By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
State Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Beaver), who most observers thought would launch a bid for Congress after the new year, announced today that he seek re-election to the Pa. House.
He represents a significant portion of the newly formed 12th congressional district – one that many thought had been drawn with his candidacy in mind.
In an open letter on his website, Christiana cited his new family obligations (he’s engaged).
“Running and serving in Congress, and thus dividing our life together, would ask too much of her and put an unreasonable strain on our young, new family.”
He added that he has unfinished work in Harrisburg, citing school vouchers legislation.
The question of the Republican nominee in this swing seat has not been front and center since the new congressional maps were unveiled. Rather, the biggest story line is the primary showdown between Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz.
Keith Rothfus, an attorney who narrowly lost to Altmire last year, is the sole announced Republican candidate in the race.
Nonetheless, speculation will almost certainly focus now on Pa. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), who advocated for the specific shape of the 12th district. Turzai ran for congress unsuccessfully in 1998.
“Christiana didn’t get out for Rothfus,” said a source close to Turzai.