Lone Democrat in 13th Congressional District primary sees himself as moderate option

Written by Rachel McDevitt | May 8, 2018 11:11 AM

Brent Ottaway, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District. (Photo courtesy: Brent4Congress Facebook page)

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's conservative 13th Congressional District has the most crowded Republican primary in the state.

The Democratic primary is much less competitive.

Brent Ottaway of Blair County is the one man running for the seat on that side of the aisle.

He said he believes voters are fed up with the polarization in Washington and are ready for someone who is willing to negotiate and compromise.

The college professor is presenting himself as that moderate option.

Ottaway said he's not bound by ideology--he actually used to be registered as a Republican.

"I don't feel that I left the Republican Party, I think the Republican Party left me, basically," Ottaway said. "The concern with fiscal discipline is completely out the window."

Ottaway said he still supports some more conservative values, like the right to bear arms.

But he does feel there's room for gun control.

"I believe that there's a need for common sense measures including universal background checks," Ottaway said. 

And he aligns with Democrats when it comes to fighting race, gender, and income-based inequality.

Ottaway said he wants to help change the partisan tone in Washington by working across the aisle toward solutions.

He will face the winner of the GOP primary in November's general election.

Republican President Donald Trump won the district in 2016 by a wide margin.

The 13th district includes all of Adams and Franklin counties and part of Cumberland County.

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