Politics & Policy

Dahlkemper’s Under-The-Radar In Western PA

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government sent an e-mail to its membership this weekend highlighting a race in Western Pennsylvania for the third congressional district. The seat is currently held by Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper, a Blue Dog elected in 2006.

Her challenger, Mike Kelly, represents one of the lesser-known threats to Blue Dogs in a year when their support for President Obama’s agenda is wreaking havoc on their re-election plans:

The PA US Congressional District 3 has a slight Republican edge and is located in the northwestern part of the state, including the cities of Erie, Sharon, Butler, and Meadville.  Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper defeated six-term Republican incumbent Phil English in 2008 as part of the wave of 50 democrats elected from conservative and swing districts since 2006. 

These new Democrats, who were elected as a result of disillusionment with George W. Bush, are vulnerable in this election cycle, and Kathy Dahlkemper is considered to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the state.  Kathy Dahlkemper won her seat with a pledge to address the problem of the growing national debt and then immediately voted in favor of borrowing nearly 1 trillion dollars for the stimulus bill upon her arrival to DC. 

Dahlkemper, meanwhile, has just hit the air with a very positive campaign spot. If she’s able to win independents and undecideds with feel-good ads like this, Kelly’s chances in the third might disintegrate.


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