Pennsylvania: Rendell, Murphy Split on Open-Seat Primary

Posted April 8, 2008 at 6:38pm

Endorsements in the Democratic primary in the 5th district, traditionally a GOP stronghold, are stacking up. Rep. John Peterson (R) is retiring, leaving an open-seat race in the north-central Keystone State district.

Iraq War veteran and former reporter Bill Cahir was recently endorsed by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), while Lock Haven Mayor Rick Vilello received the endorsement of two-term Gov. Ed Rendell (D).

“I have known Rick since my first term as governor and over these six years have gained valuable insight into what he believes and what he stands for,” Rendell said.

Cahir also was recently endorsed by his former boss, ex-Sen. Harris Wofford (D), whom he worked for on Capitol Hill. Murphy, a freshman Member from the southeastern part of the state, is also an Iraq War vet.

“To deliver the change we need in Iraq, we need leaders in Congress who can speak with the strength of experience,” Murphy said. “Bill Cahir has seen our foreign policy first hand and knows what takes to start bringing our troops home.”

The 5th district typically votes Republican, giving President Bush 61 percent in 2004. The Republican field to replace Peterson features nine candidates, including three businessmen in part funding their own campaigns and who are considered the frontrunners in the race.
— Shira Toeplitz