One of the congressional races that PoliticsPA will be focusing on during the upcoming months is the chase for the open seat in the 17th Congressional District.
PA-17 encompasses all of Beaver County and much of the Allegheny County suburbs.
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) stepped away from the seat in his quest to run for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. Chris Deluzio won the Democratic nomination, defeating Sean Meloy, while Jeremy Shaffer downed two challengers to capture the GOP nomination.
Deluzio is a voting rights attorney who is an Iraq war veteran. He, his wife and three children, live in Allegheny County. Shaffer is a co-founder of a small business and a former Ross Township commissioner. He and his wife have five children.
Let’s compare and contrast the two candidates for the PA-17 seat in a race that is described as a toss-up by the Cook Political Report.
Deluzio believes that women deserve to control their own bodies and reproductive choices as a basic human right. He supports legislation to codify Roe federally. Shaffer says he will advocate for the rights of the unborn and fight against legislation that allows taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. He does favor exceptions for rape and incest and life of the mother.
Shaffer stated that he will stand against Democrat power grabs that would undermine election integrity and voting rights. Free and fair elections are at the core of any functional democracy. Deluzio says he will fight against those who would throw out election results in exchange for power.
Shaffer says he will never waver in his support of 2nd Amendment rights. He favors universal background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of those making violent threats. Deluzio says that assault weapons have no business on Pennsylvania streets and says he would have supported the recent bipartisan legislation on gun safety. Shaffer said he could not comment whether he would have voted yes or no.
Deluzio and Shaffer both would have supported last year’s bipartisan bill as a major economic investment in the region.
Deluzio believes in the need to invest in the clean energy sources of the future, protecting and creating union jobs. Shaffer says we need to safely develop our immense natural energy resources and reduce our own and the world’s dependence on hostile countries.
- Deluzio website | Interview with Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle
- Shaffer website | Interview with Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle
Democrats hold a 76,000 lead in voter registration in the District, according to the Department of State. The 17th Congressional District currently has 553,536 registered voters.