The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 14, 2013

Critz offers no decision about future

Dave Sutor

JOHNSTOWN — Former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz alluded to a future in politics, but made no announcement about any possible candidacy during a brief speech on Tuesday.

Toward the end of his Cambria County Democratic Party Spring Kick-Off Picnic keynote address at the Solomon Run fire hall, the Johnstown resident discussed the two offices he is considering seeking in 2014: Pennsylvania’s 12th district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and the state’s lieutenant governor position. Critz did not offer any hints as to which way he might be leaning.

He mentioned the state government option by saying, “People have been telling me lieutenant governor looks nice, so we’ll have to look into that,” but then went into some more detail about the 12th district possibility.

Critz won the House seat during a special election in 2010. Then, after Pennsylvania lost a seat following the 2010 U.S. Census, the 12th was significantly redistricted to include all of Beaver and parts of Cambria, Somerset, Westmoreland, Lawrence and Allegheny counties. With a Republican-controlled state government in charge of redistricting, his hometown was put into the same district as U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Aliquippa, forcing them to run against each other in an incumbent-versus-incumbent primary.

Critz survived the primary race, but eventually lost the seat to Keith Rothfus, a Republican, by 3.5 percent in a GOP-heavy district that favored Mitt Romney by 17 points over President Barack Obama.

More than $5 million was spent in independent expenditures opposing Critz during the 2011-12 election cycle, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

“They drew this district the way they did for a reason,” said Critz.

“The money that they spent to beat me, they will spend it again to keep this. We’re going to look at it very thoroughly. I don’t want to get anyone spun up and spend a lot of money on something that just might not be possible.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.