Shuster Alone on the PA-9 Ballot, Might Face Dem

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.

Ramsburg must 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.

March 16th, 2012 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Shuster Alone on the PA-9 Ballot, Might Face Dem”

  1. Richard Latker says:

    I’m a social conservative, a libertarian and a registered Independent — and I am VERY happy to support Karen Ramsburg for Congress. She’s a mother, a nurse, a reliable supporter of the second amendment, a respected author, and a friend of the religious community.

    I hope Ms Ramsburg can run as an Independent, but the ballot laws are so restrictive (even with 100,000 signatures, they can be easily challenged and purged by the Shuster campaign) that she may have no choice but to run as a Democrat. I will vote for her either way.

    The Shuster family has held that seat for 40 years now, presiding over an inexorable decline in prosperity in the district. Thanks in large part to Shuster Jr., factories, family farms and small business have all but disappeared, replaced by giant Big Box marts smothering family retailers, paying krap wages, selling cheap slave-labor Chinese goods, and paying most of their taxes to Beijing.

    Now Shuster wants to transform the 9th District into a resource colony, where landowners are nearly powerless to negotiate equitable gas leases, where most of the wealth (and the gas) is exported out of the state, and local communities are robbed of their right to protect critical water supplies. He voted to allow the drillers to keep the fracking chemicals secret, so landowners can’t test their water accurately before drilling starts to prove their water is clean. He championed the state legislation that prevents townships from regulating wells, and offers only paltry compensation for community infrastructure and development.

    Shuster voted to extend the Patriot Act, for warrant-less wire-taps and aerial surveillance of US citizens, and for the ridiculous and wasteful war in Iraq . He voted for “free trade” with the brutal dictatorship in China, allowing our corporations to transfer all their productive assets to that country, and forcing American workers to “compete” with disenfranchised Chinese laborers earning $120 a month, for 60-hour weeks, in factories burning state-subsidized coal.

    Enough of this. We need to stop voting against our own interests.

  2. Paul Politis says:

    MANY corrections: Ramsburg has decided to seek the Democratic nomination on write-ins rather than attempt to garner the approximately 8,000 signatures she would need to run as an Independent. I have been encouraging her to run as a Democrat for nearly a year, and she has finally realized that is the only realistic route to getting on the Nov. ballot due to PA’s restrictive rules against Independents.

  3. I’m all for raising taxes on the richest 1% and that includes Bill Shuster, Congressman for the 1%. They can afford to pay just a little bit more.

    As far as Marcellus Shale goes Bill Shuster is decriminalizing the gas industry because he loves that dirty fracking water. Sorry, Bill, we all have a right to clean air and clean water.

    To all of my Republican and Democrat friends: Don’t forget to write my name in on the Republican and Democratic April 24th Primary ballots and be sure to darken the oval. We need to occupy Shuster’s office!

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