These Pennsylvania Primaries Still Matter

Photograph by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Reps. Jason Altmire, left, and Mark Critz, before a debate in Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania won’t be a factor in the Republican presidential race, with Rick Santorum’s departure ending its competitive phase. However, the state still matters in determining the makeup of the next Congress.

At least one House member will lose his job in the April 24 primaries. Representatives Jason Altmire and Mark Critz are running against one another after Republican legislators drew the two Democrats into the same western Pennsylvania district. Altmire and Critz debated yesterday.

The Altmire-Critz race is the third of 11 matchups between incumbents of the same party as a result of redistricting. Last month, Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich lost to Marcy Kaptur and Illinois Republican Don Manzullo fell to Adam Kinzinger.

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Representative Tim Holden, a 10-term Democrat who absorbed hundreds of thousands of new voters in redistricting, is airing television ads attacking the background and ethics of his primary opponent, lawyer Matt Cartwright. Holden, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats who emphasize fiscal restraint, has a history of winning a Republican-leaning district, and it’s unusual for him to face intraparty opposition in a district that leans Democratic as redrawn.

Republicans will choose an opponent for Senator Bob Casey, the Democrat who unseated Santorum in the 2006 election. The state Republican party’s preference is Steve Welch, a venture capitalist.

Pennsylvania congressional candidates must file updated campaign financial reports to the Federal Election Commission by tomorrow at midnight. Here’s a list of candidates.

What do you think about this article? Comment below!