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Critical special election is looming in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The seat formerly held by the late congressman Jack Murtha is now up for grabs -- will be decided on May eighteenth.
Republican Tim Burns is going head to head with Democrat mark -- and hopes to pull off a major upset for the Republicans in just a few short weeks me timbers in just a minute.
But first we check in with the Washington Examiner's Michael Barone who has more on the makeup of this all important history.
The twelfth congressional district consists of large parts of the core of steel country of southwest Pennsylvania.
From -- town west of the state line.
The boundaries were drawn by Republicans to place Republican voters and adjacent districts but the -- democratic voters here tend to be conservative on cultural issues and opposed to environmental measures with negative impact on the coal industry in the 2008.
Presidential primary in the wake of Barack Obama's comments about people bitterly clinging to guns and god.
Hillary Clinton carried this congressional district over Obama by a 7327%.
Margin that was her best margin in Pennsylvania in this is the only district in the country that voted for John Kerry in 2004.
And then voted for John McCain.
In 2008 switching from democratic to Republican in both cases by narrow margins.
A recent polls show this a close race between Republican Tim Burns who was from the late congressman John Murtha is hometown of Johnstown and Democrat mark Chris who worked out Murtha staff.
Thanks Michael joining me now in studio is the Republican congressional candidate looking to pick up that seat for the GOP timber are welcome to show Tekzilla thank you very much -- this seat was -- like Jack Murtha really since the beginning of time.
Are you running against his legacy what -- you -- different from what he did well -- -- believe it or not this race is no longer about Jack America.
Mean this race now is more about.
The Obama policy agenda people in this district are.
Are upset with Washington as usual they were against the health care bill they don't wanna see cap and trade pass and they want somebody that is from outside of Washington that they can go in there and make some real changes but they can't vote for -- all those years if you show up and say -- gonna do things differently I was -- -- Well I'll tell -- it's a good question but.
There -- people voted for Murtha because he was there for so long they knew him they trusted him.
But like -- said he's gone now and now this election is no longer about Merck -- but it is more about stopping the liberal agenda closely Obama this district is a conservative district even though it's more democratic.
These are Democrats that are pro life they're pro gun.
They're tired Washington there they're worried about the out of control spending and they are looking for somebody that.
Is going to you know help put the brakes on this -- -- administration's agenda.
For those numbers from the primaries or un believable if they don't like Barack Obama mean that the one destroyed those numbers tell is that they're not Obama fans why is that.
Well -- like you said these are these are conservative.
Whether they're Democrat or Republican this is -- conservative area.
These are people that I understand that you can't spend more money than what you bring in.
These are people that were against government takeover of our health care system.
And they understand that Obama Pelosi are taking them down that path than and they just wanted to stop so this is the first and a significant election since the passage of the health care bill did does it feel to see you in part -- referendum on that legislation absolutely I believe that.
In this this race is being watched by the nation to see exactly where the country feels hear what they feel about this this health care bill and I'll tell you.
Yeah I was very clear from the very beginning I oppose the health care bill I signed a pledge that say to say that I would repeal it.
And my opponent mark Fritz who's a Murtha staffer I called on him three times the simply state his position on health care bill he refused until the bill -- fast.
Many put a statement out saying that he opposed the health care bill.
But -- he wouldn't vote to repeal it so already is not and he's not not even in office -- he's already playing both sides of the issue.
So this is district we're hearing from.
Michael which is the biggest coal producing district.
In the country get to the biggest mines in the world.
The Democratic Party has been pretty clear as a party in its opposition to call I mean it's.
-- know a cause of global warming they say how can voters in your district who rely on coal for their jobs vote Democrat.
It's just what they've always done they voted Democrat because of John -- but again.
Now that now that he's gone.
People realize that this.
This district is literally of the solution for America's energy independence like he said we have the two largest coal mines in the where we sit on vast reserves of natural gas.
My opponent work to get cap and trade past but I can tell you that people in this district understand that not only would that be terrible for the country it would be devastating to Western Pennsylvania.
They they oppose it and -- said they want somebody will go in there the will stand up to Nancy Pelosi you know and by the way my opponent.
-- he now says that you know that he's not liberal but yet he goes down to Washington DC he raises money with Nancy Pelosi.
He were he brought Joe Biden and who says that he's wants no more coal plants in America.
He's raising money from the liberals to come back to the district to claim that he's not one of my crazy we've all seen that before Steve coal mines -- -- the canary in one.
This race we'll tell us a lot about -- the -- -- -- good for none -- -- good -- -- experts appreciate it thanks for coming thanks -- NN if you wanna help but check my website at www.
-- transfer and conference dot com and thank you.
Don't go anywhere of.
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