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GREEN TREE (KDKA) — In 2014 and again in 2016, Republican Congressman Tim Murphy ran unopposed for reelection.
Democrats vow that won’t happen again in 2018.
“I am a teacher, and I am running for Congress,” declared former Allegheny County councilman Mike Crossey of Mt. Lebanon.
Before a cheering group of supporters at the Aiken Elementary School in Green Tree, Crossey announced his candidacy for Congress, and he took on Murphy directly.
“Tim Murphy has voted against our students’ needs. Tim Murphy has voted against our seniors’ needs. Tim Murphy has voted against women’s health issues. Tim Murphy votes against working families.”
The 18th congressional district stretches across four counties — Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland.
Crossey signaled that Murphy’s vote for the House Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is likely to be a big issue.
“I believe in an America where quality health care is accessible to all, where health care decisions are made by doctors and patients, not insurance companies, and certainly not politicians,” declared Crossey.
And the former statewide president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association took a swipe at the Republican congressman for not holding town hall meetings.
“As your congressman, I will demonstrate leadership that listens, do regular town hall meetings, with offices in all four counties,” he said. “I will be accessible to all constituents. You will never have to ask, ‘Where’s Mike?’”
That’s a reference to lawn signs that have cropped up in the 18th District, asking, “Where’s Tim Murphy?”
Crossey says Murphy started off as a moderate Republican but now votes with Speaker Paul Ryan.
“Tim over the years has just started representing Paul Ryan. He has a 97 percent voting record with the Republican Party, and I believe as a member of Congress you need to represent everybody,” Crossey told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
The Murphy campaign noted Crossey made his announcement in the 14th district, not the 18th, and said it would be happy to send him a map of the district.
Crossey says he knew that but chose a school just across the district line attended by his grandkids.
Crossey is not the only Democrat running to take on Murphy.
At least three other Democrats are considering a run.
Murphy won’t be easy to beat.
Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in the 18th district, President Trump carried the district in 2016.
Democrats will choose their nominee in nine months.