Maggi challenging incumbent Murphy in 18th District
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, 4:41 a.m.
A veteran of Washington County government takes on a veteran of Harrisburg and Washington in the multi-county 18th Congressional District.
“I am running for Congress to put middle-class families first again,” said Washington County Commissioner and Democratic nominee Larry Maggi.
Maggi, 62, a former state trooper and county sheriff, is challenging 60-year-old, five-term U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, a psychologist and former state senator who tackled a newly remapped U.S. House district in 2002.
“We've seen positive change,” said the incumbent Republican, “(such as) House passage of a China currency manipulation bill to support our local manufacturers and steelmakers by cracking down on international trade violators (and) enactment of Marc and Chelsea's law to protect our communities following breech of gas pipelines.”
Murphy chairs the Congressional Steel Caucus and cites “dozens of local projects” including his work with the Army Corps of Engineers.
“I've also been working to ensure Lock 3 at Elizabeth, which dates from 1907, and through it travels about 12 million tons of cargo each year, gets the needed funding from the Army Corps to keep cargo moving,” Murphy said. “A breakdown on the Lower Mon would cripple distribution of coal, steel, natural gas and chemicals throughout the country.”
Maggi said he worked to make government more efficient and accountable to taxpayers, including elimination of his county's jury commission.
The Washington County commissioner said, “(We) are leading the way in energy production, creating good-paying middle-class jobs. We have the third highest job growth of any county in the country and private-sector wages are up 9 percent. We've balanced eight budgets in eight years and kept taxes at the second lowest rate in the region.”
Maggi said Congress must cut wasteful spending, while protecting “investments that create private sector jobs like education, training and high-tech research.” He opposes changing Medicare from an insurance program to a voucher one and favors “middle-class tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses.”
Murphy's medical background influenced his work. He pressed through Congress a Generic Drug and Biosimilar User Fee Act signed into law on July 9.
“I plan to keep advancing (a plan) to stop Congress and the Administration from spending the Social Security and Medicare trust funds on anything else other than benefits owed to all those who worked their entire lives paying into the program,” Murphy added.
Murphy said his priorities include his Infrastructure Jobs & Energy Independence Act and “enacting reforms for the health care you need, from the doctor you choose at affordable cost.”
The 18th covers areas of Allegheny, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties including the cities of Washington, Greensburg, Jeannette and Latrobe.
After the 2010 census there were some shifts locally but the 18th still covers Elizabeth, Forward, North Huntingdon and South Versailles townships and the boroughs of Elizabeth, Irwin, Jefferson Hills, North Irwin, Pleasant Hills and West Elizabeth.
“Democrats want to spend too much and kill natural gas jobs,” Maggi said. “Republicans want to cut Medicare and give tax breaks to the wealthy.”
“I'm fighting the ‘War on Coal,' which is why I am endorsed by the United Mine Workers of America,” Murphy said.
Maggi is endorsed by the United Steelworkers of America. Both candidates are endorsed by the anti-abortion LifePAC of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Murphy is endorsed by Firearm Owners Against Crime and the National Rifle Association.
Maggi received an AQ rating, which, according to the NRA, means the candidate said all the right things in his or her questionnaire, but doesn't have any voting record one way or the other.
Maggi served in the Marine Corps and attended California University of Pennsylvania, and has been involved in his family's small business. He faced tragedy, with the deaths of his first wife and of the younger of their two children. He since has remarried.
Murphy is married and has one daughter. He is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Service Corps, has degrees from Wheeling Jesuit University, Cleveland State University and the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of “The Angry Child.”
Wednesday: State Senate races.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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