It appears, though, that Halvorson won the Democratic nomination in the PA-9 race as a write-in. This leaves the conservative with the conundrum of whether to run as a Democrat in what may be his best opportunity to win the seat. Yet Halvorson believes the pressure is really on Rep. Shuster.
“I’m sure Shuster’s sweating it, trying to figure out what I’m going to do,” he told Heather Caygle of Politico.
If Halvorson did run, though, he maintained that it would be as a Republican and he won’t change despite the fact that his party label technically would.
Meanwhile, Congressman Shuster’s campaign is seeking to compare such a move to Arlen Specter’s famous party switch in 2009.
“Pennsylvanians have seen this story before when Arlen Specter switched from Republican to Democrat like Art Halvorson is trying to do now, and I would expect Halvorson to have the same result – a loss,” Shuster campaign spokesman Casey Contres stated.
Democratic Congressman Bob Brady also weighed in on the side of the incumbent, although Rep. Shuster may not want the help.
“I’d rather have Shuster than [Halvorson],” Rep. Brady said. “He’s a nice man, he’s a good guy. And [on] transportation, he takes care of us, that’s what we gotta do. A real Democrat has no chance, so why would I want to get a Republican in sheep’s clothing and another tea partier? We don’t need that.”
The 9th Congressional District consists of all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.