SEWICKLEY (KDKA) — On Tuesday night, the region’s newest member of Congress celebrated at a victory party. The next day, Keith Rothfus was back at his campaign headquarters thanking volunteers.
When KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano sat down with him, he admitted, “Tired. Happy. It’s been a long road. It’s nice to see the work pay off.”
Rothfus, a 50-year-old Sewickley Republican, won a hard-fought race against Democratic Congressman Mark Critz of Johnstown whose district was gerrymandered to elect a Republican.
“It looks like the island of Cuba,” says Democratic state chair Jim Burn.
Burn says Sewickley has little in common with Johnstown, but the Congressman-elect disagrees.
“Think of yourself as being from southwestern Pennsylvania, and that brings it together. And we do have a lot of commonality here.”
Rothfus pledges, “I’m going to have an office in Johnstown. I’m absolutely reaching out every day to people there.”
Beyond offices, the Congressman-elect’s biggest challenge will be advancing his conservative economic agenda in Washington when President Obama is urging compromise.
“I identify with Reagan Conservatives; and if they’re Reagan Conservatives in the Tea Party Caucus, if they’re Reagan Conservatives in any caucus, I will certainly be identifying with them. We want to limit government,” he says. “We don’t want to have tax increases.”
As for the President’s call to raise taxes on the wealthy:
Delano: “Sounds like you’re not prepared to compromise on the tax side?”
Rothfus: “I have taken a pledge to the people of this district. I will not support tax increases.”
Congressman-elect Rothfus will be sworn in to office on Jan. 3.
Given all the big issues before Congress in Washington, it won’t be long before we find out just what kind of congressman he will be.
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