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Turzai: “Seriously Considering” Congressional Bid

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Mars — Pa. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai confirmed for the first time on the record that he is considering a bid for congress in the 12th district. News broke yesterday that he had informed party leaders in Harrisburg that he would run, and PoliticsPA confirmed with campaign sources that he was in.

“My family and I are giving it serious consideration,” Turzai said.

He was popular with state committee members at the meeting of the southwest Pa. caucus. Though he did not address the congressional bid during his remarks to the group, those present report that it was a frequent topic of side conversations. Indeed, supporters handed out nominating petitions on his behalf.

He confirmed what multiple sources has said, that Governor Tom Corbett personally asked him to run.

“Pennsylvania has improved significantly in terms of fiscal responsibility and private sector job creation,” Turzai said. “That’s what we need to focus on in Washington, and what we’ve been missing, and the Governor thinks our message sells. As a result, I’m seriously considering the Governor’s request.”

He’s a top tier recruit, and has more political acumen than any congressional challenger currently announced in Pa.

Questions about whether he will run simultaneously for his Pa. House seat, or maintain the position of Majority Leader during his campaign, will wait until after an official announcement.

In the mean time, two candidates have already floated their names for his House seat: Bob Howard, a former school board member who ran for Allegheny County Controller in 2011, and Karen Shaheen, the treasurer of the Allegheny County GOP.

The buzz was that Turzai will make his official announcement on Wednesday, and that the Governor will be on hand.

He would take on the winner of the primary between Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz, provided he clears a Republican primary. Allegheny County attorney Keith Rothfus, who came within two points of defeating Altmire in 2010, is also in the race.

Speculation that Turzai might run for the U.S. House has been circulating since even before Republicans unveiled the new congressional map. At one point expected to be a safe Democratic seat, the final version of the 12th district is actually marginally favorable to Republicans. It includes a sliver of Lawrence County, all of Beaver County, northern portions of Allegheny County, northern Westmoreland County, southern Cambria County (and Johnston), and northern Somerset County.

Turzai is a former assistant District Attorney and Bradford Woods borough council member. He won a special election for his Pa. House seat in 2001 to replace Jane Orie (who had won the Pa. Senate seat of Melissa Hart, who had herself won a seat in Congress). In 1998, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against U.S. Rep. Ron Klink.

10 Responses

  1. We should try to get Judy (RINO) out of her fake position of power and replace her with a real Republican. The voters of her area will have a real choice next election. Yard sign “Judy Brown-RINO”

  2. Republicans are best-served by nominating people who (a) have failed to win in wave elections (b) have no record of success in governing or (c) are not from the district they seek to represent. Why do I support GOP candidates destined to lose? Because I’m the worst kind of RINO; I’m a Democrat.

  3. On the Buzzard liberty index, candidates can earn extra points for being ex-democrats. Bob – what is you do all day other than chill around the 12th street gym? Isn’t there a flophouse you should be managing?

  4. By 87% to 12%, the majority of PA voters want elected officials to resign from office when they decide to run for a different office. We’ll see what, if anything, that means to Mr. Turzai.

  5. We look forward to a public discussion of Majority Leader’s public record.

    I am updating the Liberty Index this week.

  6. Rothfus has already raised $200,000 for 2012 and shown he can crush the establishment, whipping the pants off Buchanan. Turzai cannot compete with Rothfus’ head start in cash and rapport with constituents in the district. He can only transfer a few thousand dollars from his state House PAC to his new federal PAC. Whatever money Mike sucks from his donor base for his congressional run means less money for HRCC coffers and they need every nickle they can get in 2012. Mike has been eyeballing every office — Gov., Lt. Gov., Cong., Supreme Court. He is leaving in the middle of his stint as Majority Leader and leaving his own priorities (liquor privatization) and others like school choice out to dry. What a horribly transparently personally politically motivated move by Mike Turzai. In the end, people always show their true colors. It will be fun watching Rothfus crush Turzai using issues like coddling Perzel and his payjacking regime, voting for Rendell’s failed stimulus, and sooooo much more.

  7. Judy your a joke Mike Turzai annoucement is the greatest news for our party in the state recently. Being a former democrat shouldnt prevent anyone to run for office. Turzai will destroy Rothfus in the primary. To support teachers unions is not a negative thing at all either. Bob Howard is one of the worst campaigners and rode off of Raja’s coattail the whole elections.

  8. On December 19, 2011 Turzai told a roomfull of constuents including his two sons that he was not going to run. I knew that was a lie because he intentionally left Kieth Rothfus town of Edgeworth out of the 12th District. Rothfus lives 2 blocks from the District. But we in the grassroots will get the word out that he meant to run even when he said he wouldn’t.

    I question his Republican principles – considering he started out as a democrat and changed to Republican to get elected in his statehouse district.

    Also, his biggest donor is the Teachers unions. Let’s see if he is serious about School Choice.

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