Pennsylvania: First Republican Files to Run Against Altmire

Posted September 30, 2009 at 6:34pm

Rep. Jason Altmire (D) has attracted his first GOP opponent in his conservative suburban Pittsburgh district. Attorney Keith Rothfus announced his campaign for the GOP nod Tuesday.

According to a press release from his campaign, Rothfus returned to the district in 2007 after serving in the Department of Homeland Security. In his announcement, he said he was concerned by Altmire’s “near-silence— on the health care reform legislation being debated in Congress.

“Unfortunately, Altmire has been quiet on large pieces of this bill,— he said in a statement.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has expressed interest in targeting Altmire if they can find the right candidate. National Republicans have attempted to woo state House Republican Whip Mike Turzai into the race, but sources say he is unlikely to run against Altmire.

Altmire won re-election in 2008 with 56 percent of the vote over former Rep. Melissa Hart (R), whom he beat in 2006. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried the suburban Pittsburgh district in last year’s presidential race with 55 percent of the vote.