State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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With Marino poised to exit, prep begins for special election

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 14, 2017 4:39 AM

Marino still hasn't confirmed whether he is, in fact, stepping down. But that hasn't stopped Congressional hopefuls from preparing to run for his seat. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- Republican Congressman Tom Marino hasn't yet confirmed whether he's leaving the Northeast Pennsylvania seat he's held since 2011 to become the Trump administration's new drug czar.

But word in Harrisburg--and in the rest of the state--is that the move is likely.

The possibility of an open seat in one of the commonwealth's largest districts has sent political actors on both sides of the aisle rushing to fill it with one of their own.

The 10th district is a sprawling area that stretches from the Pennsylvania's northeast corner to the midstate. It's heavily rural, and has grown increasingly conservative over the last decade. Its last congressman before Marino was a Democrat, but the Republican has won all his elections with wide margins.

Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko, who says he'll run if the seat opens up, noted that President Trump carried all the District 10 counties in the November election.

"[The district] is going to take somebody who's very well-rounded, who's got a very conservative record--like I said, I do," McLinko said.

Even so, state Democratic Party chair Marcel Groen said he thinks there's a chance the seat could be clawed back from Republicans.

"What we're finding all over the state, including in this area, is that there are a tremendous number of people who just want to do something," he said. "They're really upset, they're really concerned."

He also noted that Trump's relatively weak polls in the northeast "give us an opportunity."

The most recent poll of the district was in February, when Franklin and Marshall College reported 38 percent of residents in the northeastern region thought Trump was doing a good or excellent job. 

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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