Eight candidates run for the Pa. 13th Congressional District


(Harrisburg) – A strong field of GOP candidates are vying for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Everett.

The Republicans running for the new 13th Congressional District seat include a state senator, a state representative, two men who previously ran for Congress, a retired Army colonel, a doctor and a businessman. Three are from Franklin County, two from Blair and one each from Bedford and Cumberland counties.

Candidates’ nominating petitions were due Tuesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, seven Republicans had submitted petitions to have their names placed on the ballot for the May 15 primary. One Democrat also had filed petitions.

Pennsylvania’s new 13th Congressional District has a shape like the current 9th District represented by Shuster, who is not seeking re-election. The Cook Political Report rated the new 13th District as more solidly Republican than the current 9th District. The district stretches from Adams County west to part of Westmoreland County and north to Blair and Huntingdon counties.


The Republicans who submitted petitions of more than 1,000 signatures to the Pennsylvania Department of State were:

Newcomers appear to be running well-organized campaigns. Mastriano said he had more than 2,800 signatures. Joyce reported getting more than 2,400 signatures in a week.

Two candidates who never held office, but previously opposed Shuster, also showed promise. Halvorson said his volunteers collected signatures in all 10 counties of the district. Schooley was the first to file his petitions.

Petitions can be challenged until March 27. The lottery to place candidates’ names on the ballot is to be held Thursday. 

The lone Democrat to file is Brent M. Ottaway, a Hollidaysburg resident and associate professor of communications at St. Francis University, Loretto. He had more than 1,500 signatures.

Two Republicans who had announced campaigns earlier in the season did not file nominating petitions — Max Merrill, a Somerset County farmer, and Ben Hornberger, a political novice from Cumberland County.

Merrill instead announced his support for Mastiano, who “has been speaking the same message I have been.”

“He has fought foreign enemies, and now I truly believe he will be a great congressman combating the tough domestic issues we face in Washington,” Merrill said.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court drew the boundaries of the 13th District earlier this year after the state legislature and governor failed to redraw the state map of congressional districts. The state court ruled that the previous map was severely gerrymandered. The U.S. Supreme Court did not intervene.

The 13th District includes all of Adams, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Bedford, Blair and Somerset counties and parts of Cumberland, Cambria and Westmoreland counties.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Chambersburg Public Opinion.

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