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PA-05: Neither Corman, Conklin running UPDATE2

by: Glacial Erratic

Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 3:45 PM EST

To the small group of people who care about the inner workings of the lovely 5th Congressional district of PA, in the wake of John Peterson's retirement announcement:

Republican State Sen. Jake Corman, the prohibitive favorite to succeed Peterson, will NOT run for the seat.

"Ultimately, as exciting as it would be to serve in the United States Congress and help shape public policy on a national level, the decision came down to what is best for my family," Corman said in the news release.

more on the flip
Glacial Erratic :: PA-05: Neither Corman, Conklin running UPDATE2

The most often-mentioned possible Democrat, State Rep. Scott Conklin, has also ruled out a run for the seat.

So who's left? I'm betting these people were waiting to see if Corman or Conklin got in.

Patton Township Republican Matt Shaner, who was defeated in the Republican primary two years ago for the 77th District state House seat, said Monday that he is thinking about it, too. "I am strongly considering running but no final decision has been made yet," Shaner said.

State Rep. Martin Causer, RBradford, a second-term state House member who represents Cameron and Potter counties and part of McKean County, said he is considering running for the 5th District seat.

He said Peterson did such a good job representing rural Pennsylvania that "whoever takes that position next is going to have a really hard act to follow."

Veteran Democratic state Reps. Dan Surra, of Clearfield and Elk counties, and Mike Hanna, of Clinton and Centre Counties, are thought to be potential Democratic candidates for the open congressional seat. Neither could be reached for comment.

So we may hear from them soon now that Corman has announced his intentions.  Shaner is a young Santorum-wannabe. Yuck. Scarnati is another possibility on the Republican side. I'm not sure why he isn't mentioned in the article.

UPDATE: More speculation from the CDT on this race. One of Peterson's aids is interested, as well as a few prominent Centre County Republicans. They don't want to split up the Centre vote, so they are waiting for State Rep Kerry Benninghoff to decide, and go from there.

On the Dem side, the mayor of Lock Haven is considering. Still no word from Surra or Hanna.

UPDATE2: Via Christopher Walker below, for the Repubs, Benninghoff is definitely out and Shaner is definitely in.  

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Howver small that group of people
Half of them probably read this site! Thanks for x-posting here. Hope to see you around.

I'll cross-post any new and exciting news from the 5th!

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the update!
I hope this race will turn out to be more competitive than it seems!

Delaware Liberal - biggest and best blog in Delaware.

This will be one of the toughest
Republican open seats for us to pick up.  It voted 61% for George W. Bush and that usually means its a pretty heavily Republican district anywhere but the South.  There are only three counties in the district where Democrats are even competitive.  The rest of the district votes 65%+ Republican.  

Honestly, I don't think it's a real possibility
But we can't give them a free ride for this open seat.  

[ Parent ]
more new developments
There have been some more developments in this congressional race.

As many of you are aware, 6-term Republican incumbent John Peterson announced a surprise retirement recently in this large, rambling, mostly rural district, which has been such a safe seat for the Reds that Peterson ran unopposed more times than he had a challenger.

Both parties have been scrambling to identify a candidate, and some more of the speculative possibilities ducked out yesterday:

To summarize for those with no time to follow the link, the Republican widely viewed as the best and obvious candidate for the Reds, state senator Jake Corman, had already declined. That opened speculation about the state representative whose district overlaps much of the same territory, Kerry Benninghoff, R-171.

Benninghoff has now declined. The Republicans still have one top-tier candidate hesitating in the wings, State Sen. Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, president pro tempore of the state Senate, but the third tier is now rumbling with excitement and some of them are throwing their hats into the ring.  

The article linked above indicates that youthful businessman Matt Shaner, 28, Howard Township health care professional G.T. Thompson, 48, a county Republican Party chairman; and former county commissioner and College Township Councilman Chris Exarchos, 63, are either pondering or are in.  

I know absolutely nothing about Thompson. Shaner is an extremely conservative member of the Santorum wing of his party who was not even able to capture his party's nomination for the state legislature, last time. And Exarchos is a local elected official and party hack who is rapidly wearing out his welcome even among Republicans. His most recent stunt was to lose the Republican nomination for a local office and then turn around and run an aggressive, costly, and unsuccessful bid for it as an independent (Lieberman-style, except he lost).  These two are bottom of the barrel.

cross-posted from the big orange blog

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed.  

I was late checking the CDT today.

[ Parent ]
Sleeper District
I live in this district. This district may look Republican BUT we elected Bob Casey to Senate, Governor Rendell by a landslide and have repeatedly elected a liberal Democrat, Dan Surra, to the state house by huge margins.  Penn State University is in this district and so are some strong unions. Many people here HATE Bush and his whole administration.  We are ready for change.
Republican Peterson had little money and less support.  He is a TERRIBLE congressman - a complete rubber stamp for Bush. This could be a sleeper pickup for the Democrats.  The Republicans do not even have a candidate and final registration for April primary is only a few weeks away.  
One Republican who announced he is running was just arrested for both DUI and leaving the scene of an accident!
 Out here in rural Pennsylvania the media market is really cheap.  The Democrats could win this seat with $200,000 or less.  Last election the Democrat, John Hilliard had only $10,000 for his campaign and still got more votes than any Democrat in recent times!  He has already announced he is running again and he has turned down all funds from lobbyists.

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