April 21st, 2010
12:03 PM ET
13 years ago

GOP candidate in battle to succeed Murtha gets more support

Washington (CNN) - FreedomWorks announced Wednesday that it's backing Tim Burns, the Republican candidate running in the May 18 special election for the House seat of the late Rep. John Murtha.

FreedomWorks' political action committee and the organization's chairman, former top House Republican Dick Armey, officially endorsed Burns. The group also announced they'll fund Burn's get out the vote efforts, which they say will include "door-to-door literature drops, phone banks, and yard sign distribution."

"Tim Burns may be new to the political scene, but it is real-world experience that qualifies him to serve the people of Pennsylvania's 12th District," says Armey in a release. "Tim learned the values of hard work and fiscal responsibility in starting a successful company from the ground up."

FreedomWorks is a nonprofit conservative organization that helps train volunteer activists and has provided much of the organizational heft behind the Tea Party movement.

Burns will face off against Democrat Mark Critz. The ad wars have heated up, with both campaigns and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee all recently putting up commercials.

The battle is to succeed Murtha, the Democrat who steered millions of federal dollars back to his home district and rarely had any serious challenges in his 18 re-election contests.

But the district, which stretches from Cambria County in west-central Pennsylvania down to the southwestern corner of the state, is a socially conservative-leaning one. In the 2004 presidential election, Sen. John Kerry won Pennsylvania 12 by two points. Sen. John McCain narrowly edged out Barack Obama in the district in 2008, even though Obama carried the state by 10 percent.

The special election will be held on the same day as Pennsylvania holds statewide primaries. The Democrats have competitive contests for governor and U.S. senator, which could draw more Democrats than Republicans to the polls, since the GOP doesn't have competitive primaries for the top two races. That could be a factor in a close race in the House special election in PA-12.

UPDATE at 1:20 p.m. ET: The United Mine Workers of America Wednesday endorsed Critz.

"Mark, throughout his career with the late Congressman Murtha, has proven that he understands the needs of our members and working families in Western Pennsylvania. His commitment to creating jobs and bringing economic development to our region is unparalleled, and we can think of no one better to support than someone who is with us on the issues we care about," says Edward Yankovich, International District 2 Vice President of the United Mine Workers of America, in a release.

–CNN's Charles Riley contributed to this report

Filed under: John Murtha • Tim Burns
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. NotFooledTX

    Oh good, another candidate funded by lobbyists and corporations, just what we need.

    April 21, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    And now we have someone from Texas trying to tell voters in Pennsylvania who they should vote for. Burns may represent Dick Armey's views but will he really represent the wishes of his potential constituants?

    April 21, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    If FreedomWorks is supporting this guy, he must be corrupt.

    April 21, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    The Tea parties were started as a Libertarian movement in 2007 by Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty party. On 09/12/08 it was hijacked by Glenn Beck to serve his self interests in gaining a multi million dollar contract with Fox news, and then it was hijacked from Glenn by the extreme conservative movement of PACS like Freedom Works and the Club for Growth (Neo Cons). I say many of those independent people will be leaving this group once they begin to understand this. We all ready know the pitfall of the far liberal extremists, going to the other extreme is not going to be any more productive.
    The People of the Tea parties do not understand what they are supporting, they think they are supporting smaller government and lower taxes, concepts the Neo Conservatives of the GOP have promised for over forty years but never deliver. The tea party people need to learn and understand the difference between Neo conservatives and the true foundation of modern conservatives Libertarianism.
    It's interesting that Neo conservatives only notice "big government" when it's something their political enemies want. When Neo conservatives want it, apparently it doesn't count.
    • If a Neo conservative wants a trillion-dollar foreign war, that doesn't count.
    • If a Neo conservative wants a 700-billion-dollar bank bailout, that doesn't count.
    • If a Neo conservative wants to spend billions fighting a needless and destructive War on Drugs, that doesn't count.
    • If a Neo conservative wants to spend billions building border fences, that doesn't count.
    • If a Neo conservative wants to "protect" the huge, unjust, and terribly inefficient Social Security and Medicare programs, that doesn't count.
    • If a Neo conservative wants billions in farm subsidies, that doesn't count.

    It's truly amazing how many things "don't count."
    Libertarians are the closest thing to the centralist policies that this nation desperately needs right now.
    Google us sometime give the party platform a read through, you will see we are the 3rd largest party in the USA and getting very popular.

    April 21, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Goodgold

    Time to get a Conservative in there to save what little money and future our kids have; Murtha was a disgrace to his position with his backroom dealing and out of control pork barrel spending. He was a poster boy for why this country hates politicians. This kind of unsavory action will haunt our country for years. We need someone who is fiscally conservative and has a conscience – Murtha was neither.

    April 21, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Ditto to the comments made by Dutch/Bad Newz, VA, Joe from CT and NotFooledTX!

    God help us!

    April 21, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. ted

    Funny how the Grand Ob structionist Party, AKA the party of NO and Sara Palin and Michelle Bachman and Limbarf and Beck and Cantor and Liz Cheney picked someone that has qualifications: Tim learned the values of hard work and fiscal responsibility in starting a successful company from the ground up.

    I think the GOP shoudl march Rudy 'paranoid lunatic' Guiliani out to really sink Burns' candidacy.

    April 21, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Another example of why Washington politicians refer to Pennsylvania derisively as North West Virginia. A Rust Belt state dumb enough to elect radical right nutcases like Rick Santorum.

    April 21, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. eddie

    Is this person clean of lobbists, corporations and did this person give campaing money or help get money for Obama's campaign??? is this person being helped by race, religon, or sex preference??? Better check this person real close???

    April 21, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Freedom Works is the outfit behind the "grassroots" movement to stop health care reform, busing old people on Medicare around the country to disrupt town hall meetings, and interefere with the democratic process. Anything they're involved in should be suspect. They have an agenda, an extreme right wing agenda based on greed.

    April 21, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. buddha

    Hey Joe from CT. Doesn't this sound a lot like the NY senator that lived in Arkansas, raised political funding in Californis, and won the senate in New York? My thoughts are to fire them all, and start anew.

    April 21, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Obama Victim

    the district goes Repub......get used to it lefties

    April 21, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Does this guy live in the district? Where does he stand on the issues that are important for the district? Armey has a questionable past. His current actions are still a little bit shady.

    April 21, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |