Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District elections, 2014

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2012

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Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
May 20, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Keith Rothfus Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Keith Rothfus Republican Party
Keith Rothfus portrait.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Solid Republican[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Safe R[2]


Pennsylvania U.S. House Elections
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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Pennsylvania.png
The 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Keith Rothfus, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, defeated Democratic challenger Erin McClelland in the general election. McClelland defeated John Hugya in the Democratic primary. The race was rated a "Safe Republican" contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.[3]
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 11, 2014
May 20, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Pennsylvania is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[4][5][6]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by April 20, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6, 2014 (at least 30 days prior to election).[7]

See also: Pennsylvania elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Keith Rothfus (R), who was first elected in 2012.

Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District is located in the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania and includes Cambria, Somerset, Westmoreland, Allegheny and Beaver counties.[8]

Candidates

General election candidates


May 20, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Withdrew

Declined to run


Election results

General election

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 12 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKeith Rothfus Incumbent 59.3% 127,043
     Democratic Erin McClelland 40.7% 87,286
Total Votes 214,329
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State Vote totals above are unofficial and will be updated once official totals are made available.

Democratic primary

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 12 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngErin McClelland 68.1% 32,873
John Hugya 31.9% 15,373
Total Votes 48,246
Source: Results via Associated Press

Race background

On February 26, 2013, PoliticsPA and The Hill previewed three 2014 House races in Pennsylvania which showed competitive promise because of a number of predictive factors, such as open seats, high stakes primary challenges and/or vulnerability to partisan switch. Pennsylvania's 12th is a traditionally Democratic district; however, recent years have seen its borders redrawn and it has become more Republican. In 2012, fallout from 2010 redistricting dovetailed with a strong turnout for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, paved the way for Republican challenger Keith Rothfus to oust Democratic incumbent Rep. Mark Critz in the general election.

Fresh off his successful challenge, Rothfus (R) was expected to face Critz in a re-match in 2014. Critz lost by a margin of four percentage points, while President Barack Obama lost the district vote by a much wider margin of 17 percentage points. Thus many Democrats, viewing Critz as a casualty of sharing the ticket with Obama in 2012, were optimistic about their party's chances for re-claiming the seat with Critz on board.[16] Critz announced on August 15, 2013, that he would run for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014 instead.[17]


Issues

Campaign themes

Erin McClelland

McClelland's campaign website listed the following issues:[18]

  • Economy
Excerpt: "As a small business owner, entrepreneur, and the daughter of a nurse and a utility lineman, I know well the struggles we face and the pride we feel in a hard day’s work that provides for our families. I also know that the greatest weapon in our country’s economic arsenal is the purchasing power of a vibrant and growing American middle class."
  • Women's Issues
Excerpt: "When women are paid 70 cents for every dollar a man makes, that’s not just a women’s issue - it’s an economic issue. When restrictions are placed on women’s health care and yet they pay more for coverage, it’s not just a women’s issue - it’s a civil rights issue. And when a woman faces an impossible choice between her job and her child because her workplace doesn’t offer maternity leave, it’s not just a women’s issue - it’s a family values issue."
  • Healthcare
Excerpt: "I’ve spent my career in the healthcare industry, so I know firsthand the problems we face. An inefficient and outdated system that leads to errors, coupled with a lack of preventative care, drive up costs and make our system too expensive."
  • Veterans
Excerpt: "We need to ensure that today’s veterans receive the training and resources as heroes they deserve - including proper physical and mental health care."
  • Education
Excerpt: "When Pittsburgh Plate and Glass hired union members like my great-grandfather, it was because they knew they were the best in the world at what they did. We need to make sure our kids have the same opportunities in a new economy."
  • Infrastructure
Excerpt: "When we built our country’s network of bridges, roads and highways, we constructed the backbone necessary to support for the world’s strongest economy. Now, those same bridges and roadways are filled with potholes and becoming unsafe. Rebuilding our transit infrastructure is necessary to keep our economy running smoothly and safely."

Key votes

Below are important votes that Rothfus cast during the 113th Congress.

National security

DHS Appropriations

Yea3.png Rothfus voted in favor of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[19]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Nay3.png Rothfus voted against House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[19]

CISPA (2013)

Yea3.png Rothfus voted in favor of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill permitted federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[20] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[19]

NDAA

Yea3.png Rothfus voted in support of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[19]

Economy

Farm bill

Nay3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[21] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[22][23] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[23] Rothfus voted with 62 other Republican representatives against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[24][25] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[25] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[26] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Rothfus voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[24]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[27] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[28] Rothfus voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[29]

Nay3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[30] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Rothfus voted against HR 2775.[31]

Immigration

Morton Memos Prohibition

Yea3.png Rothfus voted in favor of House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.[19]

Healthcare

Healthcare Reform Rules

Yea3.png Rothfus voted in favor of House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[19]

Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act

Yea3.png Rothfus voted in favor of HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act of 2013. The bill passed through the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 232-185. The bill would prevent the IRS and Treasury Secretary from enforcing the powers provided to them in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The vote largely followed party lines.[19]

Government affairs

HR 676

See also: Boehner's lawsuit against the Obama administration

Yea3.png On July 30, 2014, the U.S. House approved a resolution 225 to 201 to sue President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional authority. Five Republicans--Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Steve Stockman of Texas-- voted with Democrats against the lawsuit.[32] Rothfus joined the other 224 Republicans in favor of the lawsuit. All Democrats voted against the resolution.[33][34]

Endorsements

Erin McClelland

McClelland was endorsed by the following individuals on November 18, 2013.[35]

  • County Commissioner Stephen Craig
  • Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court
  • Ellwood City Councilmen Ralph Chiappetta and John Todorich

Campaign contributions

Keith Rothfus

Candidates for Congress were required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Keith Rothfus' reports.[36]

Keith Rothfus (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2013$13,502.28$264,684.22$(59,047.00)$219,139.50
July Quarterly[38]July 15, 2013$219,139.50$227,623.00$(66,358.07)$380,404.43
October Quarterly[39]October 13, 2013$380,404.43$450,884.30$(80,638.67)$750,650.06
Year-End[40]January 31, 2014$750,650$237,288$(115,490)$872,447
April Quarterly[41]April 15, 2014$872,447.68$241,253.84$(93,793.67)$1,019,907.85
Running totals
$1,421,733.36$(415,327.41)

Erin McClelland

Erin McLelland (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[42]January 29, 2014$0$3,633$(25)$3,607
July Quarterly[43]July 15, 2013$3,607$29,887$(14,248)$19,246
October Quarterly[44]October 15, 2013$19,246$27,437$(21,136)$25,547
Year-End[45]January 31, 2014$25,547$30,004$(34,704)$20,847
April Quarterly[46]April 15, 2014$20,847.83$58,617.00$(47,845.54)$31,619.29
Running totals
$149,578$(117,958.54)

John Hugya

John Hugya (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[47]October 15, 2013$0.00$725.00$(119.59)$605.41
Year-End[48]January 15, 2014$605$31,050$(6,158)$25,496
April Quarterly[49]April 15, 2014$25,496.59$19,730.00$(24,785.14)$20,441.45
Running totals
$51,505$(31,062.73)

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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2012

The 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Republican Keith Rothfus defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Critz.[50]

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 12 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Mark Critz Incumbent 48.3% 163,589
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKeith Rothfus 51.7% 175,352
Total Votes 338,941
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

2010

On November 2, 2010, Mark Critz won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Tim Burns (R) in the general election.[51]

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 12 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Critz 50.8% 94,056
     Republican Tim Burns 49.2% 91,170
Total Votes 185,226

See also

External links

References

  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR AUGUST 8, 2014," accessed August 21, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed August 21, 2014
  3. Roll Call, "2014 Election Race Ratings," accessed September 17, 2014
  4. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  6. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  7. Votes PA, "How to Register," accessed January 3, 2014
  8. Pennsylvania Redistricting Map "Map" accessed July 30, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 Associated Press, "Pennsylvania - Summary Vote Results," May 20, 2014
  10. Federal Election Commission, "Erin McClelland's Statement of Candidacy Form," amended May 30, 2013
  11. Politics PA.com, "PA-12: Hugya Announces Run for Congress," accessed September 10, 2013
  12. Buzz Feed Politics, "Former Top John Murtha Aide To Seek Boss’ Old Seat," accessed September 27, 2013
  13. Politics PA, "Stiles Drops Longshot Primary Challenge to Rothfus," accessed November 25, 2013
  14. Larry Stiles for Congress Official 2014 Campaign Website, "Biography," accessed June 6, 2013 (dead link)
  15. The Hill, "Source: Former Rep. Mark Critz wants to run again," February 26, 2013
  16. The Hill, "Source: Former Rep. Mark Critz wants to run again," February 26, 2013
  17. The Sentinel, "ex-Rep. Mark Critz seeking Dem nod for lieutenant governor," August 15, 2013
  18. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed March 18, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Project Vote Smart, "Keith Rothfus Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  21. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  22. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, With clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  26. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  27. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  28. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  29. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  30. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  31. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  32. U.S. House, "House Resolution 676," accessed July 30, 2014
  33. Yahoo News, "Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead," accessed July 30, 2014
  34. Washington Post, "House clears way for lawsuit against Obama," accessed July 30, 2014
  35. Keystone Politics, "Erin McClelland Earns PA-12 Endorsements from Lawrence County Commissioner and Ellwood City Mayor," accessed November 25, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Keith Rothfus 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 28, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Rothfus Year-End," accessed February 5, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed February 12, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed February 12, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed February 12, 2014
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End," accessed February 12, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 11, 2013
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End," accessed February 12, 2014
  49. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  50. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Pennsylvania"
  51. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013