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Election 2006: Jack Murtha in the 12th

| Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006

Leadership -- often challenging, occasionally controversial -- is a hallmark of John Murtha's 32-year career in Congress. It's a record distinguished by standing tall when others wouldn't and putting principle ahead of partisan politics.

Mr. Murtha's exemplary service qualifies the Johnstown Democrat for re-election in the 12th Congressional District.

In wartime and peace, no member of Congress has been a stronger, more steadfast voice for this nation's military than Murtha. Yet when he challenged the U.S. course in Iraq and called for troop withdrawals last year, many dismissed him as a know-nothing.

In reality Jack Murtha was well ahead on the learning curve. He recognized the fallacy of pursuing Iraqis' welfare through U.S.-supplied warfare. Eleven months later, U.S. officials now are finally talking about a timeline for Iraq's self-determination.

Closer to home in a sprawling district that cuts through nine counties, Murtha, 74, has been an outstanding representative of the people, securing the means to promote economic growth and prosperity for jurisdictions big and small. His record speaks for itself.

Murtha's challenger, Republican Diana Irey, 44, a Washington County commissioner, is an up-and-comer. We urge her to run in the future. But we find no reason to replace the experienced incumbent, especially at this critical juncture.

The 12th District, and certainly America, needs John Murtha .

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