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Marino Meets With NRCC About Possible Carney Challenge

Former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino (R) is seriously considering challenging Rep. Christopher Carney (D-Pa.) and is meeting with the National Republican Congressional Committee today in Washington, D.C., according to two GOP sources familiar with the meeting.Republicans believe Carney is vulnerable in his conservative northeastern Pennsylvania district, which has consistently voted Republican at the presidential level. GOP party leaders attempted to recruit Marino to run in the 2008 cycle against Carney, but he eventually declined to run. According to one Republican operative familiar with the situation, Marino requested today’s meeting with NRCC and is still in the early stages of looking at a potential campaign.The GOP operative stressed that the committee is in the process of meeting with several candidates. State Rep. Mike Peifer (R) is also considering a bid and has met with the committee.Carney came to Congress in 2006 by defeating longtime Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.), who was marred by a personal scandal. Republicans targeted Carney in 2008, but he handily defeated businessman Chris Hackett, 56 percent to 44 percent. Republicans continue to win the district on the national level: Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) carried it with 54 percent of the vote in 2008 and President George W. Bush carried it with 60 percent in 2004.

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