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October 3, 2013

Steelworkers back Critz

Former congressman endorses Hugya for 12th seat

JOHNSTOWN — Mark Critz has both received and given endorsements within the past few days.

The Johnstown resident has gained official backing from the United Steelworkers in his campaign for lieutenant governor. Critz, a Democrat, has also weighed in on next year’s 12th Congressional District race, offering his support to retired Marine Col. John Hugya. Primaries in the two elections are scheduled for May 20.

Critz has enjoyed a long-standing good relationship with the USW from the days when he served as a staffer for the late Rep. John Murtha and throughout his own time as the 12th district’s congressman from 2010-13.

“I am proud to once again receive the United Steelworkers endorsement as I have in all my other campaigns,” Critz said. “Strengthening the middle class through job creation was my No. 1 priority in Congress and that will remain the case should I be fortunate to serve as lieutenant governor.”

The union released an official statement: “We are pleased to announce the USW’s support for Mark Critz as lieutenant governor. The USW worked with Critz when he represented southwestern Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives, and we’re proud to endorse him again. During his time in Congress, Critz demonstrated his commitment to manufacturing and family-sustaining jobs. When Critz’s district was redrawn, the middle class lost a reliable ally in Washington, but now he has a chance to once again serve the hard-working people of Pennsylvania.”

Critz worked closely with Hugya, Murtha’s chief of staff.

Michael Duga, Hugya’s spokesman, said his candidate is “honored” to receive an endorsement from Critz, who he called “an excellent representative of the 12th district of Pennsylvania.”

Hugya is looking to unseat Rep. Keith Rothfus, a freshman Republican, who defeated Critz in the 2012 general election.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

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