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Cecil counselor, professor Rueben Brock joins crowd seeking Dems' nod for Congressman Tim Murphy's seat

| Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, 4:54 p.m.
Rueben Brock of Cecil Township is seeking both the Democratic Party’s nomination for the March 13 special election
Rueben Brock of Cecil Township is seeking both the Democratic Party’s nomination for the March 13 special election

A California University of Pennsylvania professor and professional counselor is the latest Democrat to announce his intention to seek former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy's seat representing Pennsylvania's 18th District.

Rueben Brock of Cecil Township is seeking both the Democratic Party's nomination for the March 13 special election to fill the rest of Murphy's term and a spot in the 2018 Democratic primary.

“I consider it an opportunity to take two bites of the same apple,” Brock said.

He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, a master's from Cal U in 2008 and a doctorate in counseling psychology from West Virginia University.

Brock is at least the sixth Democrat seeking the seat. He is fundraising through GoFundMe to court party delegates he will need if he wants the nomination for the special election. He was hoping for a swell of small donations to prove he's more of a “people's candidate” than a politician.

“I believe firmly that government shouldn't be spending all our money, be in our pockets, so to speak. But when it is spending money, it should be on people,” Brock said. “I believe firmly in social safety-net programs.”

More than 500 Democratic committee members from the 18th District, which includes parts of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Greene and Washington counties, will meet Nov. 19 to decide on the party's nominee.

Brock joins Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli, former Allegheny County Councilman Mike Crossey, former Veterans Affairs official Pam Iovino, former U.S. Attorney Conor Lamb and emergency physician Bob Solomon in seeking the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, announced candidates include George Karpacs, State Rep. Jason Ortitay, State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, State Rep. Rick Saccone and State Sen. Kim Ward.

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

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