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Westmoreland

Candidates line up for Murphy's 18th District seat in Congress

| Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, center, resigned from the House amid revelations of an extramarital affair. Murphy is an anti-abortion lawmaker, but he allegedly urged his mistress to get an abortion when he thought she was pregnant.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, center, resigned from the House amid revelations of an extramarital affair. Murphy is an anti-abortion lawmaker, but he allegedly urged his mistress to get an abortion when he thought she was pregnant.
State Sen. Kim L. Ward
State Sen. Kim L. Ward
Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Elizabeth Township
Submitted
Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Elizabeth Township
State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Jefferson Hills.
Submitted
State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Jefferson Hills.
Democrat Pam Iovino, 61, of Mt. Lebanon
Democrat Pam Iovino, 61, of Mt. Lebanon
Democrat Mike Crossey, 66, of Mt. Lebanon
Democrat Mike Crossey, 66, of Mt. Lebanon
Democrat Bob Solomon of Oakdale
Democrat Bob Solomon of Oakdale
Gina Cerilli of Hempfield won the Democratic nod for Westmoreland County commissioner in the May 2015 primary.
Gina Cerilli of Hempfield won the Democratic nod for Westmoreland County commissioner in the May 2015 primary.

Congressman Tim Murphy's early exit from office amid an extramarital affair scandal has opened Pennsylvania's 18th District to a rush of candidates from both parties.

Murphy, a Republican from Allegheny County who didn't even have a Democratic challenger in 2014 or 2016, announced he would not seek re-election and would resign in the wake of revelations that the anti-abortion congressman had an affair with a married friend and urged her to get an abortion when they feared she had gotten pregnant.

Gov. Tom Wolf will have until Oct. 31 — 10 days after Murphy's announced last day in office — to set up a special election to fill the rest of Murphy's term. But the election also has to happen at least 60 days after Murphy's resignation, meaning that setting something up to coincide with the Nov. 7 general elections is impossible.

Each party will select a candidate to run in the special election through a process that has yet to be finalized. That selection process won't involve citizens, only party organizations.

All the candidates have expressed an interest in seeking both their party's nomination for the special election and running for a full term in 2018. The list of candidates may continue to grow as the elections draw closer.

The 18th Congressional District includes portions of Allegheny, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Murphy represented the district since 2003; his last day is Oct. 21.

DEMOCRATS

Gina Cerilli

Age: 31

Occupation: County commissioner

Residence: Hempfield

Family: Single

Experience: Westmoreland County commissioner since 2016

Campaign contact: ginacerilli@yahoo.com .

Mike Crossey

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired/part-time financial representative

Residence: Mt. Lebanon

Family: Wife, Eileen; children Michael and Meghan

Experience: Former Mt. Lebanon commissioner, Allegheny County councilman and Pennsylvania State Education Association president

Campaign contact: crossey4congress.com or 412-983-8387

Pam Iovino

Age: 61

Occupation: Retired Naval officer, former assistant secretary of Congressional Affairs at the VA

Residence: Mt. Lebanon

Family: N/A

Experience: Director of Veterans Services, Allegheny County; member of Governor's Women Veterans Committee

Campaign site: pamforpa.com

Conor Lamb

Age: 33

Occupation: Former assistant U.S. attorney (2014-2017)

Residence: Mt. Lebanon

Family: N/A

Experience: The former federal prosecutor was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, completing his active duty service in 2013.

Campaign site: conorlamb.com

Bob Solomon

Age: 59

Occupation: Emergency physician

Residence: Oakdale

Family: Wife, Donna; daughters Diana and Rose

Experience: Spent six years on American College of Emergency Physicians board of directors

Campaign contact: solomon4pa18.com or 724-695-0202

REPUBLICANS

Guy Reschenthaler

Age: 34

Occupation: Real estate attorney, former Navy prosecutor

Residence: Jefferson Hills

Family: N/A

Experience: Former district judge for Jefferson Hills, state senator since 2015

Campaign site: guyforpa.com

Rick Saccone

Age: 59

Occupation: State representative, part-time political science professor at St. Vincent College

Residence: Elizabeth

Family: Wife, Yong; sons Nick and Matthew

Elected experience: State representative since 2011

Campaign site: ricksaccone.com

Kim Ward

Age: 61

Occupation: State senator

Residence: Hempfield

Family: N/A

Elected experience: Former Hempfield supervisor and Westmoreland County commissioner; current state senator

Campaign site: N/A

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6660, msantoni@tribweb.com or via Twitter @msantoni.

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