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Critz and Rothfus Will Compete in New 12th Congressional District

Incumbent Jason Altmire concedes after Critz captures the seat in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Incumbent Rep. Mark Critz has won the Democratic nomination in a close primary that pitted him against incumbent Rep. Jason Altmire for the new 12th Legislative District, according to unofficial results.

Altmire, 44, of McCandless, whose 4th District includes Sewickley, and Critz, 50, of Johnstown, Cambria County, were locked in  for the chance to represent much of Western Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As of 10:50 p.m., Critz had received 29,643 votes to 25,206 cast for Altmire by voters in the sprawling district.

"Congratulations to my colleague Congressman Mark Critz on his hard-fought and well-deserved victory in the primary. He has my full support as his campaign moves on to the fall," Altmire said in a statement.

"I want to thank my constituents who supported me by an overwhelming margin in the portion of the new 12th District that I have represented. It is gratifying to know that democratic voters in my current district continue to support me by such a large margin," Altmire said. 

Earlier in the day, Altmire stopped by the McCandless Town Hall in McCandless Township before traveling Tuesday afternoon to Washington, D.C. to vote with other members of the House of Representatives.

He acknowledged the while speaking with reporters, saying that "turnout is going to be the key." 

"I think the voters are going to have the ability to make their choice. I think it's going to be a close race," Altmire predicted.

Critz now will face a Republican challenger, lawyer Keith Rothfus of , in the November general election. Rothfus ran unchallenged in the primary and received 38,289 total votes, according to unofficial election results. 

Altmire was elected in 2006 and is serving his third term. Critz won a special election in 2010 to replace the late Rep. John Murtha after working as a top aide to the longtime congressman from Johnstown.

“You have no idea how overwhelming this is to me,” Critz told a ballroom packed with cheering supporters at a Johnstown hotel, according to the Johnstown-based Tribune-Democrat newspaper.

Critz, who had been supported by former President Bill Clinton and labor organizations, also turned to Twitter Tuesday night night to thank his backers, saying in one tweet: "Thank you, Steelworkers, SEIU, AFL-CIO and all of labor! I couldn't have done it without you."

During his three terms in Congress, Altmire said he has cast more than 4,600 consecutive votes and has never missed a vote since 2007.

"As I finish the remainder of my term, it continues to be my honor to serve the people of the 4th Congressional District of Pennsylvania," Altmire said.

 

Check back with Patch for updates.


Paul April 25, 2012 at 12:09 PM
As someone who had the great misfortune of being unrepresented by Nancy Pelosi's favorite Pennsylvania lap-dog Jason Altmire I'm struggling to find words to express my joy and seeing him pointed to the exit, hopefully for good. Now on to defeating John Murtha's crony in November.
Conrad April 25, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I respectfully disagree. I feel that Altmire did a good job representing us and now that Critz is the candidate, and if he wins, then the western part of District 12 will get the short end of the stick. Critz is a Murtha clone without the clout, and he will do more for Johnstown / Altoona area than he will for us.
Paul April 25, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Ever try to get Jason Altmire or his office to reply to you about an issue important to his district or one he sat on committee for? If you weren't on the list of his Democrat campaign contributors you might as well have been trying to get a brick wall to respond. In my fifty years I've lived in several districts in and around Pittsburgh as well as other in different states and I can say say without equivocation no representative Democrat or Republican was more dismissive or less responsive than Jason Altmire was to "constituents" who weren't handing him their money or committed to voting for him. At least some other Democrats who's districts I've lived in would extend the minimal courtesy of a form letter in response to contacts from registered Republicans in their district trying to contact them something Mr Altmire found to be to difficult to do. Goodbye and good riddance I say.

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