Shuster won the 2014 primary against Halvorson and Travis Schooley. Shuster took 53% while Halvorson won 35% and Schooley 13%.
According to Scott Wong of The Hill, Halvorson believes he can defeat the incumbent this time.
“The challenges this country, this state, and this District face are far too serious to accept the status quo,” Halvorson told Wong. “We cannot stand by and allow corrupt politicians in Washington to enrich special interests at the expense of hard-working taxpayers.”
The challenger may be motivated by the tough year Rep. Shuster has had.
Last April, Politico revealed that the Congressman is dating an airline lobbyist. Soon afterward, 2012 GOP Senate nominee and multimillionaire Tom Smith announced he was considering a run against Shuster in a primary.
As Wong reported back then, Halvorson was 100% behind Smith.
Furthermore, a month later, the Club for Growth brought up Shuster’s personal life in an ad aimed against him.
In July, however, Smith suddenly dropped out. It turns out the decision was made for personal health reasons. Halvorson is dedicating his campaign to Smith.
The 9th district is a R+14 seat meaning that whoever wins the GOP primary effectively wins the seat. The district consists of all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.