of Schooley’s signatures were valid.
Schooley, of Waynesboro, Franklin County, was the only person contesting the incumbent Representative’s district seat. A U.S. Army veteran and former intelligence analyst, he now works with public utilities in the private sector. He also operates and alpaca farm.
The 9th district includes all of Bedford, Blair, Fayette, Fulton, Franklin and Indiana counties as well as parts of Cambria, Greene, Huntingdon, Somerset and Washington counties.
“I believe that the court’s ruling speaks for itself,” Shuster’s campaign manager, Sean Joyce, said. “Congressman Shuster looks forward to the general election and the opportunity to continue to represent his constituents in the 9th District.”
However, there is another Congressional hopeful in Pennsylvania’s 9th District hoping to make the ballot – Karen Ramsburg. A nurse from Mercersburg, Ramsburg is circulating petitions to run as
an independent a Democrat.
According to her website, Ramsburg believes that “our strength as a nation is in solving issues of safety and security,” including job creation, affordable health care, high environmental standards and education reform.
“[The election] is be a tough race either way,” said Paul Politis, the chairman of the Franklin County Democrats. “But I think it can be done if she gets her name out there.”
Politis is circulating petitions for Ramsburg, and encouraging other Democrats to do the same. At a recent meeting of College Dems in Shippensburg, Politis said he discouraged Ramsburg from running on the party ticket because the district is too conservative, and she’d have a better chance as an independent.
collect 2,839 petition signatures by the August 1 deadline win at least 1,000 write-in votes in order to make the ballot.
In a district which overwhelmingly favors any Republican but particularly Shuster, Joyce says the campaign is not concerned.
“We are confident that a Democrat running on the same ticket as Obama, touting higher taxes and opposing Marcellus Shale development in Pennsylvania will be rejected in November, even if they call themselves an ‘Independent,’ ‘Democrat,’ whatever that is,” he said.
Correction: Ramsberg had previously been circulating petitions for a run as an independent, but is now mounting a write-in campaign as a Democrat.
Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.