O’Brien poised to declare PA-11 candidacy on Saturday (Updated)
Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien seems ready to make his race for Congress official Saturday morning, when he will address supporters “from the steps of his childhood home” in Dunmore, his campaign said.
O’Brien, who was elected county commissioner in 2007, has been making noise about a primary challenge to Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-11) for months. In April, he assailed Kanjorski’s vote against President Obama’s stimulus package as “insulting,” and he filed FEC paperwork to form a campaign in mid-September.
While Kanjorski has been seen as vulnerable in a general election, party insiders say he remains popular among Democrats in the district, which also includes parts of Carbon, Monroe, Luzerne and Columbia counties. After public polling had forecasted a loss, Kanjorski narrowly held off Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta last November.
He has yet to signal whether or not he will seek reelection, but has been fundraising throughout the cycle. A Kanjorski aide didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but in a recent discussion, he declined to talk politics.
“We’re not even focused on this right now,” spokesman Ed Mitchell said. “The Congressman is doing his job.”
UPDATE: Mitchell reiterates his earlier comments in an e-mail. “We really don’t have any more to say about next year other than what I’ve said before,” he writes. “The Congressman is very busy doing the job he’s paid to do. If we have more to add, I assure you that I’ll keep you informed. I’m sorry I have no other observations about this than that right now.”
September 30, 2009 at 10:15 am