The incumbent has entered the ring.
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) blasted John Chrin, his GOP challenger, on his residency and Social Security in his opening salvo of TV ads.
“You may know me and my family, but you don’t know John Chrin,” Cartwright narrates in the 30 second ad. “He’s a Wall Street banker who lives in New Jersey, (who) doesn’t understand how people in our area struggle to make ends meet, especially our senior citizens.”
The Chrin campaign took note of this advertisement and countered by detailing his upbringing.
“Matt Cartwright’s criticism of John Chrin’s humble roots and home in Northeast Pennsylvania is the pinnacle of hypocrisy,” Michael Stwarka, Communications Director for John Chrin’s campaign. “The son of a single mother, John Chrin attended Pennsylvania public school and was the first in his family to go to college. Growing up wealthy and privileged in Canada, Matt Cartwright attended an elite boarding school. And he’s still living the good life with luxury homes in Palm Beach and Washington, D.C.”
Chrin has been on TV for a few weeks. His first ad of the general election cycle detailed the focus of his campaign: “fighting for good paying jobs, quality affordable healthcare, and banning sanctuary cities”. Chrin followed up with a second ad weeks later, attacking Cartwright as “too liberal and out of touch” and connecting him to Democratic Minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
Chrin’s campaign disputed Cartwright’s assertion that he intends to cut senior benefits as a member of Congress.
“John Chrin would never cut Social Security or Medicare. His own mother relies on both programs. Matt Cartwright is the only candidate in this race who has ever voted to cut Medicare and raid Social Security. It’s a record he cannot defend,” Stwarka said, referring to a frequent Republican critique of the Affordable Care Act.
The Cartwright campaign stood by its attack and accused Chrin’s ads of including falsehoods and setting the tone for the campaign.
“It is John Chrin from New Jersey who chose the tenor of this campaign,” said Colleen Gerrity, Campaign Manager, Cartwright for Congress including the link to Chrin’s campaign attack ad.
“John Chrin has literally established a residence (or two) in Pennsylvania just to run for Congress. It really is a preposterous concept that a Wall Street Banker who has lived in New Jersey the great majority of his adult life would presume to know much at all about the regular citizens of Northeastern Pennsylvania, let alone care about them,” she said.
On the issue of social security, both candidates have accused the other of wanting to cut funding for it.
“(As proof) He wants to cut Social Security cost of living adjustments,” Gerrity said. “Well, people in Northeastern Pennsylvania depend on Social Security to survive. Everything we have said is 100% true, the same cannot be said for Mr. Chrin’s ad.”
Cartwright’s campaign allocated $85K for broadcast television ads for the first two weeks of August, according to FCC station records for WNEP, WBRE, and WYOU. Chrin’s campaign has spent $36K on those stations in the same timeframe.