[Melissa Hart] sought funds to clean up brownfields and bring old sewer systems into the 21st century; she helped to save local military facilities. Her work ethic explains why she has been successful in politics, first in the state Senate for 10 years and now in the 4th District, which includes northern Allegheny County, all of Beaver and Lawrence counties and parts of Butler, Mercer and Westmoreland counties.And
Ms. Hart has also had the advantage the last two elections of not being seriously tested by a Democratic challenger. This year is different, and it may explain why she has ducked various invitations to debate her opponent.
The Democrat is Jason Altmire, 38, of McCandless, who is willing to debate without reservations. Although he has never held public office, Mr. Altmire is no stranger to Washington, D.C. He was a legislative aide to former Rep. Pete Peterson of Florida and later worked for the Federation of American Hospitals. In 1998, he returned to Western Pennsylvania to work for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He was the acting vice president for government relations and community affairs at UPMC.Then they write something I've been on about for a while:
For this, Mr. Altmire is called a "lobbyist" by the Hart campaign, which is real chutzpah, considering that the Republican Party has lately been a great friend of lobbyists to the detriment of the nation (as in the Jack Abramoff affair).Ha.
Here's the ending:
The problem for Ms. Hart is that she must shoulder the failures of the GOP. As a member of the ethics committee she may be upright herself, but her party has ruled a swamp. She and her colleagues blindly follow a president who is out of new ideas and who stands over an administration lacking basic competency.Good for them.
Voters in the 4th District deserve better in Washington, and 2006 is their chance for change. Jason Altmire is the one who can deliver it.
Meanwhile, the Trib (The TRIB!) has released some poll numbers on this race.
The poll of 400 likely voters, conducted over the weekend by Susquehanna Polling & Research in Harrisburg, shows three-term incumbent Hart leading Altmire by 4 percentage points -- 46 percent to 42 percent. The margin of error is 4.9 percent. Eleven percent were undecided, and 1 percent said they wouldn't vote for either candidate.That's within the margin of error, isn't it?
The Jason Altmire/Melissa Hart race - within the margin of error