Two self-funded Republicans are now on the air in preparation for the primary next month for the open seat currently held by retiring Rep. John Peterson (R).
Hotel developer Matt Shaner and businessman Jeff Stroehmann are up with multiple 30-second television advertisements in the district ahead of the April 22 primary, which includes no fewer than nine Republican candidates.
Shaner, who was the first to go on television in the campaign, went on the air in February with a spot on immigration, followed by an advertisement in March on controlling the national debt. Stroehmann’s advertisement on his economic plan for rural Pennsylvania went up on March 19.
The crowded Republican primary also includes a third self-funding candidate, businessman Derek Walker. Centre County GOP Chairman G.T. Thompson is also considered a credible candidate because of his ties to Republican activists in the largest county in the district.
For the Democrats, newspaper correspondent Bill Cahir, Lock Haven Mayor Rick Vilello and Clearfield County Commissioner Mike McCracken are running for the nomination. Cahir, who served in Iraq, was recently endorsed by VoteVets.org.
The district, however, is heavily favored to vote Republican in 2008. Peterson never won the district by less than 60 percent of the vote, around the same percentage by which President Bush carried it in 2000 and 2004.
— Shira Toeplitz