Pennsylvania: Businessman Plans to Take On Rep. Schwartz

Posted January 28, 2008 at 6:55pm

Businessman Lee Falgoust (R) announced Monday that he is challenging sophomore Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D), who won her seat by healthy margins in both 2004 and 2006.

“Helping companies become stronger and more competitive in the global marketplace is what I do for a living and it’s the kind of common sense experience we desperately need in Washington,” Falgoust said. “We cannot continue to politicize every issue.”

According to his campaign, Falgoust is the president and founder of Crosslink Technology Group LLC, a management consulting firm.

The district that comprises the northern Philadelphia suburbs gave Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) 56 percent of the vote in the 2004 White House election — a number that Schwartz matched that year.

“We will will have a comment when we have a Republican nominee,” Schwartz spokeswoman Rachel Magnuson said Monday.

Out of Race, Francis to Serve as Hart’s Chairman

Former Allegheny County Councilman Ron Francis has dropped out of the Republican primary against former Rep. Melissa Hart. In an e-mail to his supporters last week, Francis said a primary with Hart would only help freshman Rep. Jason Altmire (D), and Hart said in a phone interview that Francis has agreed to be her campaign chairman.

“To defeat Congressman Altmire and reclaim the seat, we need to be united from the beginning behind one candidate,” Francis wrote. “Therefore, I have decided that I will not seek the Republican nomination for Congress … I have concluded that a majority of Republican primary voters in the Fourth Congressional District believe that Melissa Hart deserves a second chance to beat Congressman Altmire.”

Altmire defeated then-Rep. Hart in her suburban Pittsburgh district in 2006. Francis got into the race soon after, in early 2007.

“I have always planned that my opponent would be Melissa Hart, so Ron Francis’ departure from the race has no impact,” Altmire said a statement.

“I am delighted to have the support of Ron Francis, an outstanding Republican leader and dedicated public servant,” Hart said in a statement. “His support and that of other committed Republicans will go a long way in ensuring that we can win this fall.”
— Shira Toeplitz