Republican John Chrin has launched his first television commercial in his bid for the 8th Congressional District seat.
“Growing up, we didn’t have much, but we had our family,” Chrin says at in the 30-second commercial. “I worked my way through school, and I was fortunate enough to build a successful career in business. Now I’m running for Congress to fight for our workers and families and attract jobs to Pennsylvania. Strong families and strong values are what makes Pennsylvania great. In Congress, I will never stop fighting to put them first.”
Through next Monday, Chrin has spent $25,020 on 240 commercials on the major local commercial TV stations. The ad began airing April 3.
The commercial amounts to Chrin’s introduction to voters across the 8th Congressional District. In case you didn’t know, Chrin grew up in the Allentown area. He actually lives in Palmer Twp. in Northampton County, which is not in the 8th district.
He lived in New Jersey for at least 20 years and moved to Palmer Twp. last year to run in the present 17th Congressional District against Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright of Moosic, but then the state Supreme Court shook up district boundaries.
The shakeup left Chrin outside the newly numbered 8th district.
The U.S Constitution only requires living in the state you want to represent and says nothing about districts, but living outside a district opens up a candidate to criticism during a political campaign.
Though his campaign spokesman says Chrin will establish residency in the 8th, he’s counting on voters caring more about issues than residency.
Be sure that if Chrin wins the Republican nomination, Cartwright will remind voters as often as possible that he’s lived in the district a whole lot longer than Chrin. Of course, if you look at it another way, neither has lived in the 8th district all that long because it didn’t exist. Trouble with that argument is Chrin still doesn’t live there.
Chrin isn’t the first to run for Congress from outside the district he wants to represent.
For example, back in 2004, U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, the veteran Democrat who represented Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and the rest of what was then the 11th Congressional District, had no Republican opponent. He did have a Constitution Party opponent named Kenneth C. Brenneman, who lived in Manor Twp. In Lancaster County. At the time, Lancaster County was entirely in the 16th Congressional District, whose congressman was Joseph Pitts.
Final score: Kanorski, 171,147 votes (94.4 percent), Brenneman, 10,106 votes (5.6 percent)
In this election, Chrin isn’t even the only one to run from outside a district. Dan Meuser, who lives in the 8th, is running for the 9th Congressional District seat.
Chrin and Brenneman both decided to challenge entrenched Democrats, but the difference between them is obvious.
For one, Chrin is a Republican, in other words, he’s registered in a major party. Brenneman wasn’t.
Chrin is also a serious candidate, meaning he’s willing to raise and spend real money on a campaign. A former Wall Street executive, Chrin will need the kind of money you need to make up for a key deficiency like residency.
Unfortunately for him, he’s not the only serious Republican candidate for Cartwright’s seat.
Former state prosecutor and Scranton cop Joe Peters just moved back to Scranton (from Wyoming County, which is outside the 8th, too) to run for the seat.
At least Peters can claim some sort of real past connection to the district. Peters probably won’t have Chrin’s money, but he has started to run some radio commercials locally urging people to “send a cop to Congress.”
Robert Kuniegel of Spring Brook Twp., a big supporter of President Donald Trump, is also running for the seat. I actually saw a couple of Kuniegel’s yard signs over the weekend in Scranton, but he’s got a lot more to prove about his viability than Chrin or Peters.