What a wild ride it has been in the Pennsylvania 10th Congressional District over the last few years. Democrat Chris Carney won the seat in 2006 because Don Sherwood kept talking about "family values" and then it was revealed that he had been playing house for over 5 years with a girl half his age who actually called the police because she said he became violent. There were other factors in the race but that helped clinch it.
Ever since then I've been hearing things like "that's one of our seats that we can win back" from my Republican friends. It's not your seat or the Dems seat, it's the peoples seat. The founders designed the House of Representatives as the pulse of the people and expected it to change hands often. But gerrymandering has slowed the turnover rate.
Early in the Republican primary I expected Dan Meuser to win the nod just because he had the most money. He's a Republican, you buy things. But he ran a awful campaign. His selling point was the he was the head of very successful company, Pride Mobility, that grew over the years and created some good jobs with the implication he would be able to replicate that throughout the district. That opened him up to answering for everything that Pride had ever done wrong by design or circumstance whether or not he had anything to do with the situation. Pride Mobility for Congress had it's limits and some his ads came across as a plug for the Scooter Store.
Chris Hackett ran a classic outsider vs. insider campaign. He railed against pork barrel spending and the way business is done in Washington. Just about every elected official in the 10th backed Meuser but it didn't bring him much. Most endorsements are good for a press release and not much more. The one's that matter bring boots on the ground and money, none of his did.
For all the negative stuff that happened at the end I thought (and I'm told) Hackett's ads pointing out that Pride had outsourced jobs to China resonated with people. The illegal immigrant thing showed showed how such a complicated issue is hard to discuss in a political campaign. I think the last minute abortion (he said/she said) accusations probably backfired as many thought it was a dirty trick.
A consolation point for Dan Meuser is that he will have the opportunity to challenge Chris Carney for the seat in 2010.
5 hours ago