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Seventh Democrat enters race to replace ex-Congressman Tim Murphy

| Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Keith Seewald
Keith Seewald

A gardener and writer from Mt. Lebanon is the seventh and final Democrat to enter the race for the U.S. House seat vacated last month by former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy.

Keith Seewald, 60, said he filed paperwork Monday to run. The Democratic Party set a Thursday deadline to get in the race.

“I think some things were not being addressed,” Seewald said of decision to run. “I figured I'll throw my hat in the ring and address them.”

He identified job creation and the environment as his top priorities.

Seewald thinks he's qualified to compete against the Republican nominee in the March 13 special election, despite his lack of political experience.

“I already have a brain, I already have a heart and I already have the courage of my convictions, and that makes me more qualified than any Trump-supporting Republican on the planet,” he said.

Seewald owns a business called Seewald Landscaping and wrote a self-published book “Liar Sean Hannity: A Fiction Vendetta.”

Each Democratic candidate had to get a petition signed by at least five members of the party's state or county committee. The candidates will have a chance to make their case for the Democratic nomination at a Nov. 19 meeting in Washington County.

Seewald joins California University of Pennsylvania assistant professor and counselor Rueben Brock, 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.

George Karpacs, state Rep. Jason Ortitay, state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, state Rep. Rick Saccone and state Sen. Kim Ward are seeking the Republican nomination. The GOP will pick a nominee in a meeting Saturday in Canonsburg.

Murphy, an eight-term congressman from Upper St. Clair, resigned after details of an extramarital became public. The 18th Congressional District includes about 707,000 people in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Greene and Washington counties.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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