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Back to Congress? The Hill Says Critz Eying Rematch

Mark-Critz-campaign-portraitFormer Congressman Mark Critz is eying a return in PA-12 and will decide on whether to challenge incumbent Rep. Keith Rothfus in the coming weeks. According to a source from The Hill, Critz is “leaning strongly” toward another House run.

Critz, who represented a Southwest district that included Johnstown and some Pittsburgh suburbs, lost to the Republican challenger Rothfus in 2012 by only 4 points, despite Mitt Romney claiming his district by 15 points.

“I think you’ll see an announcement from him sooner rather than later. He’s definitely going to run for something, and I think he’d prefer quite frankly to run for the House,” the Hill’s source said. Critz has also expressed interest in running for Lt. Gov. in recent months.

LG isn’t out of the conversation yet, though. Another Democratic source told PoliticsPA that Critz hasn’t made the final decision, but will soon.

Earlier this week, Critz’s longtime campaign manager Mike Mikus took a new job working for Katie McGinty for Governor.

It is anticipated that that if Critz chooses Congress, he would make an announcement next month in order to kick off his campaign during the new fundraising quarter.

Republicans were less enthused about Critz’s potential candidacy. Ian Prior from the National Republican Congressional Committee questioned Crtiz’s motives for trying to unseat Rothfus.

“It didn’t take long for Mark Critz to get sick of Western Pennsylvania and start longing for the Washington D.C. good life. National Democrats are counting on Critz to get back to Washington to help them put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair and double down on President Obama’s misguided, job-killing agenda,” Prior said.

7 Responses

  1. If I were Critz, I’d continually bash Rithfus’ votes for Paul Ryan’s budget. There’s a lot of retirees in the district, and the GOP attempting to undo Medicare and Social Security are issues that can be used to Critz’ advantage.

  2. Considering the underhanded, tyrannical crackdowns on freedom & liberty now being revealed, I would not count on anything. For either side.

  3. Rothfus blames the ills of the world on Obamacare. He’s a one trick pony and very, very beatable.

  4. Beat me to it hacksaw lol.

    I agree that it would take someone in the mold of Critz to flip this seat.  And, true, he would benefit from the lack of the anti-Obama turnout that sunk him last year.

    At the same time, as I understood it, Critz’s relatively strong showing (given the circumstances) in both the 2012 primary and general elections was due to high turnout and solid support from his Johnstown-area backyard (which went for Romney).  I’m sure being a moderate helped, but after all those years of Murtha/Critz bringing home the bacon, I think that there was a sense of urgency in the Eastern part of 12th District to preserve “their” Congressman.  Rothfus actually went to great lengths in assuring voters he would have a Johnstown office.

    Anyways, as a challenger rather than incumbent this time around, I don’t know that Critz could count on that same enthusiasm in his backyard.  Would probably be a competitive race, though.

  5. With Corbett on the GOP ticket, Critz could beat Rothfus. He is probably too conservative for a statewide run but perfect for this district.

  6. In 2012, Mitt Romney garnered 200,365 votes in the 12th district while Republican Keith Rothfus only garnered 175,352. And while President Obama only managed to get 141,906 votes, Mark Critz got 163,589.

    In short, Critz outperformed the President by 20K votes and Rothfus under-performed Romney by 25K. In a non-presidential year with the unyieldingly unpopular Governor Corbett at the top of the ticket, a Democrat like Critz could pull this off.

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