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PA12: Marc Friedenberg Announces Bid for Dem Primary

He wants another shot.

Marc Friedenberg, a faculty member in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for the special election in the 12th House District.

Last week, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming) announced he was resigning from Congress on Jan. 23 to take a position in the private sector.

Friedenberg was the Democratic nominee this past November for the seat after eeking out a victory in the Democratic primary over Judy Herschel. He faced Marino in November for the seat, but lost by a wide margin in the GOP friendly district.

Friedenberg called running for Congress in 2018 as the “honor of a lifetime” and is giving it another go for this seat because he believes their district deserves someone who places “jobs, healthcare, kids’ education, and environment” at the forefront of their position.

“You deserve a representative in Congress who will show up for you. You deserve a representative who’s accountable, honest, and hard-working. You deserve a representative who will fight for your jobs, your healthcare, your kids’ education, and our environment,” Friedenberg said through a Facebook post. “I am committed to being that representative for you, and never quitting when the going gets tough.”

Marino’s resignation announcement caught a lot of people off guard and the Democratic hopeful believes the incumbent should have told voters about his plans in November.

“I have to believe he knew that he wouldn’t be completing the term, and that’s deceptive,” Friedenberg said to WPSU. “That’s information that voters would have wanted to know.”

The Democratic party has gained momentum in the state by evening up the Congressional delegation at 9 members each in November after the maps were redrawn and has won all 3 of the Congressional special elections to date during the Trump presidency, but this seat is much more GOP friendly than the other special election Democratic victories.

The 12th District voted for President Trump by over a 35 point margin in 2016, while Marino was the first Pennsylvania Congressman to endorse his candidacy in the GOP primary. Trump selected Marino to be the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, but was never confirmed, in part due to a Washington Post/60 Minutes report detailing his role pushing a bill that “undermined” the DEA.

Marino had just begun his fifth term in Congress earlier this month.

The Democratic and Republican parties will choose their nominees for the special election, which the date will be announced within 10 days of when Marino’s resignation takes effect. The special election has to come at least 60 days from when Gov. Tom Wolf issues a writ for a special election.

5 Responses

  1. Losing by over 30% in a “blue” year is hardly a qualification for wanting to run again. What has he learned and what would he do or be different this time. Unless he has good answers to these questions he is just another repeat candidate who likes to see his name on posters.

  2. Friedenberg is a know-it-all from State College, who knows nothing about the struggles the people in the vast majority of the district are facing. So out of touch. I know it is hard to lose the bug of running for office when it grabs you – but you should sit this one out Mark. You don’t have a grasp of what it takes to serve. The world isn’t all sticky buns at the State College Diner and being full of ourselves. Don’t put your lovely wife and kids through it again.

  3. Chris Carney was an excellent US Rep but he lost in 2010 and this district is so Republican that Trump won by 35 points. Well, the Dem won US Senate in Alabama so miracles can and do happen. Who is to say Friedenberg will not win. It’s a long shot though. Nice family photo and press release.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

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