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Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.) might have his firs serious re-election challenge since winning a Member versus Member contest in 2002.

State Sen. Dave Argall (R) will announce Monday morning in Harrisburg that he is going to challenge Holden for his central Pennsylvania House seat. Holden has always won re-election with at least 57 percent of the vote over the course of his nine terms in Congress, except for when a GOP-led redistricting plan pit him against then-Rep. George W. Gekas in 2002. But even though Holden has won by convincing margins over the course of his career, national Republican candidates have consistently won his district since 2000.

Anticipating Argall’s challenge, Holden already told a local newspaper that he expects a tough challenge.

“It’ll be a fight. It’s time to put the helmet back on and buckle the chinstrap,” Holden, who was a star football player in his youth, told the Pottsville Republican Herald.

CQ Politics currently rates this general election contest as Safe Democratic.

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