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Another Barletta, Kanjorski face-off?
Times Leader (Wikes-Barre, PA) ^ | 10/22/2009 | Andrew M. Seder

Posted on 10/22/2009 5:08:39 AM PDT by Born Conservative

HAZLETON – Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, whose campaign committee is still $153,670 in debt from his 2008 losing effort to unseat U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, said he may challenge Kanjorski again next year.

“I’m considering it,” said the Republican. “But I haven’t made any decisions.”

Barletta said losses to Kanjorski in 2002 and 2008 are not enough to sway him from sitting out this next election cycle. He said he’s been urged by members of his party to challenge Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke, yet again.

Tory Mazzola, the Northeastern U.S. spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), said, “We’re hopeful for a Barletta candidacy.”

Mazzola and Barletta said the 11th Congressional District is ripe for a Republican victory.

Buoyed by his narrow defeat in the 2008 race – Kanjorski received 52 percent of the votes to Barletta’s 48 percent – the mayor said he believes he lost more because of Barack Obama’s name being on the top of the Democratic ballot than because of Kanjorski. Obama defeated Arizona Sen. John McCain handily to win the presidency.

“Most feel that since Obama will not be on the ticket, I may have a better chance if I run this time,” Barletta said. “I believe that’s true. Obama at the top of that ticket was enough to make the difference.”

King’s College political science professor David Sosar said that Barletta is onto something.

“I think without the Obama campaign, the mayor would be the congressman right now,” Sosar said.

Kanjorski had 142,720 votes to Barletta’s 133,365, pulling most of his strength in Lackawanna and Monroe counties, which also went heavily for Obama. Barletta carried Luzerne, Carbon and Columbia counties.

In 2002, Kanjorski defeated Barletta by garnering 56 percent of the vote.

Mazzola would not put a timeframe on when he felt a candidate would need to declare, and Barletta also declined to estimate when he’d make a decision.

“I would hope to have a decision by the end of the year,” Barletta said.

Barletta’s campaign committee had $15 on hand as of Sept. 30, according to filings with the Federal Election Committee. Kanjorski had $808,136 as of that date.

Kanjorski’s campaign spokesman, Ed Mitchell, recently said that, “If you’re not raising money at this point and you plan on running 13 months from now, I think you’ve got a problem.”

On Wednesday, Mitchell declined comment on Barletta’s possible entry into the race.

Barletta said it’s not too late, but he agreed that “the earlier the better to raise money.”

Kanjorski has yet to officially declare that he’s seeking reelection for a 14th term. If he does, he’ll face Lackawanna Commissioner Corey O’Brien, of Moosic, in the Democratic primary in May for the right to face a Republican candidate in November.

Mazzola said the fact O’Brien has decided to challenge an incumbent from his own party shows that even Democrats aren’t behind Kanjorski.

“He’s getting fire from both sides of the aisle,” Mazzola said. But, he added, regardless of Kanjorski or O’Brien, a Republican would best serve the district’s interests.

“Replacing one left-wing liberal with another left-wing liberal is not what they’re (voters) looking for,” Mazzola said.

One Republican candidate has declared for the race, Christopher Howard Paige, of Skytop, Monroe County. Like O’Brien, Paige’s campaign reported no funds as of Sept. 30.

O’Brien’s foray into the ring could also boost Barletta, or whoever the Republican candidate may be, in another way, said Sosar.

“It will cause him to spend huge money in the primary, meaning he won’t have a million dollars to blitz his opponent with in the fall,” Sosar said. “That’s huge.”

But Sosar said those putting their eggs into a Kanjorski vs. Barletta basket might want to hold off.

“Kanjorski won that (2008) race thanks to a lot of straight-party voting in Scranton. I think O’Brien will get a lot of those Scranton votes,” Sosar said.

TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: barletta; kanjorski
Let's hope so.
1 posted on 10/22/2009 5:08:39 AM PDT by Born Conservative
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To: Tribune7


2 posted on 10/22/2009 5:09:21 AM PDT by Born Conservative ("I'm a fan of disruptors" - Nancy Pelosi)
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Kanjorski Truth File

Paul Kanjorski 2010 Election Cycle

Rep. Kanjorski: $550 Billion Disappeared in "Electronic Run On the Banks"

Federal Dollars are “free money”

Kanjorski: $2 Trillion really isn’t a lot of money

Representative Kanjorski Lies About The Surge

Kanjorski doesn’t apologize to anyone

Kanjorski Sneaks Through Backdoor at Rangel Fundraiser

Paul Kanjorski on Universal Health Care

Rep. Kanjorski on Congressional Pay Raises

Kanjorski’s Cornerstone Scandal

3 posted on 10/22/2009 5:13:48 AM PDT by Born Conservative ("I'm a fan of disruptors" - Nancy Pelosi)
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To: Born Conservative

The city of my birth.Barletta is a good man.He played high
school baseball with Rays manager Joe Maddon.

4 posted on 10/22/2009 6:21:50 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: Owl_Eagle; brityank; Physicist; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; GOPJ; abner; baseballmom; Mo1; Ciexyz; ...

Vote Lou ping

5 posted on 10/22/2009 6:25:39 AM PDT by Tribune7 (I am Joe Wilson!)
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