February 8, 2010

TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT:

John Murtha dies, special election looms (Chris Cillizza, 2/08/10, Washington Post)

According to state law, the governor has ten days once the vacancy is officially declared to decide on the date for the special election, which can come no sooner than 60 days following that proclamation.

That likely means the special election will be held on May 18, which is the date already set for federal primaries around the state. (Special elections costs the state huge sums of money and it's likely that Gov. Ed Rendell will choose to go with an already established election day to save some cash.)

Murtha's passing comes at a tenuous time for House Democrats as they seek to convince some of their older members to re-up for another term in the face of what looks to be a difficult national political environment for the party. [...]

Without Murtha in the 12th district, however, the special election will be seriously contested. Murtha's district is the only one in the country won by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008, according to Republican sources, and that trend line coupled with the volatile national environment for Democrats ensures Republicans will heavily target the contest.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2010 6:24 PM
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