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The state Democratic Executive Committee on Monday chose Mark Critz as the party’s nominee in the special election to fill the remainder of the term of the late Rep. John Murtha (D).

Critz was Murtha’s district director.

He won 30 of the committee’s votes versus 18 for former state Treasurer Barbara Hafer and one for Navy veteran Ryan Bucchianeri.

Critz also was the preferred choice in a nonbinding Saturday vote by local Democrats.

Republicans will pick their special election nominee, either 2008 GOP nominee Bill Russell or businessman Tim Burns, on March 11.

All of the candidates who went after the special election nomination also are running in their party contests for the full term that begins in 2011. Both the full-term primary and the special election will be held May 18.

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