Former U.S. Attorney inching toward run against Altmire
Despite being mostly quiet about her intentions since resigning as U.S. Attorney, Republican Mary Beth Buchanan is increasingly likely to challenge Congressman Jason Altmire (D-4) this year, according to a party insider who has spoken to her.
If she ultimately decides to run, Buchanan would seem to be the GOP’s best hope to emerge so far this cycle against Altmire, a Democrat representing a conservative-leaning district, though the party had initially hoped state Representative Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) would enter the race. A sophomore, Altmire was one of only two House Democrats in Pennsylvania to vote against health care reform legislation late last year.
Buchanan could not be reached for comment last week, but Allegheny County GOP chairman Jim Roddey told pa2010.com that Buchanan would be making a final decision soon.
“My sense is that she’s leading towards running, but I can’t confirm that,” Roddey said, adding that the two plan to meet soon to discuss a possible run. “I assume that if she wants to come and talk to me then she is getting serious about running in this election.
“Traditionally it’s been a pretty conservative district,” he added. “The question [Buchanan] needs to ask is whether or not that district is pleased with what Obama is doing.”
While she’s steered clear of reporters, Buchanan hasn’t been absent from the political scene. She was in New York recently for the Pennsylvania Society weekend gathering of political insiders, reportedly appearing at an event with big-wig Republicans. And Roddey has emerged as a supportive surrogate for Buchanan, defending her decision not to step down as U.S. Attorney when her interest in the race was first disclosed last year and talking up her electoral potential.
“She has high name-recognition, she’s cleared the real hurdle,” Roddey said. “She’s been in the news a great deal over the past four years. Voters will definitely recognize her.”
January 4, 2010 at 7:58 am