The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 11, 2010

House race has 3rd hopeful

Libertarian seeks Murtha’s seat

JOHNSTOWN — By now, many voters have heard about Critz and Burns battling for the 12th Congressional District.

But what about Agoris?

That would be Demo Agoris, a Washington County Libertarian who will be the third candidate listed on the May 18 special-election ballot that will determine who fills the unexpired term of the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha.

Agoris knows he doesn’t have a big chance for success against Democrat Mark Critz and Republican Tim Burns. But he is trying to spread his message of “less government, more freedom and less taxes” as far as possible.

“I believe that it should be ‘power to the people,’ ” Agoris said.

Unlike the primary, voters from any political party or those registered as independents can cast ballots for any candidate in the 12th district special election.

Candidates for the special ballot were chosen by their political organizations. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s executive board picked Critz on March 8, while Republicans chose Critz a few days later at a meeting in Latrobe.

But it turns out that Libertarians got the jump on everyone, nominating Agoris the week prior. His name now is listed as the third 12th district special-election candidate on the Pennsylvania Department of State Web site.

Michael Robertson, who chairs the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, said Agoris “offers real change” for residents in Murtha’s former district.

“The Libertarian Party is honored to offer voters a choice in this election to change from politics as usual,” Robertson said in a statement released by the party.

“The path of a limited government focused to secure the rights of the individual and not promote special interests is the best way forward for our nation,” he said. “Demo Agoris can bring that vision to Washington, D.C., for the people of the 12th Congressional District.”

Agoris, 69, holds a degree in meteorology from Penn State and served in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. He has owned businesses including Agoris Candies.

And he is no stranger to politics. A native of Canonsburg in Washington County, Agoris was elected as a Houston Borough councilman in 1995 and also chaired that community’s government-study commission.

“I learned a lot in that two year term (on Houston council),” Agoris said. “And I learned the most in that government-study commission.”

He also ran unsuccessfully five times for the state House 48th District. Each campaign was with a different political party: Agoris ran in 1998 as a Republican, in 2000 as a Green Party candidate, in 2002 as a member of the “Save Our State” party, in 2004 with the Reform Party and in 2006 as a Libertarian.

Still, Agoris says, “I always was a Libertarian. I wanted to run as a Libertarian for a long time.”

He still is not actually a member of the Libertarian party, having been unaffiliated with any political organization for about a decade.

“But my heart and soul and mind and philosophy belong to the Libertarians,” Agoris said.

Agoris said that, among other issues, he is concerned about federal spending and would champion a balanced-budget amendment.

“That’s the reason I’m running,” Agoris said.

“To bring to light the agenda of the Libertarian Party and how the left and right agenda is destroying America and selling out America to foreign investors.”


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