PA-16: Houghton Throws His Hat in the Ring

Attorney Tom Houghton officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district.

Houghton is a former state representative who represented Pennsylvania’s 13th House district — an area that encompasses parts of Chester County. He was elected to the state legislature in 2008 but was defeated in 2010 by Republican John Lawrence, whom Houghton had previously defeated in the prior election.


Houghton will campaign against incumbent congressman Joe Pitts, who has served Pa.’s 16th district since 1997. He will be seeking his 9th consecutive victory.

Pitts has a large base of support in his district that includes Lancaster County, as well as parts of Chester County and Berks County. In 2012 he took home more than half the vote in a four-way race, defeating Democratic candidate Aryanna Strader by a 16 point margin.

Houghton’s name has been tossed around as a possible Democratic challenger for the 16th congressional district seat — most notably by the progressive website MoveOn.Org. MoveOn had a petition on their site to try and entice Houghton to run. Apparently the former state representative was convinced to give it shot.

Houghton has recently complained about the tactics and views of the Republicans in the House of Representatives.

“I’m tired of Republicans who believe that compromise is a synonym for treason,” Houghton told the Daily Local News. He called the recent government shut down “the last straw.”

Pitts released a statement later welcoming Houghton to the race.

“The genius of our democracy is the competition of ideas. I welcome Mr. Houghton to the race, and look forward to presenting my positive and proven record of working for the financial security of every family in the 16th District,” Pitts said. “As I have always done, I will continue to travel throughout the district, listening to people’s ideas and concerns. I will share my record and my vision for the future.”

To Houghton’s benefit, Pitts’ support base could be slightly smaller than it has been in past years. In October of last year, PolitcsPA reported that Pitts lost a simulated election against an unknown Democratic challenger by 4 percentage points. The poll was commissioned — quite coincidentally — by and conducted by Public Policy Polling.

Pitts’ campaign team also seem unfazed by Houghton and his backing.

“The only support Tom Houghton has at the moment is from the left-wing organization,” Jason Ercole, Pitts spokesman, said. “It should surprise and worry people that Houghton has  chosen to team up with an organization that called General David Petraeus a traitor and compared George Bush to Adolf Hitler. The Daily Show’s John Stewart once ‘congratulated’ for ‘10 years of making even people who agree with you cringe.’”


15 Responses

  1. See my earlier post. Vaughan & her supporters should cease their attacks on her fellow Democrats Cozzone Dinniman whoever.
    Vaghan has detractors but they should stick to the facts.
    Vaughan-s supporters should likewise stop pulling down our party . Unfounded accusations should be removed.

  2. Once upon a time there were four Democrats from Chester County in the General Assembly
    Houghton , Drucker, Smith, & Dinniman.
    Now there is one Dinniman.
    This is Vaughan, s poor record. Her critics should focus on facts and not cute posts.
    And Vaughan, s supporters should stop posting trash talk on Chesco Dem officials particularly their attacks on Andy Dinniman lest it be foretold “Once there were four & now there are none”

  3. It looks like PoliticsPA is censoring comments about who the culprits posting are this garbage. [Redacted]

  4. Apt commentary on Checo Dem Chair Vaughan posted earlier on
    “Chesco Democrat Chair Michelle Vaughan is a joke. She backed Richards from Montco for a Chesco seat. Problem was Vaughan backed a candidate who isn’t even running. LMAO!!!!!!!!! Vaughan next move will probably be to announce her support for cartoon characters. Breaking news Vaughan supports Minnie Mouse for Congress. Vaughan’s past ineffectiveness has already earned her multiple nominations for Republican of the year.

  5. Agreed, lets get going and get Tom elected and all the other drama might just take care of itself.

  6. @Bruce who said
    “Come on ChestCo get it together ”
    Problem is that ChescoDems are prevented from achieving great things by their poor Chair Michele Vaughan. Vaughan’s priority time after time is to keep all factions at odds enabling her to sneak through by a vote or two. She has no conception of teamwork but excels at perpetual intra-party strife.
    Democrats have good shots at wins. Let’s get some team work going by pushing Vaughan and her self-preserving division to the curb.

  7. I guess Dis-Function does not stop in D.C. Come on ChestCo get it together this is a race that should not be lost. And yes we have our own drama in Lanco too!

  8. As the 2008 candidate for the 16th I think Tom is a good fit for this race. He is willing to work hard to get elected. He knows what he has to do to get elected. And he is the only candidate in recent years that has been elected to higher office. Myself and our local committee will be working hard to help him achieve this task. This is a big district and it will be a tough row to hoe. Lets make Joe Pitts the poster child of D.C. Dis-Function and send him into a much needed retirement, us needing it more than him!

  9. The cowards who fail to post their names, let me point out who they are. [REDACTED], and What a Joke is Deb Woolson, PA State Senator Andy Dinniman’s staffer.

  10. News flash this election was decided the minute michelle vaughan backed houghton. [Redacted].

  11. “I’m tired of Republicans who believe that compromise is a synonym for treason,” Houghton told the Daily Local News. He called the recent government shut down “the last straw.”

    This is the quote from the guy who ran a nefarious, underhanded – and obviously stupid – campaign against Senator Andy Dinniman because he wasn’t ‘democratic’ enough for Houghton and the Chester County Democratic Committee Chair Michele Vaughn, because Dinniman made compromises to get things done???

    Someone, (please!) tell me this is a joke???

    Why didn’t he run against Lawrence again if he was such a committed ‘Public Servant’?

    This campaign is designed simply for Houghton – not anyone in the District. Houghton is a bad character.

  12. Joe Pitts has done a good job of representing corporate interests outside of his district but a horrible job of representing his constituents. Despite the fact that he is a career government employee who, if he retires today, will make over $1 million per year in pension, he continues to vote in lock step with the most radical of the Tea Party. Its time to retire Pitts and elect someone who will represent all of us. Tom Houghton is the kind of bipartisan voice that we need in Washington.

  13. Joe Pitts is too radical and extreme to continue to represent our district. His support of the government shutdown was indefensible and unforgivable. Tom Houghton is a moderate who understands the needs of all the people and will represent us well if — no — when elected!

  14. There is no such thing as a “state congressman”. This rag has gone downhill fast since Keegan stepped down.

Comments are closed.

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