Day By Day

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Murtha Challenged

Washington County commissioner Diane Irey has announced her candidacy to unseat John Murtha.

Normally Murtha would be effectively unopposed, nearly all of the challengers he has faced over the years have been fringe candidates, and he has long enjoyed broad bi-partisan support because he has a reputation as a porker. He brings money into the region, and in Pennsylvania that counts for a lot -- a whole lot. The question that is first and foremost in voters minds as they go to the polls is, "what has he or she done for the district." This, plus Murtha's long association with the Pentagon is why he could safely become the Democrats' front man on the proposal to withdraw from Iraq. At least that was the calculation....

Commissioner Irey seems, though, to be a serious challenger. She is a prominent local official and not at all a fringe candidate. She plans to challenge Murtha on his anti-war stance. That probably won't mean much in Cambria or Somerset counties, where even Republicans refuse to criticize Murtha pointing instead to his success in porking. But outside those strongholds, Irey's message might have some resonance.

Read about it here.


One of my Western Pennsylvania correspondents writes to tell me that her name is "Diana," not Diane, and that she has hired a staffer from the Santorum campaign with which she is going to coordinate. That could mean major money flowing her way. It looks as if Jack is in for a fight this time. My correspondent finds her quite impressive -- bright, attractive, and aggressive. We'll be hearing from her again, especially if she takes down Murtha.

No comments: