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State Rep. Dave Reed to seek 9th District GOP nomination

| Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, 12:09 p.m.
State House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana County.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
State House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana County.

State House Majority Leader Dave Reed said Tuesday that he will seek the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania's 9th Congressional District.

His announcement sets the stage for a GOP scramble to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster in the district that takes in a wide swath of rural communities and small towns in Fayette, Indiana, Blair, Bedford, Franklin, Huntingdon and Somerset counties as well as parts of Westmoreland, Washington and Greene counties.

Reed, R-Indiana County, is the fifth Republican and second member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enter the race. State Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Hollidaysburg, announced his candidacy earlier this week. Other Republicans who have announced they will seek the nomination include Art Halvorson of Bedford County, Travis Schooley of Franklin County and Ben Hornberger of Cumberland County.

Reed, 39, had been rumored to be considering a run for Congress for weeks.

The Homer City native, who is serving his eighth term in the state House, was elected to the Legislature in 2002 at the age of 24, upsetting incumbent Democrat Sara Steelman.

In a prepared statement announcing his candidacy, he stressed his local roots.

“Watching my family struggle with unemployment as a child left a deep impression in me; more importantly, watching my parents keep getting back and fighting forward every time they got knocked down made me into the person I am today,” he said.

Reed said he wants to ensure that residents of the district's small towns and rural communities aren't forced to leave the region for economic opportunity.

“I'm running for Congress to help lead our communities back here at home and to fight for our way of life in Washington,” Reed said. “America can be great again because of the workers and families in communities like ours who fight every single day to pass a better future on to their children and grandchildren. We deserve better than where Washington has led us.”

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996, derdley@tribweb.com or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.

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