GOP’s Turzai Ponders Bid for Western Pennsylvania Seat

Posted September 30, 2009 at 4:10pm

Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire this week drew his first Republican challenger for the 2010 campaign. And that candidate, lawyer Keith J. Rothfus, may soon have company for the GOP primary next May.

Republican state Rep. Mike Turzai told CQ Politics Wednesday that he’s considering a bid to challenge Altmire, a two-term incumbent, in the western Pennsylvania’s 4th District. It would be a return to House politics for Turzai, who lost the 1998 race in the 4th District to then-Democratic incumbent Ron Klink.

Turzai, however, emphasized that he’s concentrating for the time being on trying to end a budget impasse in Harrisburg, the state capital. Turzai, who is his party’s state House whip, and his GOP colleagues are resisting proposals to increase taxes.

“I have a job to do on behalf of my constituents and the citizens of Pennsylvania,” Turzai said. “Until that budget battle settles, I’m just really not going to make any decisions up until then.”