PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Voters in part of this region now have two congressmen.
Redistricting has tossed Democrats Jason Altmire, of McCandless, and Mark Critz, of Johnstown, together in the new 12th District.
They will fight it out in the April primary, and some think Critz has the tougher challenge.
“I think the problem is that a lot of people in this North Hills and over into Beaver County don’t know me that well. So, this is a campaign of getting to meet those folks and getting them to meet me,” Critz said.
Critz’s old district ran south of Pittsburgh from Johnstown through Washington County to the West Virginia line.
The new 12th District runs from Johnstown, but curves north of Pittsburgh into the North Hills and Beaver County to the Ohio line.
Two-thirds of Altmire’s district is in the new 12th District, but Critz claims strong labor support, which can be key in the Democratic Primary.
“When it’s all said and done and someone needs to be in there fighting for middle America, the working people of this district, they know they can count on me,” Critz said.
Both Critz and Altmire call themselves social conservatives, pro-life and pro-gun, but Altmire is less likely to vote the Democratic line.
Altmire votes with his Democratic leaders 57 percent of the time, while Critz has voted 75 percent with his party.
One recent example: Altmire voted for a Republican balanced budget amendment while Critz voted against it.
“We agree on some, but there are some contrasts, and that’s what campaigns are about, showing people where the differences are,” Critz said.