By ARLENE JOHNS
DELMONT — Mark Critz of Johnstown was the clear winner in the Democrats' 12th Congressional District special recommendation meeting today at the Lamplighter in Delmont.
The purpose of the meeting was to recommend a candidate to fill the seat left vacant by the Feb. 8 death of John P. Murtha.
Critz, a longtime Murtha staff member, received 46 of the 83 credential votes.
His name will be passed along to the state Democratic Party's 50-member executive committee, which will make the final decision Monday in selecting the Democratic nominee who will face a Republican contender in the special election to be held in conjunction with the May primary.
Other Democratic contenders:
- 22 votes were cast for Barbara Hafer, of Indiana, former state treasurer and auditor general.
- 14 votes were cast for Ed Cernic Jr., of Johnstown, Cambria County controler
- one vote went to Ryan Bucchianeria of Monongahela.
Critz said he was thrilled with the outcome.
"Nobody is Mr. Murtha," he said. "My goal is to work as hard as he did."
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