PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Last April, Art Halvorson came within a thousand votes of defeating long-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster in the Republican primary.

“It came out to one vote per precinct. That’s how close it was,” Halvorson told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

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But unlike most, Halvorson is getting another crack at Shuster in the general election.

“The Democratic Party did not nominate a candidate, so it was open. They wrote me in and I won,” he said.

Although he is running on the Democratic ticket, Halvorson has not changed his party.

“I’m a Christian, conservative Republican,” he said.

A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, he served in the Coast Guard for nearly 30 years and now owns and manages commercial properties.

Bill Shuster has been in Congress since 2000, after succeeding his father, Bud Shuster, who was first elected in 1972.

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“He needs to be defeated because he is part of a political dynasty. He’s part of the career politicians that are corrupting our nation,” says Halvorson.

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The 9th Congressional District stretches across southwestern Pennsylvania and includes Fayette, Indiana, and parts of Washington and Westmoreland Counties.

As chair of the House Transportation Committee, Shuster says he’s brought millions of dollars to the region.

For Halvorson to upset Shuster, he must keep the Republicans who voted for him in April and pick up most of the Democrats — and do it all without much money.

“We believe we’re going to win. We believe that Mr. Shuster, who has now gone full negative, knows that he’s behind,” he said.

Nonsense, says the Shuster campaign.

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The congressman “takes every race seriously and will continue talking to voters about his work for the community.”