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Pennsylvania

2 Democrats challenge for congressman's seat in 12th District

Rich Cholodofsky
| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 11:18 p.m.

A former aide to the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha is seeking his boss' old job.

John Hugya of Jenner Township, Somerset County, was one of two Democrats to file documents in Harrisburg by Tuesday's deadline declaring his candidacy for the 12th Congressional District seat held by Republican Keith Rothfus of Sewickley, Allegheny County.

Hugya, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, served as chief of staff to Murtha, who died in 2010. Hugya will face Erin McClelland, a health care professional from Harrison Township, Allegheny County, in the Democratic primary on May 20.

The winner will face Rothfus, a lawyer who won his first term two years ago. Rothfus is unopposed.

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, a seven-term Republican from Upper St. Clair, is unopposed in his primary for the seat that represents a large chunk of central and western Westmoreland County.

No Democrats filed to challenge Murphy, according to online documents filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State by the deadline.

State Rep. Ted Harhai of Monessen is the lone local incumbent to face a primary challenge this spring.

Harhai will face John Scott Nestor, a Monessen city councilman, in the Democratic primary for the 58th District, which includes Monessen, Rostraver, Sewickley and South Huntingdon townships and portions of Hempfield, as well as Belle Vernon, Fayette City and a portion of Washington Township in Fayette County.

Tom Logan, a Hempfield supervisor, is unopposed in the Republican primary for the seat.

Incumbent Tim Krieger, a Delmont Republican, is unopposed in the 59th District primary. Donna McClelland of Greensburg, an assistant public defender in Westmoreland County, is the lone candidate in the Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent Eli Evankovich of Murrysville is unopposed in the 54th District for the primary. The lone Democrat seeking the seat is Patrick Leyland of Allegheny Township.

State Rep. Joe Petrarca of Washington Township is unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 55th District. Republican Brian Panichelle of Latrobe will seek his party's nomination.

Republican incumbents George Dunbar of Penn Township and Mike Reese of Mt. Pleasant Township are unopposed. No Democrats filed to seek those seats.

State Rep. Deberah Kula is one of three Democrats who want to replace the retiring state Sen. Richard Kasunic in the 32nd District, which represents Fayette County and parts of Westmoreland, Washington and Somerset counties.

Kula, a four-term incumbent in the House, will face Democrats Harry Fike of South Union and Rose Ambrosino of Uniontown. Republican Pat Stefano of Bullskin is unopposed in the Republican primary.

Three Democrats are vying to replace Kula in the 52nd state House District — Brad W. Geyer of Connellsville, A.J. Boni of Perry Township and Marigrace Butela of Dunbar Township.

Republican Ryan Warner of Perry Borough will be unopposed for that nomination.

The district includes northern Fayette County and parts of Mt. Pleasant Township, East Huntingdon and Scottdale.

Democratic state Rep. Tim Mahoney of South Union has no opposition in the 51st District.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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