May 20th, 2010
03:04 PM ET
5 years ago

House Democrats gain another vote

Washington (CNN) – Democrat Mark Critz was sworn in Thursday as a member of the House of Representatives.

Critz won a special House election Tuesday to fill a vacant seat in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional district after topping Republican Tim Burns by double digits in the battle to succeed the late Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha.

Critz was a longtime aide to Murtha, who represented the district for 18 terms until he passed away from complications following gallbladder surgery this year.

"This moment is bittersweet for me because I wouldn't be here right now if Jack Murtha hadn't left us too soon," Critz told lawmakers, after being sworn in on the floor of the House.

With Critz now a member of Congress, the Democrats hold a 255 to 177 advantage in the House, with three seats currently vacant. The number of vacancies should rise to four Friday, when Republican Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana is expected to resign. Souder abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, after acknowledging that he "sinned against God" by engaging in a relationship with a member of his staff. The 59-year-old married father of three, who just won a competitive primary, said he will leave office at the end of the week.

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Filed under: Mark Critz • Pennsylvania
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. happy camper

    wouldn't you consider ALL the republican't seats as "vacant"

    they're not doing anything now but rubberstamp "NO" on everything

    let's get rid of them this NO-vember

    May 20, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. ehwilson429

    how can Critz be trusted as a DEM.
    he claims he pro-gun, anti-abortion, against Obama healthcare and against cap & trade.

    that sounds anti-Obama.

    Obama is anti-gun, pro-abortion, pro-gov't healthcare and for cap and trade.

    May 20, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Congrats Mr. Critz. Now let's pick up those three vacant seats. Republicans are becoming an endangered species. I'm loving it!

    May 20, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Key difference between liberals and conservatives is conservatives will resign when they are caught dirty, liberals blame someone else."

    ENSIGN? SANFORD? Why do we even bother trying to talk to you people?

    May 20, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. PalmReader

    There have been 7 special elections for U.S. House seats since the president's 2008 inauguration: NY-20, IL-5, CA-10, NY-23, FL-19, and PA-12.

    Democrats have won all 7.

    May 20, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Apparently, voters are only making a "statement" about current issues when they vote for some conservative numbnut? I mean, it makes perfect sense that the media is playing it that way. They can do that without losing liberal viewers and clickers, but if they came out and said "Murtha district victory for Critz bodes ill for GOP/Tea Party claims of massive November liberal upsets" then they'd be accused of the "liberal media conspiracy" and all the little Limbots would change channels right back to Faux News where they are guaranteed to hear what they want to hear and receive reassurance that reality is indeed the fantasyland they wish to live in.

    All hail the might deity Advertising, arbiter of truth and honest objective analysis.

    May 20, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Mike in SA

    Have you checked out Critz' policy positions? He's a DINO (Democrat In Name Only). Pro-life, pro-gun, is/was vocally against the health insurance legislation, pro-"small government", pro-"deficit reduction by spending cuts", pro-veteran, pro-coal, pro-drilling, and anti-"Cap and Trade". He is so far outside the Democratic policy spectrum that he's invisible to the naked eye for most Dems. He's as conservative as most Republicans and more conservative than many. Spin it any way you want, but that special election in reality pitted 2 Republicans against each other. Not a big gain for the Dems. In fact it was more of a gain by the Republicans!

    May 20, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Darryn

    No real "gain" here. Simply a hold. But a good sign for the Democrats.

    May 20, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. SocialismBad

    Why did this take less than 2 days when they kept Scott Brown waiting for weeks? Sleazy DemocRATS and their dirty tricks.

    May 20, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Smith in Oregon

    Rand Paul's primary victory in Kentucky means there are still a sizable number of American citizens in Kentucky that wish they were living in the land of Cotton and miss the Dixie Flag flying overhead.

    In a all white men's golfing country club, Rand Paul repeatedly when asked by a reporter refused to denounce a private business's right to ban Women, Minority's and Gays on their premises.

    May 20, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Who edited this?

    The headline 'House Democrats gain another vote' is misleading. Critz was elected to a seat already held by a Democrat, not taking over a seat previously held by a Republican.

    May 20, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    And it wil not change in November. Why isn't this bigger new...Dems defeated Repubs in the last three special elections. ..NY23, FL19 and PA 12.

    Keep dreaming neo-cons!!

    May 20, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    Are you SURE the Dems have gained another vote? From what I've heard Crist is more of a DINO than a Democrat which is one of the reasons it is said he won the vote..he doesn't align himself with the Obama White House. Guess we'll have to wait and see what colors he shows.

    May 20, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. DOBBS RETURNS

    Critz bittersweet? He got elected running as a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-big
    oil and anti-Obama care candidate! Something Murtha never would
    have done. He's there because he out-Republicaned the Republican
    in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 and is
    heavily unionized. Hardly a district one would term competitive.

    May 20, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. grrace

    Oh dear. Just read the Critz website. He's a DINO. Will be looking for a Novermber challeger that's truly a Democrat. This guy continues the "clean coal" lies, I can tell he doesn't support repealing DADT, is against Cap and Trade, wants to expanding oil drilling and coal mining...saying nothing about clean energy. Additionally, he is not support of women's rights, and will bet money, not supportive of civil rights. Oh well, no party is perfect, but we can make it better in November with a stronger Democratic challenger.

    May 20, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Independent One

    The GOP created the tea baggers and now they are running them out of office...Be careful what you ask for

    May 20, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. dan smith

    Time for people to look to the Libertarian Party. The Republican Party has allowed to many religious nut cases people to creep in power and the Democrat Party has become way too socialist. The Libertarian Party is the only Party that wants to follow the Constitution anymore.

    May 20, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |