PA-9: Halvorson Leans Toward Run as Democratic Nominee

Art-HalvorsonCould the third time be the charm?

Art Halvorson couldn’t defeat Congressman Bill Shuster in 2014 and his second attempt last April came up just short.

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.

8 Responses

  1. This guy has the sheer arrogance to say he never sought the nomination, except he told people to write him in and then traveled across the district from courtroom to courtroom dropping thousands of dollars in legal fees to keep an actual Democrat off the ticket. Give me a break!!

  2. It is amusing that such a true “conservative” would run as a Democrat. Perhaps Mr. Halvorson’s quest is more about his ego than his beliefs? If he were truly a “principled conservative” wouldn’t he turn down the Democrat nomination?

  3. Bill Shuster endorsed Arlen Specter when he was challenged by Pat Toomey. And it has now disappeared, but until just a few weeks ago there was even a “Democrats for Shuster” Facebook page. Shuster’s liberal voting record is the reason why a guy like Halvorson can come within an inch on beating him in a Republican primary.

  4. I live in CD#9. Bob Brady can keep his opinion to himself. Democrats like him are the ones that do absolutely nothing to help rural areas to recruit Democratic candidates. Actually many people who live in the district think that should Halvorson win, he would be easier to knock out in 2 years. It’s just like Politics PA not to talk to people who live in the district!

  5. I think there will be a upset here if he wins as a democrat against Bill Shuster.

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