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Mike Turzai Won’t Run for Congress in Pennsylvania After All

Just a few days after Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai raised GOP hopes by saying he’d run in the 12th district, he’s now taken himself out of consideration.

Turzai’s decision comes as a blow to Republicans, who believed they had found a promising candidate to take on the victor of the April primary between Democratic Reps. Mark Critz and Jason Altmire.

Two Keystone State GOP sources confirmed Turzai would not run for the southwestern Pennsylvania House seat. A phone message left with Turzai’s official spokesman in the state House was not immediately returned.

Pennsylvania Republicans redrew the state’s Congressional map this cycle, including moving Critz and Altmire into the same district. The GOP aims to pick up that GOP-leaning seat in November.

Turzai told Roll Call last year that he had no interest in running for Congress this cycle, even as he exercised his heavy influence over the state’s new Congressional map. But last week, Turzai started to tell state GOP leaders that he would seek the seat after all.

This is the second time in as many cycles that Turzai came close to pulling the trigger on a run for Congress. House Republicans put the full court press on Turzai to challenge Altmire last cycle, but he declined after weighing it for a lengthy period.

Attorney Keith Rothfus, who came close to defeating Altmire last cycle, remains in the GOP primary. The filing deadline is Feb. 14.

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