I was looking today at my list of prospective congressional candidates from about a month ago for the three local seats.
I counted seven people who either announced plans to run or thought about it. After the Supreme Court rewrote the districts, they didn’t run or decided to run in a district that isn’t one of the three local ones.
All seven planned to run in the existing 11th Congressional District, which Rep. Lou Barletta is giving up to run for the U.S. Senate.
The seven are Rep. Stephen Bloom, a Cumberland County Republican; former Hazleton Mayor Michael Marsicano, who lives in Hazle Twp.; Air Force veteran Robert Alan Howe, who got in in April 2017, long before anyone else; Andrew Lewis, who is now running for state representative; Berwick Councilman Andrew Shecktor; Luzerne County Councilman Tim McGinley; and white supremacist Sean Donahue of Hazleton.
Only Bloom is still running for Congress. He’s running in the 13th Congressional District.
In case you’re wondering, eight of the state’s 18th districts are considered competitive now, compared to seven in January before the new districts.
Just as before, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright’s district – he’s running in the newly named 8th – is considered competitive, according to the Cook Political Report. It was considered “lean Republican” in January, but is “likely Democratic” now.
Neither the 12th Congressional District, which has Republican Tom Marino running, nor the 9th, an open seat with three Democrats and three Republicans running, are considered competitive. Cook considers both solid Republican seats.
The big difference is that three Republican seats – the 1st, 6th and 17th are now considered tossups. In January, none were.
None of the Democratic seats are considered tossups now or then.