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May 21, 2014

McClelland beats Hugya for nomination in 12th

JOHNSTOWN — A first-term congressman and a political newcomer will meet in this year’s 12th district general election.

There was no question U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, would be involved in the race. He was unopposed for the GOP nomination in Tuesday’s primary.

However, his opponent was going to be either Erin McClelland, who never previously held public office, or longtime political veteran and retired Marine Corps Col. John Hugya, a former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown.

McClelland, an Allegheny County resident, won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday with approximately two-thirds of the vote, according to unofficial numbers from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Hugya, a Somerset County resident, conceded at his Johnstown headquarters around 10 p.m.

“I’m not bitter, absolutely not bitter,” said Hugya. “I got into this thing knowing that I might not win, but I wanted to get into there to let them know I’m here and I’m not a happy camper and neither are a lot of our constituents.”

Rothfus will be looking to retain a seat he first won by defeating U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, in 2012.

“As the employee of 705,000 western Pennsylvanians, I am committed to working on solutions that grow our economy and create jobs, control government spending, and preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security,” said Rothfus.

“It is important that we continue to hold the Obama Administration accountable and rein in the EPA, IRS, and other out-of-control and out-of-touch Washington, D.C., bureaucrats.”

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