Politico: PA-9 is 1 of 5 “Primaries to Watch”

bill_shuster
Bill Shuster

While Pennsylvania politicos are probably paying attention to the race in PA-9, it isn’t yet considered a national race. At least not yet. Today, DC new outlet Politico tapped the race between Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair) and Art Halvorson as one of the “5 House primaries to watch” for the 2014 cycle.

Here’s what Politico had to say about the race:

Shuster’s primary will also pit an incumbent against the anti-establishment wing of the party.

He must beat back Republican Art Halvorson, who’s won early endorsements from Erickson and the Madison Project, a conservative group that recently ran a 60-second radio ad hammering Shuster for his votes to raise the debt ceiling. Last weekend, Halvorson appeared at a RedState confab in New Orleans.

Halvorson, a wealthy commercial real estate developer who’s seeded his campaign $100,000, has hammered Shuster for his record on spending issues. Travis Schooley, an Army veteran, is also running.

Like Simpson, Shuster, who’s held the conservative south-central Pennsylvania seat since 2001, has used his powerful perch to raise more than $1.2 million this year.

It’s not the first time Shuster, the seven-term House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman and the son of ex-GOP Rep. Bud Shuster, has faced a serious primary. In 2004, he held off Republican challenger Michael DelGrosso, 51 percent to 49 percent.

More exposure for the race means more money coming in to the district from groups and individuals who might see this as a sign of Shuster’s vulnerability. As Politico described it, “lawmakers are already looking nervously over their shoulders.”

That said, national rankings don’t always correlate to trouble for incumbents. Last cycle, within a month of election day, the Washington Post named the primary between Rep. Tim Murphy the incumbent most likely to lose a primary. A few weeks later he defeated challenger Evan Feinberg by 27 points.

Travis Schooley, a Franklin County businessman and U.S Army veteran, has also announced his intentions to challenge Shuster.

3 Responses

  1. I doubt that Schooley will make it onto the ballot. He barely had enough signatures last time even before Shuster had his petitions disqualified and with another far more organized anti-Shuster running, signatures will be tough to get. If Schooley really wants to be rid of Shuster, he should step aside and unite the opposition behind Halverson.

  2. With two opponents, Shuster will skate to victory. They’ll split the anti-Shuster vote. On the state level, that happened twice to Speaker Sam Smith, who actually got less than 50 percent of the vote last time, but because the opponents split the anti-Smith vote, he won. Bill Shuster ought to pay a few people to run against him, diluting the anti-shuster vote even further.

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