Over three active days, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, is launching his 2014 re-election campaign by visiting every county in Pennsylvania’s spread-out 9th Congressional District.
On Wednesday, the middle day of his journey, the congressman spent time in Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and Blair, including a stop at St. Francis University’s new Science Center in Loretto. The road trip is scheduled to conclude today with visits to Huntingdon, Franklin and Fulton.
He started stumping in the western part of the district – Fayette, Greene, Washington, Westmoreland and Indiana – on Tuesday.
“I like to talk to the folks in the district, find out what’s on their minds,” said Shuster. “Kicking off a campaign is certainly an important, special time.”
Shuster, who first took office after winning a special election in 2001, is facing two opponents in the Republican Party primary, Art Halvorson and Travis Schooley.
The incumbent has been emphasizing his political experience during the campaign.
“We’re just talking about my conservative record, talking about the things hopefully we’ve accomplished that are positive for the areas, for the different communities and talking about things I want to get done in Washington: get spending under control, stop this Obamacare, which I think is going to be terrible. It already is,” Shuster said.
Shuster is chairman of the powerful House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. In that role, he has been working on some major projects lately, including a long-term transportation bill and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.
The transportation bill is still early in the legislative process.
The water resources act got through the House by a vote of 417-3. The Senate passed its version of the water resources legislation, 83-14. The goal of the act is to improve the nation’s waterways.
“First of all, we worked very, very hard to produce a bill that was fiscally responsible, a bill that had significant reforms in it and a bill that came out in a bipartisan way with significant reforms,” said Shuster. “It’s fiscally responsible. There were no earmarks in it. It passed out of the House overwhelmingly, and now we’re in conference with the Senate.”
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.