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PRIMARY 2014: Nominate Mark Critz and Bill Shuster

AP - FILE - In this May 18, 2010 file photo, Mark Critz, then-Democratic congressional candidate is seen in Johnstown, Pa. House Democrats have reserved more than $32 million in ad time in districts across the country, giving an early sketch of the race for control of the House. Broadly, the ad reservations show that House Democrats will try to regain control of the chamber in many of the same states President Barack Obama must win to get re-elected in November. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>FILE - In this May 18, 2010 file photo, Mark Critz, then-Democratic congressional candidate is seen in Johnstown, Pa.  House Democrats have reserved more than $32 million in ad time in districts across the country, giving an early sketch of the race for control of the House. Broadly, the ad reservations show that House Democrats will try to regain control of the chamber in many of the same states President Barack Obama must win to get re-elected in November. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review - U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster talks with Trib reporters and editors on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Justin Merriman  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster talks with Trib reporters and editors on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.
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We typically leave the respective political parties to their own devices in primary elections and refrain from making endorsements. But two races on Tuesday warrant our endorsement this cycle (and the Democrats' gubernatorial race is not one of them):

• Five Democrats are seeking their party's nomination to become lieutenant governor. But one rises above the pack. And that's Mark Critz.

Mr. Critz is no stranger to the mechanics of politics and government. He served faithfully as the late U.S. Rep. Jack Murtha's top aide, won the right to succeed him in a special election and later won the seat in his own right. Critz was defeated by Republican Keith Rothfus two years ago. Critz knows the players and the people well and would serve Pennsylvania with distinction in the No. 2 spot. That said, you can bet there are a goodly number of Pennsylvanians who wish he was seeking the gubernatorial nomination.

• Twelve years of experience. Chairmanship of the all-important House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. A solid record of constituent service. That's Bill Shuster, the Republican incumbent in the 9th Congressional District.

And though his two challengers each bring some good ideas to the table, Mr. Shuster clearly is worthy of being returned to office.

A vote Tuesday for Bill Shuster is a vote for the best interests of all Pennsylvanians.

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