He gets another chance.
Marc Friedenberg, an assistant teaching professor at Penn State, where he teaches cybersecurity and cyber-law courses, has been been selected by the Democratic Party as their candidate for the special election in the 12th House District.
He explained his excitement in being the Democratic nominee again and wants to focus on Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, among other policy initiatives.
“I’m honored to have the party’s endorsement, and to have the chance to speak with voters about issues like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal,” Friedenberg said in a statement. “This special election gives us an opportunity to make sure that every voice is heard.”
Despite being unsuccessful in his previous run, Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills expressed her confidence in Friedenberg this time around and tied his candidacy to Rep. Conor Lamb’s (D-Allegheny) upset special election victory last March.
“Marc ran a great campaign against a deeply-entrenched incumbent in 2018, and we are confident that he will take his experience from last year and translate it into success this year. Republicans should not take this seat for granted,” she said in a statement. “PA-12 deserves a congressman like Marc, who will fight the opioid epidemic and defend working Pennsylvanians. Like we did with Conor Lamb, we are going to fight for every vote in every district and ensure that Marc will be victorious on May 21st.”
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 National Republican Congressional Committee describes the Green New Deal as “loony” and believes his support for it and Medicare for All makes him “unelectable.”
“We are beyond thrilled that Democrats have nominated Marc Friedenberg as their nominee,” said NRCC Spokesman Michael McAdams. “Like the rest of the socialist Democrats, his support for the loony Green New Deal and eliminating private health insurance makes him unelectable.”
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 last month.
The Republican Party has yet to select their nominee.
The special election date is set for May 21, the same day as the Pennsylvania primary.
This story was updated with comment from the NRCC.