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Pennsylvania: On Comeback Trail, Hart Hits D.C. Fundraisers

Former Rep. Melissa Hart (R) is fundraising in Washington, D.C., this month, including an event this evening with the Alpine Group, a government relations firm.

Hart held another D.C. fundraiser earlier this month hosted by elected Republicans. Reps. Tom Feeney (Fla.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), John Kline (Minn.), John Shadegg (Ariz.), Adrian Smith (Neb.) and Joe Wilson (S.C.) were all listed on the invitation for the event sponsored by the House Conservatives Fund.

Tickets for both events are $1,000 per political action committee or $500 per individual. Hart said she’s been fundraising in Washington and in the district all fall and she expects to have at least $300,000 in her campaign bank account by the end of the year.

The three-term former Congresswoman is running for her old seat in suburban Pittsburgh. Hart faces former Allegheny County Council member Ron Francis in the Republican primary. She is considered the frontrunner in the GOP race.

Freshman Rep. Jason Altmire (D) took the seat in the previous cycle with 52 percent of the vote in a district President Bush carried in 2004 with 54 percent of the vote.

“While Jason Altmire might impress Nancy Pelosi and the liberal Democrat leadership, it appears that he doesn’t impress very many Pennsylvania voters with his record of supporting tax hikes and runaway spending,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Carrie James criticized Hart’s D.C. fundraising and called Altmire an “exceptional leader for western Pennsylvania families.”

“Obviously, Melissa Hart didn’t learn her lesson last year when she was fired from her job in Congress if she thinks schmoozing with special interest groups and corrupt Members of Congress will get her re-elected,” James said.

— Shira Toeplitz

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