Dan Hirschhorn's PA 2010 reports this breaking news signaling more of the same from the late John Murtha's congressional district:
Longtime John Murtha staffer Mark Critz on Monday won the Democratic Party’s nomination for a special election to finish out the late congressman’s term, as the party opted for a relatively untested candidate in a high-profile race, but one who knows the western Pennsylvania district in and out.
Details of the vote began to emerge Monday evening, after the state party’s executive committee had polled its members during the day. Multiple Democratic sources confirmed that Critz won 30 votes, compared to 18 for Barbara Hafer and one for Ryan Bucchianeri.
“For years I’ve been working hard to help bring jobs and economic development to our communities,” Critz said in a statement. “While I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, more needs to be done so that we can get folks back to work and get our economy back on track. In Congress I’ll continue the fight to bring jobs and economic development to western Pennsylvania because nothing is more important right now.
“I’m honored to have the State Committee’s endorsement,” he added. “Today, I pledge to all western Pennsylvanians that I’ll work tirelessly to earn their support so that we can come together and get to work bringing jobs to our communities and getting our economy back on track.”
The vote came two days after local Democratic insiders in the 12th Congressional District gave their support to Critz in a non-binding vote. Hafer’s campaign had worked hard to paint him as unelectable, raising questions about past business associations and ethics inquiries. While those attacks served to alienate Hafer from Murtha loyalists on the ground, they also sparked serious concern about Critz’s electability, fears that surely remain in play. The other candidates have said they’ll remain in the May primary, which will be held on the same day as the special election.