Ex-House Chief of Staff to Run in Pennsylvania

Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:25pm

Retired Col. John A. Hugya, former chief of staff to the late Rep John P. Murtha, D-Pa., will announce a bid for his House seat on Friday, according to a release from Hugya’s campaign.

Hugya, 79, will run in the 12th District, a seat Murtha held for more than 30 years. He will make an announcement in the district at a statue of Murtha at the Johnstown War Memorial.

Hugya will face psychologist Erin McClelland in the Democratic primary. The Democratic nominee will face freshman GOP Rep. Keith Rothfus in the southwestern Pennsylvania district, which Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried by a 17-point margin in 2012.

Democrats hoped that former Rep. Mark Critz would run again this cycle, but he opted to run for lieutenant governor instead. Critz held the seat after Murtha’s death for more than two years and then lost to Rothfus last November.

Pennsylvania’s 12th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.