Finance - October 6, 2017

Candidates announce for Cong. Murphy’s seat

Congressman Tim Murphy is resigning from his seat effective October 21. The controversy is well covered in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other news outlets around the state. With his resignation, two state senators very quickly announced their intention to run in the special election that will be held to fill the vacancy.

Sen. Guy Reschenthaler announced his candidacy within hours of Murphy’s initial announcement not to seek re-election. Reschenthaler currently represents the 37th state Senate district in the Pittsburgh area; his district is comprised of parts of Allegheny and Washington Counties. He won the seat in a 2015 special election after Sen. Matt Smith left office for another job. Reschenthaler is a former Navy prosecutor who has served in Iraq. His recent initiatives included a bill to penalize “sanctuary cities” for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities and supporting a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, privatizing the PLCB, and freezing property taxes for seniors.

Sen. Kim Ward announced on Thursday that she would be entering the race as well. She has represented the 39th state Senate district, which is comprised of part of Westmoreland County, since being elected in 2009. Ward had previously been a county commissioner and political consultant. In her candidacy announcement, Ward cited that people want Congress to keep their promises, namely, to replace Obamacare with a more affordable plan, work on tax reform and secure borders.

Democrats are mulling the seat over, even though it has been a largely Republican district. Pam Iovino, a Navy veteran; Mike Crossey, former teacher/teacher’s union official and Allegheny County Councilman; and Bob Solomon, an emergency room doctor; have all expressed interest in the Democratic seat.